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In a time of unsurpassed plenty in media, can Americans separate the spin from reality? Most agree that technology has changed the way we communicate. But the question remains: how much and for whom? Guests on BILL MOYERS JOURNAL remind us that the medium may be new, but many of the same old problems remain.

Add your concerns and solutions to the map.

John Stewart, photo by Robin Holland
On THE DAILY SHOW and its audience: "I can assure them they're not getting any journalism from us. We are, if anything — I do believe we function as a sort of editorial cartoon. That we are a digestive process, like so many other digestive processes that go on. The thing about 'you know, there's a lot of young people get this and you know, young people get that from me'. People are very sophisticated consumers of information, and they're pulling all different things. It's the same argument people say about the blogs: 'the blogs are responsible.' No, they're not. The blogs are like anything else. You judge each one based on its own veracity and intelligence and all of that. And if you like, you could cherry pick only the things that you agree with from various things. Or, if you want, you can try and get a broader perspective, or you can find people who are absolutely out of their minds, or find people that are doing incredibly complex and interesting and urgent journalism. And the same goes for our show. It's a prism into people's own ideologies, when they watch our program. This is just our take."

Watch the whole of Bill Moyers' conversation with John Stewart.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, photo by Robin Holland
On the internet changing politics: "Well, first, there's more information available than there ever has been, and it's more easily retrievable. So we can, within minutes, locate candidates' issue positions, contrast them to other positions, search news interviews with the candidates where they're held accountable for discrepancies between past and current positions. We can get contextual information, also largely gotten from news. And you can hear in the candidates' own voices their arguments for those issue positions, sometimes at great length. Greater than you're going to find in ads. Or greater than you're find-going to find in news."

Watch Bill Moyers' interview with Kathleen Hall Jamieson about the internet and politics.


Josh Marshall
On blogging and journalism: "And one of the unique strengths of our journalism model is that we use our readers a lot to do basically sort of the front line research for us. That doesn't mean we just take things people say and print them willy-nilly. But, there's a wealth of information out there in small metropolitan papers around the country. So, there were reports about the Arkansas U.S. Attorney who had been fired, that was just in a local Arkansas media. And there was another similar case with the U.S. Attorney in Michigan. "

Watch Josh Marshall talk about blogging and the 2007 investigations into the Justice Department.

Michael J. Copps, photo by Robin Holland
On the roll of the media: "The public airwaves are to be used for serving the public interest. Expanding our cultural horizon, covering community news, enabling the democratic dialogue. Increasingly, we have moved away from that vision and they're being used for corporate profitability."

Watch the rest of Bill Moyers' conversation with Michael Copps.
References and Reading:
Media
Free Press
"Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications."

Public Agenda on internet speech and privacy
"Privacy and free speech are already among the nation's most difficult social issues; and it would be startling if the Internet did not raise new concerns about both of them."

Center for Media and Democracy's PR WATCH
"The nonprofit Center for Media and Democracy strengthens participatory democracy by investigating and exposing public relations spin and propaganda, and by promoting media literacy and citizen journalism, media "of, by and for the people."

Hoover Institution on media issues
"The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford University, is a public policy research center devoted to advanced study of politics, economics, and political economy — both domestic and foreign — as well as international affairs."

Common Cause on the Media
"Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest."

The Electronic Frontiers Foundation
"From the Internet to the iPod, technologies are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990 — well before the Internet was on most people's radar — and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today"

Fact Checking the Campaign

COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW: Campaign Desk
The journalists at CJR turn their attention to "auditing" campaign ads, speeches and other media moments. In addition to CJR staff a group of veteran journalists will add their perspective to the Campaign Desk's analysis.

FactCheck.org
FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania that aims to monitor the accuracy of major national candidates' statements and rhetoric.

The Fact-Checker
Run by veteran journalist Michael Dobbs, The Fact-Checker is a project of the WASHINGTON POST that publishes research evaluating and providing background and context to candidate statements and popular political stories.

Politifact and Truth-0-Meter
Politifact is an extensively cross-referenced fact-checking resource run as a joint project by the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES and CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY.

"Fact and Fiction on the Campaign Trail," December 2, 2007
THE NEW YORK TIMES' Public Editor Clark Hoyt analyzes the facts behind several high-profile campaign speeches.

>Additional Internet Resources for Campaign 2008

Related Media:
Minority Media
BILL MOYERS JOURNAL reports on the real-world consequences of media policy through the lens of how it affects minority media ownership in America.

Massing of the Media
A report on the debate around relaxing ownership rules and a look at the real-world implications of increasing cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast outlets in the same markets.

Rick Karr on Government Secrecy
Are muckrakers and whistleblowers facing insurmountable odds?

Katrina Hero
A look back at how low-power radio helped save lives after Hurricane Katrina and Hannah Sassaman and Rick Karr discuss the state of low-power radio today.

MOYERS on 2008
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