Miami Voice

A new report confirms that Radio Mart' has become a mecca of shoddy reporting

Said Brennan: "There are clear inconsistencies about the quality of hosts, with the straight news anchors being the most credible."

Some discussion programs were faulted for not giving enough background information for the edification of the listener. This was also a complaint with some hard news coverage: it was assumed the listener knew more than he or she probably did.

U.S. policies
To the question whether U.S. policies were clearly and effectively presented, there was a mixed reaction from the evaluators. Three said yes, one said sometimes, and one said no. Green, who said "sometimes," noted: "Most of the time. But sometimes they fell into vague generalities or failed to give enough background. They made the assumption their listeners are as up-to-date on U.S. policy as they are."

Vasquez, who said "no," made reference to what he considered poor coverage of the Department of State report on human rights on the February 2 Noticentro Marti newscast, coverage of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's statement on Cuba on the February 10 Cantando Claro newscast, and the coverage of her visit with the Pope on the March 24 Desde Washington program.

Besides lauding the Pope and Jose Marti specials, the evaluators praised, among others, the discussion on Foro Público (Public Forum) February 23, Panorama Internacional (International Panorama) for May 28, Presidio Politico (Political Prison) February 23, and Tres Banderas (Three Flags) April 10.

Vasquez cited an item on Panorama Internacional about the accidental shooting of a young Cuban by a policeman. He said this is the type of story Cubans are not likely to hear on their local stations. "More stories of this sort -- reporters on the island covering daily events, rather than focusing only on the activities of opponents of the regime -- would not only add to Radio Marti's credibility, but would make listeners more alert for news broadcast.

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