May 25 was a big day in the movement toward GMO Freedom, and seems to have thrust the all-important issue into the spotlight for the first time in many areas.
While the initial coverage of the marches, which took place in over 400 cities and brought out more than 2 million people, left a lot to be desired, the follow-up coverage has been surprisingly better.
Both CNN and NBC News have had major segments on the growing protest movement and push for GMO Freedom and transparency this week, for example. They still haven’t given the events, or the issue, anywhere near the coverage it deserves considering the GMO phenomenon represents perhaps the biggest change to our food, and nature, in modern human history, but it’s a start.
Some local media outlets in particular have been much worse, however.
In the Metro Detroit, Michigan area most major newspapers and TV stations completely ignored rallies that brought out several hundred people in both Detroit and Ann Arbor.
To add insult to injury, one local news station may be playing dumb about whether or not they received information about the rallies that were set to take place that day. The station, Fox 2 News in Detroit, is part of the same family of stations that once unceremoniously fired top-notch investigative reporter (and Detroit legend) Steve Wilson from one of its Florida stations for refusing to censor an investigation he and a colleague conducted about cancer-causing agents in Monsanto’s Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone product for cows.
March Against Monsanto Press Releases Ignored, Denied in Facebook Post
Activist Kryssi Jones, who led the March Against Monsanto rally in Ann Arbor and was actually arrested for “using a megaphone,” conducted a Facebook conversation recently with an admin. of the Fox 2 News Detroit Facebook page over why they decided not to cover any of the March Against Monsanto protests, which brought out around 2,500 people between Ann Arbor and Detroit.
Jones asked why they had provided wall-to-wall coverage of the Detroit Grand Prix and absolutely nothing about the critical issue of people standing up to Monsanto.
The response from Fox 2 Detroit’s Facebook page:
“Kryssi, your event is obviously very important. Like you, we are human and can’t possibly kow about every single event happening in the entire area. There are hundred and hundreds each month. People in charge of the event need to make sure we know about it with a simple email or phone call. Please let someone know for the next time so we can make sure to get the word out.”
The response from Jones was direct:
“I sent out 17 press releases to you. I called, emailed and did it old school, sent it by stamped mail. I don’t know how else I could’ve told you. Not to mention, myself and others, posted it on your Facebook.”
Did Fox 2 Ignore Press Releases on March Against Monsanto?
According to Jones, press releases had been sent by multiple people leading up to the event.
I had also personally been in touch with the non-profit No GMO for Michigan (find them on Facebook) about press releases, and they told me they had planned to send press releases as well; I also provided them with a list of all of the local outlets including Fox 2 News just in case they needed it. They almost certainly submitted press releases, which we will follow up on as soon as we hear from an official from the campaign.
Between all of the Facebook posts, press releases, and other people contacting the station along with a local report from AnnArbor.com and all of the Facebook events and discussions going around, it seems as if there’s virtually no way that Fox 2 didn’t know about the march, yet they continue to deny that they did know about it.
Jones’ Facebook posts were recently removed because Fox 2 said it would “clutter up the important information,” she said, even as the station reported on the “Grumpy Cat” Internet phenomenon.
It is worth noting that Facebook admins aren’t always well connected everything that’s happening at their particular news outlets. But in this case it’s hard to think that Fox 2 News did anything but ignore the voices of the many people who worked hard to get the word out about one of the most important issues of our time, one that sees absolutely no coverage from local media outlets even as grassroots movements continue to grow exponentially with events such as the March Against Monsanto.
On the plus side, this is all part of the trials of growing a movement. Next time around, Fox 2 and other similar outlets across the world will have no excuse not to cover rallies in support of GMO Freedom, which are likely to be even bigger in scope.