Humanist Perspectives: issue 161, Minding the Media

Minding the Media
issue 161, Spring 2007

cover of issue 159
editorial & special report
When Trusted Information Sources Go Wrong by Gary Bauslaugh
One of the most trusted media sources in North America has been the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. A couple of years ago Humanist Perspectives followed the landmark trial of Evelyn Martens, on two counts of assisted suicide. The CBC also covered the story in a public affairs program, the fifth estate. We were stunned at the inaccuracies and misleading nature of the show. A full report is given. A previous example of misdeeds of the fifth estate was also uncovered. And Evelyn Martens is briefly interviewed.
letters from our readers
Jean Moss, President of the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic Association takes on James Alcock’s assessment of the Association’s attempt to establish a chiropractic program at York University. Alcock replies.
reflections of a humanist
Media Responsibility in a Democracy by Theo Meijer
Meijer illustrates how independent and responsible media are a necessary part of a properly functioning democracy.


Interview with Julia Sweeney
The American actress and comedienne talks about humanism and her one-person show on “Letting Go of God.”
Exuberating Fantasticisms:
Narratives of Destiny in Audition-Based TV Shows
by John Lazarus
Playwright and drama professor John Lazarus looks at the strange Idol phenomenon, and talks to some participants in the Canadian version.
Propaganda, Language & the Media by R G Weyant
Frequent contributor Robert Weyant discusses the media’s role in the dissemination of propaganda.
Movies in the Shadow of the Church by Bryson Brown
The censorious eye of the Catholic Church had a major impact on the development of the American film industry during the middle years of the 20th century.

columns & departments

things that go bump
Media & the Shaping of Reality by James Alcock
Delusional thinking comes from the troubled minds of individuals and from the collective mind of a troubled society. The media, even in a free society, can be instrumental in building such social delusions.
letter from new york
Dead Air & the Dying Art of the Interview by Jonny Diamond
A personal experience being interviewed on television prompts Diamond to reflect on the nature of the media in the US today.
practical philosophy
Quoting the Experts:
The Case of Peace & War
by Trudy Govier
How the media distort our understanding of war and peace.
Subverting Empire —
One Documentary at a Time
by Shirley Goldberg
The overwhelming power of the media to mislead is being undermined by the current profusion of progressive documentary films from around the world.
Some Commentaries on the Media by Ian Johnston
Works on the media by Neil Postman and Kim Veltman are examined.

last word

Interview by Blaireau de Bois
What if the three smartest people in television today were to comment on problems in the media?


This Just In… by Anne Spencer

Exclusive Web Supplements

Richard Dawkins
by Claude MJ Braun
> read article online
Science, Religion & Atheism in the Campus Press
by Justin Trottier
> read article online