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9418: RE: 9389: Re: 9274: Walton on US Support of Haiti's Government- Dorce Comments (fwd)

From: "Walton, Robert" <waltonr@emh1.ftmeade.army.mil>


1.  Much of my work for Army Public Affairs involves media content analysis.
Besides the major national and regional US papers and broadcast networks I
have an assortment of foreign press (government/blatantly political and
independent) (http://www.ipl.org/reading/news/) that I routinely examine.
Of these, for pure reporting of fact, Reuters (www.reuters.com) is my
favorite.  I believe that "balanced reporting" and "truthful reporting" are
not necessarily the same but that both are necessary for a fully informed
readership.  Reading politicized/biased media is helpful only if one is
aware of the bias.  To get balanced reporting on the political situation in
Haiti into US national media (NM) would be quite a trick; it would require a
national level of interest in that subject.  Because our news media
generally respond to their readership/audience demographics and immediate
interests, it would take something huge to move the Haitian situation onto
an NM editor's radar screen at this time.  That is not to say that US local
media wouldn't cover Haitian developments if that media served a Haitian
community (Miami Herald?).  The quality (balance/truthfulness) of the story
would depend on how the reporter obtained it and the editor's/publisher's
decisions.  Whether a story spread into the national media would depend on
its newsworthiness to a national audience.  Who is providing Haiti's story?
How can they interest US national media in publishing it?  

2.  As to "who the US military supports and it isn't supporting"  -  I am
constantly amazed when folks tell me who "our military" supports."  Briefly:
We have a professional military which is guided by the constitution.
Therefore, the US military supports the national policy of the United States
as directed by the president.  Some of us don't always agree with the
president or the national policy but that's not a job requirement. (Whose
"career was destroyed" and why?)

3. As to withholding aid-- From whom?  Are you suggesting that aid (our tax
dollars) would not be  used to line the pockets of government officials and
selected contractors? (Must be a new program; I'm all for it.)  Unless my
information is dated, I'd prefer to see assistance flow through
non-sectarian NGOs that had their own administrators in country and in

4.  "The media is a tool of big business.  Most of it is owned by
corporations, conglomerates.  Let's not look on them as the harbinger's of
truth."  Yep, independent media are profit-minded and subject to the
concerns of large advertisers.  They WON'T publish stuff which has little
readership interest and they TRY TO AVOID publishing feature articles
detrimental to the interests of their large advertisers but FOR NEWS,
they're usually guided by facts (and libel laws).  Sometimes they don't have
all the facts.  Politicized media publish selected facts (sometimes,
plausible lies or "spin" the facts) in consonance with their bias.  You can
tell a lot about a government or its opposition by noting which, if any,
media are being suppressed.

General Information: A media listing for Haiti is located at
Only a few of these are published on-line.