Written by Sebastian Trucios (California Maritime Academy)
Edited by Aimee Casey (Diablo Valley College)
Faculty Advisor: Nolan Higdon (California State University, East Bay)
In November 2016, the corporate media covered the junk food news story “Colin Kaepernick Didn’t Vote” while the independent media covered “Zika No Longer Global ‘Health Emergency,’ WHO (World Health Organization) Declares”. The junk food news story of San Francisco 49eers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to vote is non-newsworthy because it merely acts to continue tireless celebrity gossip, fueled by the recent tumultuous election. However, the WHO’s recent announcement is newsworthy because the Zika virus stands as a massive threat for people on a global scale, of which the public needs to be aware.
In November 2016, the news that San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick did not vote in the recent election came to light and quickly swept the media. Kaepernick told the media, “To me, it didn’t really matter who went in there. The system still remains intact that oppresses people of color”. In fact, Kaepernick has never voted, and has never registered to vote in any election. Overall, Kaepernick’s decision not to vote has swept through mainstream media outlets in the wake of the US 2016 election.
The corporate media dedicated a massive amount of coverage to the junk food news story regarding Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to vote. From November 9th onward, mainstream media outlets have been heavily covering Kaepernick’s decision not to vote. On November 9th, The Huffington Post covered the story, followed by CBS News on November 11th, The Washington Post on November 12th, CBSSports and USA Today on November 14th, CNN on November 15th, and The Washington Times on November 16th. These media outlets covered this story extensively following the recent election, especially considering its controversial nature.
In November 2016, while the corporate media covered the junk food news story regarding Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to vote, the independent outlet National Public Radio (NPR) covered WHO’s announcement regarding Zika’s status as a global health emergency. On November 18th, Michaeleen Doucleff writing for NPR published “Zika No Longer Global ‘Health Emergency,’ WHO Declares”. Doucleff’s article focused on the WHO’s recent announcement, as well as the potential risks that many in areas still infested with the disease.
The topic of the WHO’s announcement regarding Zika no longer being a global health emergency is newsworthy because it is a serious disease that can result in reproductive harm. As The Independent reported, “More than two billion people at risk of catching virus around the world,” representing nearly 30 percent of the world’s population. While the disease is still spreading, reports show a slowdown of the disease’s spread, and more importantly, a significant decrease in cases of microcephaly outside of Brazil, which for unknown reasons has shown much larger instances of the disastrous birth defect.
The month of November 2016, the corporate media covered the junk food news story regarding Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to vote while the independent media covered the WHO’s announcement regarding Zika’s status as a global health emergency. The junk food news story covering Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to vote is non-newsworthy because it merely acts to continue tireless celebrity gossip. However, the WHO’s recent announcement is newsworthy because the Zika virus stands as a massive threat for people on a global scale, of which the public needs to be aware.
Sebastian Trucios is a Sophomore Marine Engineering Technology Student at California Maritime Academy.
Nolan Higdon is a professor of Critical Media Literacy Education and Latin American and US History in the San Francisco Bay Area. His academic work focuses on nationalism, propaganda, and critical media literacy education. He sits on the boards of the Media Freedom Foundation, Sacred Heart University’s Media Literacy and Digital Culture Graduate Program, and the Northwest Alliance For Alternative Media And Education. He co-founded the Global Critical Media Literacy Project where he served two years as coordinator. He has contributed chapters to Censored 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, & 2017 as well as Stephen Lendman’s Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks World War III (2014). He has published articles on media and propaganda including “Disinfo Wars: Alex Jones War on Your Mind (2013),” “Millennial Media Revolution (2014),” and “Justice For Sale (2015).” He has been a guest on national radio and television programs and a frequent guest host for The Project Censored Radio Show.