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The DNC: Inside the bubble and the view on the tube from outside

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August 26th, 2008

EDITORIAL NOTE: This marks the first post from Cynematic, WIMN’s Voices newest house blogger on women, media and politics. Because she is blogging from the convention it will be a few days before we can put up a full profile page for her, so she’s posting as a guest blogger today — this will be recategorized once her profile page is created. See her abridged bio at the bottom of this post.

I noticed an interesting fact on the media walk-through information we were given for the Democratic National Convention back in July, 2008, in preparation for the convention.

The TV network in charge of the network pool (pooled footage) for the DNC is…wait for it…FOX NEWS. (Networks all cooperate to designate one network the sole provider of all raw footage inside the Pepsi Center because otherwise it’s more expensive and redundant for all networks to each have a camera.)

I thought this was intriguing and did a little digging. Just how is the network pool determined? Is it through bidding, random, some other process?

But I have to say, we inside the Pepsi Center and my fellow MOMocrats stuck in traffic (avoiding another clash between Denver police and protesters) are inside a bubble. I’ve had no time to watch TV news coverage.

So what I want to know is this: what do YOU, the viewers, think about the television coverage so far? Do you detect any bias? Does it seem “Fair and Balanced” in that special Fox News way, or is it truly fair and balanced? We all know that when you focus on something, when you cut away, when you zoom in, when/how you allocate cameras to highlight protests or give minutes to other kinds of stories…all these subtly shape what we see and understand.

For example, if Bill O’Reilly’s producers are asking for certain kinds of “coverage” inside the Pepsi Center for a show he’s doing later, then does it affect what goes into the general network pool? It hadn’t occurred to me before that there might be a way to shape what’s seen in an overtly partisan way, but being responsible for the network pool could be one such way given the constraints of Fox News’ budgetary and editorial decisions. Where they put resources might affect what you see.

Readers, let me know. Be sure to give specific examples, so if I need to follow up I can do so.

Cynematic is a writer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. A recovering academic, she’s published scholarly articles on Asian American feminism and gender studies, film, and literary criticism. She also blogs about politics and culture at MOMocrats.com, and writes at P i l l o w b o o k.

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