Hello, Newman: CNN's Havana Bureau Chief Jumps to Al-Jazeera International
Earlier this week, Media Bistro's TVNewser blog reported that Lucia Newman, who's reported from Latin America for CNN for twenty years and has run the network's Havana bureau since 1997, will become a Buenos Aires-based correspondent for Al-Jazeera's English-language channel.
The MRC has noticed a leftward slant in many of Newman's reports. The March 1990 issue of MediaWatch observed that, two days before an election that Nicaragua's Marxist dictator, Daniel Ortega, would go on to lose, Newman "burnished Ortega's reputation, reporting on February 23: 'The last time he went on the campaign trail, he looked like the serious and shy revolutionary that, according to friends, he's always been.' Newman found an old neighbor who told her how 'the Ortega boys had their father's patriotism in their blood.' Newman continued: 'No one has ever called Ortega charismatic, but his unquestionable dedication to his revolutionary principles, and enviable work capacity, has won him admiration of his friends and even some of his foes.'"
Rich Noyes has noted that in January 1998, Newman "favorably contrasted Cuba’s national and provincial elections with those in the United States. 'No dubious campaign spending here,' she enthused, 'no mudslinging, and even less doubt about the outcome in elections where there is no competition. That is because there are as many candidates as seats to be filled, all of them by supporters of the Communist government — a system President Castro boasts is the most democratic and cleanest in the world.'”
And, against the backdrop of the Elian Gonzalez case, Newman filed a story concerning rural work camps for Cuban eighth-graders. In the June 1, 2000 Cyber Alert, Brent Baker quoted Newman's credulous wrapup to the piece: "This sign above the kitchen reads, ‘We believe in Fidel,’ but what most students tell us is that what the farm school experience does is teach them to believe more in themselves and the importance of camaraderie."