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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Sept. 20, 2002


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until Sept. 25, 2002.

This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

Sept. 11: "A Teachable Moment"
in a Debate Over American Values

Interview with the Rev. Jim Wallis,
Sojourners Magazine editor,
conducted by Scott Harris

Americans gathered together in small towns and large cities across the nation on Sept. 11 to remember and mourn the enormous loss of life and destruction wrought by last year's terrorist assaults on New York City and Washington, D.C. But while religious leaders led prayer services and politicians honored the hundreds of fire fighters and police officers who sacrificed their lives to save others, the Bush administration was working hard to shape public opinion in support of a new war against Iraq.

On this first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, people from all walks of life are contemplating the consequences of President Bush's declaration of a "war without end." Many Americans flew flags displaying their patriotism, while others were drawn to hundreds of peace vigils, concerts and educational forums which focused more on reconciliation than retribution. One of the largest of these gatherings was held in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park where more than 20,000 people turned out for the "9-11 Power to the Peaceful Festival."

Between the Lines' Scott Harris spoke with the Rev. Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners Magazine, who reflects on events of the past year since Sept. 11 and the ongoing debate on American values during this time of crisis.

Contact Sojourners by calling (202) 328-8842 or visit their Web site at

Johannesburg Earth Summit Fails to Significantly Advance
Environmental Protection and Poverty Eradication

Interview with Salih Booker,
executive director of Africa Action,
conducted by Scott Harris

After 10 days of debate, deliberation and protest, the World Summit on Sustainable Development came to a close in Johannesburg, South Africa on Sept. 4. Although there were some areas of agreement, many of the 40,000 participants felt that the conference failed to advance the commitments made at the Rio Earth Summit a decade earlier. Delegates in Johannesburg, including 100 heads of state, examined ways in which to reverse the destruction of the planet's ecosystem while reducing growing global poverty.

One of the few specific accords reached in Johannesburg called on nations to cut by half the proportion of impoverished people who lack sanitation by 2015. More vague statements were made pledging to minimize chemical pollution by 2020 and to better protect endangered species. However, the U.S. and other industrial and oil producing nations blocked an agreement which would have set specific goals for reducing the consumption of fossil fuels.

When U.S. Secretary of state Colin Powell addressed the summit on its closing day, his speech was interrupted by protesters angry at American policy on the environment, including President Bush's refusal last year to sign the Kyoto global warming treaty. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Salih Booker, executive director of Africa Action, who assesses the outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and his hope for future progress on protecting the environment and eradicating poverty.

Contact Africa Action by calling (202) 546-7961 or visit their Web site

Related links:

Reclaim the Media Convergence Challenges
Deregulation and Monopoly
as National Association of Broadcasters Meets in Seattle

Interview with Sheri Herndon,
organizer with the Indymedia Network,
conducted by Scott Harris.

Years of giant mergers in the media and telecommunications industry have led to unprecedented consolidation of ownership and virtual monopolies in broadcasting, publishing and on the Internet. The Federal Communications Commission, under chairman Michael Powell, has publicly questioned the need for media ownership rules and is expected to eliminate them soon.

In this environment of ever intensifying deregulation, growing numbers of citizens are questioning the U.S. media system which provides little accountability for powerful media owners resulting, they say, in limited diversity of programming and political viewpoints. The airwaves belong to the public, but increasingly critics charge that the public interest is taking a back seat to the interests of big business in maximizing their profits.

While the National Association of Broadcasters -- the corporate broadcasting industry's most powerful lobby -- meets in Seattle Washington for their annual radio convention, a coalition of independent journalists, media activists and community organizers will be there Sept. 10 through 15 to challenge the status quo and spark debate. Reclaim The Media: a Community Media Convergence, organized by this coalition, will feature a series of events which include teach-ins, rallies and direct action. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Sheri Herndon of the Indymedia Network, who discusses the goals of the Convergence and the importance of non-corporate independent media.

Learn more about the Seattle Community Media Convergence by visiting the group's Web site at

Related links:

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo reverses his stand on IMF demand for privatization of state-run power companies after violent protests. ("Privatization: Just Say No," World Press Review, Sept. 2002)
  • California progressives criticize Gov. Gray Davis for his singular focus on fundraising and conservative policy positions. ("California's Gray Politics," The Nation, Aug. 19, 2002)
  • Ailing technology companies looking to cash in on booming Homeland Security budget. ("The Security Traders," Mother Jones, September/October, 2002)

Senior news editor/writer: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Elaine Osowski
Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates
Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 9/13/02

G8 Aid Pledge to Africa Branded Neocolonialism

Neoliberal Economic Strings Attached in G8 Aid Pledge to Africa Interview with Kevin Danaher, cofounder of Global Exchange

Stop the War March on Washington, D.C. April 20th, 2002

Between The Lines Special Report: Interviews with Rev. Billy and John Cavanagh, Institute for Policy Studies on Independent Progressive Politics Network

"Energy Standoff in Central Asia

"Bush Fuels Oil Conspiracy Theory," by Ted Rall,, Jan. 10, 2002

"Pipeline Politics: Oil, The Taliban and the Political Balance of Central Asia," World Press Review Special Report

"The New Great Game: Oil Politics in Central Asia" by Ted Rall,, October 11, 2001,

Economic Globalization Resources

ZNet's Global Economic Crisis resource site Excellent source for understanding global economics and trade issues in preparation for ongoing demonstrations about economic justice

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Commentaries, The Hutchinson Report

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD


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