Monday, February 28, 2005

World Anti-Smoking Treaty

Both ran articles on a world anti-smoking treaty that goes into effect today. CNN ran a Reuters article and Fox ran an AP article. The articles are similar in a lot of the basic facts. However, they do treat the tobacco industry differently. CNN mentions things like:

* “WHO officials and activists say the powerful tobacco industry is lobbying intensively to restrict the number of countries applying the treaty, including the United States which has signed up but not yet sent it to the Senate.”

* “Activists accuse the Bush administration, which signed the pact last May, of having worked hard to dilute it.”

* “Douglas Bettcher, treaty coordinator, was upbeat. ‘We are happy to report that industry is not winning this game.’"

Fox’s article does note this:

* “ ‘Now that this global treaty has become international law, it is no longer business as usual for 'Big Tobacco,'’ said Akinbode Oluwafemi of Environmental Rights Action, a Nigerian-based group.

However, Fox follows that with these points:

* “Tobacco companies reportedly lobbied against the treaty during negotiations but have since said they have no objection to the pact — despite their discontent over being excluded from the formal treaty talks.”

* “ ‘Tobacco is harmful to health and as a responsible tobacco group, we have long recognized the right of national governments to regulate it,’ said Emily Brand, a spokeswoman for British American Tobacco Ltd.”

I don't have any sympathy for tabacco companies but why is it that CNN chose a Reuters article that does not give the tobacco industry perspective? Why does Fox’s article seemingly minimize tobacco lobbying efforts?

Links to the articles:
http://www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/02/27/global.smoking.reut/index.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,148935,00.html

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