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Lies, Damned Lies, Latin America and the Media

mediaOn this week’s podcast, I chat with Keane Bhatt about media reporting gone awry with systemic inaccuracies and bias.

And we’re not just talking about Fox News. Bhatt has zeroed in on some of the most prestigious media outlets, like the The New Yorker, The New York Times, and This American Life, and found their coverage of Latin America to be outright misleading.

Many of our readers and listeners travel to developing countries like Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti to work with nonprofits and NGOs. If you’re one of them, you’ll want a full, unvarnished understanding of how U.S. policy impacts these places, rather than news that’s filtered through officialdom. Bhatt, who volunteered with the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, has taken a close look at how the media covers these countries – everything from charter cities, to elections, to poverty reduction programs – which we discuss in detail. We also touch on Rwanda. Bhatt is calling for informed and principled efforts to help the poor, not just convenient ones made more politically expedient by warped media portrayals.

Bhatt is an activist and writer in Washington, D.C, who’s worked in the United States and Latin America on a variety of social justice campaigns. His work has appeared on NPR, Al Jazeera English, The Nation, The St. Petersburg Times, and CNN En Español. And he writes the blog Manufacturing Contempt for the North American Congress on Latin America.

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About Author

Ansel Herz

Ansel Herz is a freelance multimedia journalist whose objective is to “go to where the silence is." His work has been published by ABC News, The Nation magazine, the New York Daily News, Al Jazeera English, Free Speech Radio News, Inter-Press News and many other publications. A Seattle native and survivor of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Ansel is producer of Humanosphere's podcast, among other things. You can contact him at ansel.herz[at] or follow him on Twitter @Ansel.