Skip to comments.How Much Does It Cost to Buy Global TV News? (LGF Exclusive into MSM Bias]
Posted on 08/11/2006 10:34:41 AM PDT by PajamaTruthMafia
How Much Does It Cost to Buy Global TV News?
The vast majority of the TV news pictures you see are produced by two TV news companies. Presented here is a case for how a large amount of money has been used to inject a clear bias into the heart of the global TV news gathering system. That this happens is not at question, whether it is by accident or design is harder to tell.
You may not realize it, but if you watch any TV news broadcast on any station anywhere in the world, there is a better than even chance you will view pictures from APTN. BBC, Fox, Sky, CNN and every major broadcaster subscribes to and uses APTN pictures. While the method by which they operate is interesting, it is the extra service this US owned and UK based company offers to Arab states that is really interesting.
About the Associated Press
The Associated Press (AP) is a not-for-profit news gathering and dissemination service based in the US.Formed in 1848, the AP grew up from an agreement between the six major New York newspapers of the day. They wanted to defray the large telegraphy costs that they were all independently incurring for sending the same news coast to coast. Despite being highly competitive, they formed the Associated Press as a collection agency and agreed to share the material. Today, that six-newspaper cooperative is an organization serving more than 1,500 newspapers and 5,000 broadcast outlets in the United States. Abroad, AP services are printed and broadcast in 112 countries.
Associated Press Television News
Associated Press Television News (APTN) is a wholly owned subsidiary of AP. It was formally set up as a separate entity in 1994. It is run as a commercial entity and aims to make a profit. Any profit it does make is fed back to AP (which is non-profit making: APTN profits reduce the newsgathering costs incurred by the 1500 US newspapers that collectively own the AP). APTN is the largest television news gathering player (larger than Reuters, its only true competitor in this field). While AP is based in the US, APTN operates out of large premises in Camden, London. They have news teams, offices and broadcast facilities in just about every important place in the world.
APTN uses news crews and broadcast facilities all over the world to record video of newsworthy events (in News, Sport and Entertainment). These pictures are either sent unedited or very partially edited back to London. Most news is fed back within hours but they also cover and feed certain events live (news conferences in Iraq, press conferences after a sporting event etc.). Most of these stories are sent in with natural sound: there is no journalist providing a voice over, but the choice of what to shoot is in the hands of the local producer and camera crew. Local crews are sometimes employed directly by APTN, or more often stringers are hired for a particular event or paid for the footage they have already captured.
Once the stories have been fed back to the UK they are edited. This is a round the clock operation. The goal is to produce a 30 minute news bulletin comprising 6 or 7 stories every few hours. These stories are made by editing down the raw rushes that come in from all over the world. This is done by a team of producers who work for the news editor. They dont supply a voice over but they do edit, discard and sequence pictures dictating the emphasis and direction of the story. They will accompany each story with a written description of each shot and the general reason this was a story. This is repeated for News, Sport & Entertainment with a geographical emphasis that shifts around the world as different markets wake and sleep. The output of this is called the Global News Wire (GNW).
The Business of TV News
This is how APTN makes its money: news organizations (mostly TV but not all) subscribe to APTN and pay an annual amount to both watch and then re-use the stories that are fed over the GNW. The stories are supplied with sound, but no journalist to do a voice over. Most commercial news stations (like the BBC, SKY, Fox or CNN) would take this feed, decide which pictures to use then re-edit it and supply an appropriate voice over for the story. The video comes with a written description of the shots and the events that occur in them.
The fee for this feed depends on the size of the receiving organization, their audience size and a negotiation with APTNs sales force. It is pretty much impossible, however, to operate a TV news organization without taking feeds from either APTN or Reuters or usually both. The agreement with APTN usually allows the receiving news channel unlimited use of the video for two weeks. If they want to re-show those pictures after that they have to separately license the pictures (which can cost anything from $100 to $10,000 per 30 seconds depending on the content).
A Separate Service for Arab States
However, there is another significant part of their business model that affects the rest of the business. While most of the world takes news pictures with minimal interpretation beyond editing, the Arab Gulf States have asked for and receive a different and far more expensive service. These states pay for a complete news report service including full editing and voice overs from known journalists. The news organizations in the Arab countries dont do anything (beyond verify that they are appropriate for local tastes) before broadcast.
What this means is that while there are around 50 people producing news pictures for the whole world working in Camden at any time, there are a further 50 Arabic speaking staff producing finished stories exclusively for the Arab states of the gulf. This has a tremendous effect on the whole feel of the building as these two teams feed pictures and people back and forth and sit in adjacent work areas. The slant of the stories required by the Gulf States has a definite effect on which footage is used and discarded. This affects both the Gulf newsroom and the main global newsroom.
This full service feed is much more expensive for the customers than the usual service, but it is also much higher margin for APTN. This is partly because there is great commonality in what they can send to most of the Gulf States taking this service: stories are made once and used in a number of countries.
Disproportionately Negative Coverage of Israel
Anything involving Israel is a favorite with Gulf Arab states for showing to their viewers. Could this be the reason why Israel receives such a disproportionate amount of particularly negative coverage especially and increasingly ever since the early 1970s? HonestReporting is usually unable to decide which is most biased: AP or BBC. As the BBC is often using APTN footage, the difference is minor. A significant twist to what is seen, concerns what is not seen. Footage such as the Palestinian mob joyfully lynching two Israeli reservists in Ramallah in October 2000 is held by APTNs library: any attempt to license this film for reshow is carefully vetted. Requests for the use of sensitive clips are referred directly to the Library director. This is not the case with clips that paint Israel in a bad light. Likewise, the re-showing of Palestinian celebrations on 9/11 is considered sensitive.
The way in which raw footage such as APTNs is compiled into a news report and sent round the world has also been analyzed. The Second Draft gives a comprehensive view of how editing can make all the difference. APTN is the gatekeeper that sits between you and the actual event. You will never see what the editors at APTN see before they compile your evening news. What do you think is cut out?
Was this organization set up with this in-built bias on purpose? Is there some way that the expensive payments made by Gulf state governments form part of a deliberate attempt to skew the media? In Islam and Dhimmitude (2002) by Bat Yeor on p294-296 she recounts how decisions were taken in the wake of the Arab-Israeli war of 1967 to try to put across an anti-Jewish, anti-Zionist message. Successive conferences resolved to contribute vast sums to universities, centers for Islamic studies, international communications agencies, and private and governmental organizations in order to win over world opinion. (p296). The messages from these conferences stressed an addition to the more familiar violent jihad: they also emphasized the importance of jihad by the written and spoken word. What we would recognize as classic propaganda. Without question APTNs interesting business model represents a concrete example of an ongoing financial contribution to an important communication agency promoting a pro-Arab bias.
High profit margins on Muslim sponsored clips...hmmm.
Just from how differently they treat their library of clips from Muslim areas and Israeli areas you can tell that the old adage is true:
He who pays the piper, calls the tune.
I only had the 3 major networks' news for years. Depending on the location and schedule, they programmed for 5 and 5:30.
Many times at the end of one (5:00), I would switch to the other network (5:30). The one noticeable thing was the lack of variety. Both supposedly covered the World, yet their 30 minute broadcasts covered basically the same news items -- even on slow news days. Many of the reports on one network news were not only similar, but nearly word-for-word on the other network. About the only difference between one network and the other was the order of the stories covered.
I guess the examination and exposure of the bias and systematic attempt to influence and manipulate world opinion is in its infancy.
I noticed the same.
For example, one day ABC would have a special "segment" on some rare ailment or disease, and the research on it -- and strangely enough, CBS would be covering the same topic.
I used to wonder -- who is controlling the presentation of the news?
I often wonder how many in the US are taking big Arab money under the table. I think it is safe to say that folks like Ritter and McKinney are, but I wonder how many others, in more influential positions. Remember how Clark Clifford was in bed with them over the BCCC bank?
There are production companies out there that do nothing but supply feature stories to the big news outlets.
I imagine that their sales people try to push what's hot at the moment such as the bird flu or mad cow, etc.
The problem with the Associated Press and Reuters is the lack of competition. The Little Green Footballs web site has been so busy this last week that it is often difficult to view. People want alternatives. There is a hugh business opportunity there for somebody wanting to start up an AP alternative. They could become the next FOX News.
I've been thinking that for a long time. Problem is, the buyers, for the most part, like the product they are getting now. It fits with their ideology and world view. So customers will be few (at first).
What's really need is a group of very wealthy conservatives to form an investment group willing to take the losses for awhile. The group would also have to consider some vertical integration (buying/starting newspapers and TV/cable/satellite stations.) It would be a really big investment but would change the world. They would almost have to go into it writing off the hopes of a return.
I wish I was a billionaire because I'd spend every penny of it to make it happen. I'd consider it my contribution to mankind.
Gods Learning Chanel (GodsLearningChannel.com) is an exception to this article. It is a tv station in West Texas that is a privately owned (Prime Time Christian Broadcasting) that broadcasts 24 hours a day 7days a week; and is the only station that carries a daily news cast from Israel. INN plus they have a daily Discovering Bibical Israel which is taken on their yearly trips/tours to Israel and they film them, and broadcast these. Excellent stuff.
They are now (a few months ago) broadcasting on the 1A-5 Satellite, and also now the Indian APR-1 Satellite: also since about a month ago they are also going into the Phillipines over this same Indian APR-1. Amazing. God is at work in this.
It can be viewed on the internet
wwwGodsLearningChannel.com Check it out, it is anointed.
In the afternoon they have a couple of childrens and teen agers programing too.
They don't have to pay them. They simply have to threaten them.