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Old 03-03-2003, 10:21 PM   #1
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journalism in the age of terror

there is a growing absence of what would historically best be called journalistic skepticism...this is difficult to quantify if only because my concern is of a lack of the characteristic. but where we used to see or hear words such as allege, speculate or accuse (or some derivative thereof) we are now simply told that such things are the truth. 'american officials' or 'top government authorities' are increasingly taken at face value and relied on for information. there seems to be very little deep digging and a general neglect for any investigative study. the media increasingly seem content to merely transmit the information given to them.

this may seem like a subtle change. but i believe this is indicative of a much larger trend. american media outlets, especially, are increasingly moving toward an almost celebratory atmosphere of the bush administrations simultaneous wars on terror and impending war on iraq. the two conflicts have particular characters, both good and bad. at times, the administration has attempted to draw links between the two.

this is a disturbing trend for America. while the events of september 11th, 2001 were a signal that changes in the united states were necessary, these are alterations which must not be pursued unchecked by the representative media. if anything, the media was placed in a position which demanded even greater performance as the American people were now obviously vulnerable to both terrorist attacks and their perhaps overly protective government. i say ‘perhaps’ because this is based on my own experience...im in canada so i dont get all of the cable channels, just most of them. i read the seminal papers on a weekly basis.

but all im finding is 75 second ‘news alerts’ about snow storms sandwiched between experts discussing michael jacksons face and donald rumsfeld.

any comments?
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Old 03-04-2003, 04:39 AM   #2
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I wrote a paper last year dealing with the issue of whether journalists have universal principles to abide by regardless of where or in what situation they're working. In short the answer was yes. I won't bore you all with my spiel but here are a couple of articles from columnists I respect, that have highlighted the same problem, the loss of journalistic integrity under the weight of the US government's 'patriot police' type pressure.

http://media.guardian.co.uk/mediagua...873395,00.html

http://www.publicintegrity.org/dtawe...L3=0&L4=0&L5=0


I think another part of the problem has got to do with what the people want to hear, often if journalists notice their probing isn't being noticed or listened to in the public sphere, they'll throw their hands up in the air and just report on things in a way that sells. That was certainly the case in Australia with the issues of refugees and Tampa - reports were causing barely a ripple in the Australian community and so newsrooms around the place shifted their focus to be more in line with their readers.
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Old 03-04-2003, 04:41 AM   #3
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Oh and...why don't we chat anymore man? waiting for the majors to come round again?
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Old 03-04-2003, 05:09 AM   #4
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kobayashi: At war governments prefer propaganda over the truth.
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Old 03-04-2003, 11:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by brettig
Oh and...why don't we chat anymore man? waiting for the majors to come round again?
well we dont chat cause im a dork and i dont use msn anymore
but i am waiting for the majors...looks like your scott or my weir might be the big challengers to mr. woods this year.

and you're right part of the problem is definetely what viewers/readers want to see or read.

i understand the desire for propaganda during war time klaus, my hope was that following 9-11 responsibilities were highlighted for both government and media. things have swung in a decisive and unfortunate fashion.
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Old 03-05-2003, 10:50 AM   #6
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kobesan, you make a good point. All I can say is, having spent the last six months or so here in Switzerland (as well as being here over time of 9/11), I found myself really shocked at what passes for "news" when I went back to visit the States for a few weeks over Xmas. Perhaps I had gotten used to hearing the news from a more international perspective but the stuff I saw and heard seemed suspiciously like soft "journalism" edging into propaganda....mere media entertainment.
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Old 03-05-2003, 11:39 AM   #7
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I heared a joke today which fits into the topic:

Central-Park / New York:
a man sees a child which is attacked by a doberman. He runs emediatly to the kid to help. He jumps between them, fights with the dog and finally kills the dog and saves the kid.
A Policeofficer arived and gratulated the man and said:
"i can see the headline of tomorows newspaper:
brave New Yorker saved kids life"

The man said: well i'm not a New York citizen

Policeofficer: "well then: brave Amerikan saved kids life"

The man says: "well i'm a Pakistani"

Next days Headline in the News:

"radical Islamist murders NewYorker dog in a park - links to al-quaida found"



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Old 03-05-2003, 12:59 PM   #8
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There was an excellent program on Worldlink Tv about this very issue. It featured all US journalist and the stories their editors discouraged or refused to air. One of the "new" worst offenders in PBS. They used to be the one we could count on to air controversial programming. Now they take corporate money and no longer do so. The journalists placed the blame on corporate ownership of media companies, a monopoly on the media, and a catering to corporate advertising dollars.
Worldlink is an excellent network for getting the otherside of an issue.
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Old 03-05-2003, 01:58 PM   #9
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It is indeed disturbing. Imagine when/if we go to war, the U.S. military will have tighter control than ever over the images we receive. News from the war will be highly sanitized, no doubt.
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Old 03-06-2003, 07:52 AM   #10
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joyfulgirl:

Right, i saw a report about CNN 1 year ago. They showed how many CNN employes are/were also employes of various government institutions like NSA/CIA...
The theory was that CNN is modern Propaganda TV. Well i don't share that opinion but it was a interesting point of view.

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Old 03-06-2003, 10:55 AM   #11
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I think I actually do share that opinion. I grew up during the Vietnam War and TV coverage of that war was unbelievable. I saw things on the 6 o'clock news that a child shouldn't see. I'm not sayng that's how it should be today, but we've gone to the other extreme, where war is portrayed as a video game.
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Old 03-07-2003, 02:51 AM   #12
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anyone else think that yari fleischer or whatever his name is more than a little frightening?
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Old 03-07-2003, 06:25 AM   #13
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Kevin Bacon Linked to Al Quaeda
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Old 03-07-2003, 06:33 AM   #14
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Well i wonder how long it takes to link Nicola Sacco and Bart Vanzetti to alQuaida to justify that political murder of the US history
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Old 03-07-2003, 06:38 AM   #15
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Actually I can think of at least one journalist in Australia who gives a shit:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/webdiary/index.html
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