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27 September, 2016

Mainstream media censor largest native mobilization in decades against Dakota access pipeline

As thousands of supporters around the world have joined demonstrations in solidarity with Native land and water defenders blocking the planned Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota, the largest Native mobilization in decades remains absent from some of the biggest news media in the United States.

Jim Naureckas, editor of the media watchdog site FAIR.org, released a report on Thursday which noted that “to this day, ABC News and NBC News have yet to broadcast a word about the pipeline struggle.

Among the “Big Three” television networks, CBS first broached the story on Sept. 5, in “a lone report on CBS Morning News (9/5/16), amounting to 48 words read at 4 o’clock in the morning,” although Naureckas found the channel has since “returned to the story repeatedly.

While other news channels, including MSNBC, CNN, PBS, and even Fox News, have reported the standoff, none have mentioned Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman’s threatened arrest for “criminal trespass” while covering attacks on protesters by Dakota Access-contracted security guards using dogs and pepper spray on Sept. 3.

In earlier analysis, released on Sept. 15, Naureckas noted the media’s broad lack of attention to the State of North Dakota’s “extraordinary action” against a fellow journalist. “[M]ost national corporate media outlets—the ones who complain about not getting a seat on a candidate’s plane—breathed not a word on North Dakota’s assault on the press’s ability to cover a major story of the moment,” he wrote.

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