A bird's eye view of the vineyard
International Military Review ? Syria & Iraq, May 24, 2016 (+ funny article!) Tue May 24, 2016 18:00 | The Saker
https://southfront.org/international-... Addendum: check out this funny article too: https://southfront.org/southfront-is-... Note by the Saker: as a longtime wannabe “Putin agent” I am jealous of SouthFront! Considering the superb performance of the
Moveable Feast Cafe 2016/05/24 ? Open Thread Tue May 24, 2016 15:00 | Herb Swanson
2016/05/24 14:00:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of
Beware what you wish for: Russia is ready for war Tue May 24, 2016 14:52 | The Saker
by Pepe Escobar for RT So foreign ministers from the 28 NATO member-nations met in Brussels for a two-day summit, while mighty military power Montenegro was inducted as a new
International Military Review ? Syria, May 23, 2016 Tue May 24, 2016 04:23 | The Saker
?CrossTalk? Bullhorns unstoppable Tue May 24, 2016 01:18 | The Saker
The Saker >>
Minority Government, Human Rights, and the Opportunity for Constitutional Dialogue Fri May 06, 2016 11:36 | Ntina Tzouvala
Intensifying the glare of the United Nations? spotlight Wed May 04, 2016 06:46 | GuestPost
PhD studentships at DCU Fri Apr 29, 2016 17:15 | Eoin Daly
The Role of Sport in the Recognition of Transgender and Intersex Rights Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:54 | Eoin Daly
Call for Papers: ?International and Comparative Law in the 21st Century: Lessons learned?? Wed Mar 23, 2016 17:58 | GuestPost
Human Rights in Ireland >>
For lefties too stubborn to quit
IBEC and its critics 17:42 Tue May 24, 2016 | WorldbyStorm
Fear of an election? 12:30 Tue May 24, 2016 | WorldbyStorm
Water wars? 10:00 Tue May 24, 2016 | guestposter
Greece? again. 07:49 Tue May 24, 2016 | WorldbyStorm
Statement from Work Must Pay Campaign 21:04 Mon May 23, 2016 | guestposter
Cedar Lounge >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016
The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015
Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015
THE WRATH OF KANE: BANKING CRISES AND POLITICAL POWER 09:32 Fri Jan 30, 2015
ALWAYS THE ARTISTS: WEEK THREE OF THE BANK INQUIRY 23:11 Thu Jan 22, 2015
Dublin Opinion >>
Ignorance, avoidance, distortion – media coverage of the Corrib gas project has failed
rights, freedoms and repression |
Wednesday February 05, 2014 23:53 by shell2c
The Irish media has failed to properly report on the local community’s resistance to Shell in Mayo. The reason? Journalism has fewer and fewer resources to filter the truth from the propaganda, Harry Browne writes.
The basic reason is pretty simple: they’ve got more and more resources (money, time, people) to push the corporate or government line, and we’ve got fewer and fewer with which to filter out the truth from the propaganda.
And when PR people are good and do their job really well, they get the ears of our bosses and make our jobs even harder.
That’s what happened to Betty Purcell, a TV producer who recently took early retirement from RTE after many years in charge of programmes including Questions & Answers and The View. In 2009 she tried to make a short human-interest documentary in RTE’s quasi-religious slot Would You Believe? about Willie and Mary Corduff, residents of Rossport, Co Mayo, who stopped Shell from running a gas pipeline through their land.
“One day the director Geraldine Creed and the reporter Mick Peelo got a call saying that a Shell PR man was in the RTE canteen and would they go down and talk to him,” Purcell recalled. He tried to persuade Purcell’s team to drop or change the programme.
The programme got made only after its dedicated makers jumped through a unique and time-consuming series of management hoops – and RTE broke up the team soon after.
Reporting the community’s resistance to Shell
Purcell (whose memoir Inside RTE will be published next month) was telling this story last Saturday near Rossport, in Ceathrú Thaidhg, Co Mayo, at ‘Airing Corrib: The Media and Shell Corrib’, organised by Action from Ireland (AfrI). I joined her on the platform, as did Liamy MacNally, formerly a much-admired journalist with Mayo-based Midwest Radio.
Last month MacNally won a case for unfair dismissal against the station. Although the employment tribunal did not accept that he had been targeted for his coverage of the Corrib gas project, MacNally was able to describe to the Mayo audience the years of flak that rained down on his journalism whenever he broadcast or wrote about the community’s resistance to Shell.
For most journalists with a busy job to do, this sort of thing becomes a good reason to ignore a story, or at least avoid its more ‘controversial’ elements. In contrast, public relations professionals working for Shell have all the time in the world to advance the company’s perspective, which, more often than not, then slides unopposed into the news agenda.
There is nothing particularly sinister about this. After the initial period of heroic coverage of the ‘Rossport Five’ (including Willie Corduff) in 2005, Shell has simply outgunned its opponents in PR terms, creating the image of a reasonable, flexible company trying to provide employment in Mayo but besieged by hysterical and perhaps-dodgy ‘protesters’.
Ignorance, avoidance and distortion
Richie O’Donnell’s beautiful feature-length documentary The Pipe, which provides an alternate perspective, has won awards here and abroad and been sold to dozens of broadcasters across the world, but, incredibly, it has never been shown on RTE.
But last week’s event in Mayo wasn’t just a chance for journalists such as Purcell and MacNally to say how their work on the Corrib story had been resisted by PR pressure and by their employers; it also gave plenty of time for others, including locals, to offer testimony about the ignorance, avoidance and distortion they have experienced at the hands of the media over the last decade.
Some of the stories were comic – but when another of the Rossport Five, Vincent McGrath, ran through a long detailed list of year-upon-year of media errors and sins on the story, it was clear this community’s grievance is no joke. Along with many State bodies the media have, by and large, allowed their message to be coordinated by the effective PR operation of one of the most powerful companies in the world, one that sits right on top of the Fortune 500.
And while we can understand how that has happened, it’s not what journalism is supposed to be all about.