15 June 2004

It's not covering the economy, stupid!

[source, source]

New York - June 14, 2004. Coverage of the state of the economy, education, healthcare and domestic security have been declining in the U.S. TV evening news since January. The latest report from Media Tenor, an independent media analysis institute, shows that the big three networks have neglected topics that are crucial influences on voters’ decisions in national elections.

At the beginning of the year, Bush’s economic policies overshadowed all other issues in news coverage. However, since April, the networks have practically abandoned coverage of his economic policy - even as the economy and labor market have shown signs of significant improvement.

ABC focused heavily on the state of the economy in its news coverage at the beginning of the year, and in January, issues such as domestic security, healthcare and education still played a role on World News Tonight, albeit a small one. Since April, however, these four issues have practically vanished from news coverage. The same trend also occurred at the other two networks, and all four issues.

Purely a coincidence, I’m sure.

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UN-important (2)

[source, source]

Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations special envoy to Iraq, announced his resignation from the post at a meeting yesterday of the Security Council and in the presence of Secretary General Kofi Annan.

The resignation, brewing for a number of days, shocked the diplomatic community at the world body.


According to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, Brahimi’s current assignment in Iraq has been completed. [emphasis added]

Brahimi slinks away, nobody cares, and the UN generates a pathetic “We meant to do that” response. How the mighty have fallen.

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Canadians free of health care


More than 3.6 million Canadians didn’t have a regular doctor last year, and many of them suffered a lack of basic preventive care, winding up in emergency rooms at far higher rates than those with doctors.

The problem was almost as serious in urban as rural areas, according to a new Statistics Canada survey, the most comprehensive picture to date of the country’s doctor shortage and its consequences.

Of the 3.6 million who didn’t have a doctor, 2.4 million hadn’t bothered to look, the Canadian Community Health Survey released Tuesday says.

But 1.2 million searched, some long and hard, with no success.

But at least those people who can’t find a doctor aren’t uninsured!

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HARARE, Zimbabwe - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s special envoy for humanitarian needs in southern Africa called off a visit to Zimbabwe on Tuesday after he was told neither President Robert Mugabe nor any of his top officials were available to see him.

So now even Mugabe doesn’t worry about blowing off the UN? How the mighty have fallen!

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Sharon dodges legal bullet


Israel’s attorney general on Tuesday dropped a corruption case against Ariel Sharon, ending months of uncertainty over the prime minister’s political future and boosting prospects of an Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

Attorney General Meni Mazuz told a news conference that he is not indicting Sharon on bribe-taking charges because of lack of evidence. Mazuz informed Sharon of the decision by phone before the news conference.

Crushing the Palestinian resistance, now this - Sharon is on a roll.

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Film to follow vinyl?


Canon and Nikon control nearly all of the nascent digital SLR market. They are also the leading makers of film SLRs, but demand is declining due to a rapid switch to digital models.

Kimura said Nikon had no plans to stop producing film SLRs, but that it may next year start considering pulling out of the film compact camera business due to a sharp plunge in demand.

“There is still the matter of timing, but eventually we will have to dissolve this business,” Kimura said. “There really is no region in the world where you can do good business in compact film cameras anymore.”

I gave up on film years ago, primarily because of the expense and personal lack of talent. With digital, a success rate of 1 in a 100 pictures is affordable (and yes, with a bit more practice, I should get to that kind of yield).

I don’t think film will disappear entirely, just like vinyl records and vacuum tube amplifiers are still around. But it will become the toy of the affacianados instead of the medium of the masses.

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