Ralph nader questions media coverage
Below is an open letter to the national media from Ralph Nader….
Open Letter to Members of the National Media:
Dear Members of the 4th Estate: Having spoken to numerous reporters and some editors with the national media (as distinguished from the local media) about the blackout or near blackout of the Nader/Gonzalez presidential campaign, striving to challenge the two party, exclusionary duopoly, (debates, ballot obstacles, etc.) I must ask a general question:
What journalistic criteria have you been employing in this presidential year that guides your pronounced non-coverage of the number three campaign that advances majoritarian agendas based on long experience, involvement, and accomplishment. These agendas are either opposed or ignored by McCain and Obama (see www.votenader.org) and are often rooted in the very investigative reports by your reporters?
It is puzzling how editors and publishers who oversee these prize winning stories seem to lose interest in covering Americans who are trying to do something with that information for a better country.
We asked one top editor of a major daily why his paper was not covering us at all and he said, “Because you can’t win.” Besides being a catch-22 that he quickly acknowledged, that is not a supportable newsworthy judgment. News Media have covered many stories outside the electoral arena of people “who can’t win” and such coverage extends to both the import of the struggles and the reasons why “winning is not possible” given the stacked deck against them.
There has been a witting or unwitting political bigotry against third parties and independent candidates, as there was years ago against minority voters. Against the status of such candidates obstructed through ballot access laws by the two parties that dislike competition they present other rigged ways to secure their domination over the electoral landscape, including gerrymandering each other in the majority of Congressional Districts, for example.
This is meant to be a short letter. Journalism scholars, reporters, and other post-election writers of books and articles will be chronicle, no doubt, the quantity and quality of media coverage (see the previous analysis by such scholars as Stephen Farnsworth and S. Robert Lichter).
For now, please verify for yourselves your own non-coverage or coverage and inform us what your journalistic criteria standards or policies led you to this definition of your readers, listeners, and viewers rights to know.
Thank you for responding, even though there is obviously no obligation to do so.