The World Press Freedom Index 2014 describes the violence and collapse of media -- but does not include widespread plagiarism and deception in national Indian country news
By Brenda Norrell
The World Press Freedom Index 2014 details the violence against journalists around the world. It includes the decaying state of press freedom in the United States, where the Obama administration continues to pursue journalists sources for prosecution.
In the US, the whistleblower is now the enemy targeted by the US government. The United States plunged 13 spots to the ranking of 46 in press freedom, states the report by Reporters without Borders.
Reporters and editors in the national Indian country news -- who are never seen present on a news story -- continue to be paid for plagiarism and rewriting others work.
The deception in the news includes the publication of press releases and spin as if those are facts, which facilitates corporations that target Indian country for mining, power plants and dumping. The promotion of non-Indian profiteers within the casinos is disguised and concealed. The deception includes the promotion of politicians who are actually the publishers.
Further, there is widespread censorship in national Indian country news of issues ranging from the dirty coal industry, uranium mining, genetically modified seeds, and the theft of Indian water rights, to the truth about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The militarization of Indian lands, including Indian lands at the US borders with US spy towers, is widely censored. The truth about how the US created tribal councils to sign energy leases and serve as puppets of the US government, along with the back door deals of politicians, is also censored. The colonization of Indian children and the eradication of culture and traditions, from boarding schools to the US military, is censored.
Favoritism, the narrow selection of issues for publication, and distraction dominate the national Indian news. The theft of photos and copyright violations are part of the continual collapse of the national news in Indian country. Conflicts of interests are also present, as those posing as reporters are secretly paid as pubic relations agents or receive benefits for their articles.
Excerpts from World Press Freedom Index 2014
"In the United States, 9/11 spawned a major conflict between the imperatives of national security and the principles of the constitution’s First Amendment. This amendment enshrines every person’s right to inform and be informed. But the heritage of the 1776 constitution was shaken to its foundations during George W. Bush’s two terms as president by the way journalists were harassed and even imprisoned for refusing to reveal their sources or surrender their files to federal judicial officials.
In Mexico, the Zetas and other criminal organizations act in a similar predatory manner towards journalists with the complicity of corrupt local, and sometimes federal, officials. No fewer than 88 journalists were killed from 2000 to the end of 2013, and 18 others disappeared during the same period. This appalling death toll was aggravated by the so-called “federal offensive” against the drug cartels under President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), in which more than 60,000 people were killed." Read more: http://rsf.org/index2014/en-index2014.php
Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 32 years, beginning as a reporter for Navajo Times, and a freelance reporter for AP and USA Today during the 18 years that she lived on the Navajo Nation. After serving as a longtime staff reporter for Indian Country Today, she was censored and terminated. As a result, she created Censored News, now in its 8th year, with no advertising and 3 million pageviews.