Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Lies and Distortions in Brazilian Media

Hi all

I went away for almost two weeks (it never happened before!!) due to my secular obligations and cause I was fighting a particular war with a local newspaper.
The subject of this fight was the lies and distortions on Fidel Castro and - of course - Middle East.

This two subjects lead me a little far from Lula and his re-election campaign and the developments from PCC case (just to mention: the second journalist kidnapped two weeks ago was released after the video-footage was aired). But I will return to it. Don´t worry.

About the case:
Last week I sent an e-mail to a newspaper called "Zero Hora" on two issues:
  • The fact that a dictator like Fidel was being called as "president" while other - Stroessner from Paraguay - was an "eternal dictator", despite the fact he was ousted from power more than a decade ago.
  • The silence on the recent photo fraud cases in Lebanon, due to the fact "Zero Hora" has a journalist on the battle-ground.
You can read the original letter (in portuguese) here, and the translation below:

"Dear :

Zero Hora must do decide how intends to call Cuba´s communist dictator. The 08/14 edition, last cover, treats Fidel as "dictator", but in page 23 of the same edition, Raul Castro is called as "president" in charge. (..) If Fidel is a dictator on the last cover, must be this on page 23 too. (..)
This is what I call bias.

Take 2:

During the Israel X Hezbollah conflict coverage, I did not notice any information on the dozens of  falsification and photo frauds (Reuters and AP) emerged on the net. Nothing.

These facts were largely commented on the web since they were denounced by bloggers like " litte green footballs " and  "EU referendum" . Thhey are journalistic facts for all, but Zero Hora.(..).

This is 'bias' on all its extent. Greeting for this wonderful job of half-information.

As Mark Twain said 'If you do not read newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read newspapers, you are misinformed'.


I received two answers:

On 08/19 the first part of my letter was publihed below the title "About ZH" - with no comments. (Read Here)
On 08/20 part of the second part of the letter was published in the section "Answers to Readers" with the answer from Rodrigo Lopes, the journalist that was ZH´s correspondent in the Middle-East (Read Here).

The main points of Rodrigo´s response were:

- They used my letter to explain ZH´s criteria to publish photos ("they do not manipulate photos" -- what a relief!!)
- Reuters photo frauds were not published because they do not publish Reuters photos!
- They do not published the buzz about photo fraud because they think "There were more relevants facts to inform, like the suffering of Lebanese and Israeli people".

My points:

a) If they were so irrelevant then they were irrelevant now. Why - for my response - the manipulated photo and the real photo were published ? Two weeks later?

b) It is very interesting that a fact that could prove that some of the 'suffering of Lebanese people' were faked by photographers-militants were not published but the 'suffering' stuff , yes. I think that the former would somehow lessen the latter.

c) "Suffering of Lebanese and Israeli people" is not real. It is just rethoric. Lebanese causalties were described in details and Israeli in the form of a dry "corpses count" like this in the 08/14 edition " Hezbollah has launched at least 153 rockets against the North of Israel, killing on man of 83 years old and hurting at least 91 people".

d) ZH and Rodrigo Lopes avoided to mention AP - Qana (the Hezbollah-wood case) because they published the photo of the famous "green helmet militant" and his declaration !!

So ZH is part of the Media that tries to distort Middle-East conflict to the public too. If not ZH must to show these case of lies to their public.

1 comment:

Tomás Estrada-Palma said...

Cool Blog Luis!

Tomas Estrada-Palma