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Are Journalism and Politics Inextricably Joined?

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the siamese-twins dept.

The Media 473

An anonymous reader writes "Retiring figure Bill Moyers makes his case in a recent speech delivered at the Society of Professional Journalists 2004 national convention. 'But I approach the end of my own long run believing more strongly than ever that the quality of journalism and the quality of democracy are inextricably joined.' It is a deep argument, made poignant by the recently murdered Francisco Ortiz Franco of Mexico, Manik Saha of India, and Aiyathurai Nadesan of Sri Lanka, among others. It is a broad argument, touching on history from America's first best seller to yesterday's blog. Is it a convincing argument?"

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FIRST! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293541)

FIRST MOTHER FUCKER

Re:FIRST! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293647)

Fucking sandniggers! Kill kill kill! Semper Fi!

Whew- (4, Interesting)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293543)

What a long FA......

I'm going to go off a bit (and get modded down), but here we go -

Anywho, does this mean that our quality of democracy is weakened?

Who (who defined loosely as the media) has pushed the envelope or sought more answers against the war on terror, or the Patriot Act? While the megacorps clamp down on individual rights, who goes after them? Who goes after Bush when science is thrown aside in favor of religion? When beauraucracies(sic) withhold information in the name of "protecting from the terror threat", who questions it? I mean, yes, there are a few investigative reports every now and then, but it's rare.......

"This "zeal for secrecy" I am talking about - and I have barely touched the surface - adds up to a victory for the terrorists."

Indeed.....An interesting read with a lot of insight into our current situation......Might be worth RTFA-ing this time around.....

-thewldisntenuff

Re:Whew- (2, Insightful)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293618)

Please.... Journalism, Politics AND technology has always been closely tied. Read "The 70 greatest conspiracy of all time." This is really nothing new. Except we have slashdot to speak out nowadays. Before it was the same shit without the internet.

Quick Synopsis (4, Insightful)

AmericanInKiev (453362) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293686)

For those with seconds to digest the point.

Journalists in the US aren't murdered, they have it too easy, and as a result, they're soft - soft on the truth - and letting the government tell them what they can and cannot know.

In other countries people are dying for it - but getting to the truth.

Corporate "homeland Security State" is the threat. Corporate interests can and do manipulate news. They have before (long example re:pesticide v monsanto).

So buck up - get the real story - the one that would get you killed if you were in Sri Lanka and skip the gossip.

- I think that about does it.

AIK

Whew. (4, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293709)

Thanks.

That was a close one; I almost had to read the article.

Re:Whew- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293732)

Who (who defined loosely as the media) has pushed the envelope or sought more answers against the war on terror, or the Patriot Act?

European contries?

STUPIDEST QUESTION EVER. (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293759)

Hello! Are Journalism and Politics inextricably mixed? Why don't you ask the obviously analogous question: Are senses and perception inextricably mixed? You need the whole article title to even say anything intelligent on the subject.

As for the quality of journalism, I'm not so sure. The question becomes, "Are people more likely to make a good desicion if they have access to better facts." I don't think I've ever seen anything that would prove that. People have access to some pretty damn good facts, and rarely if ever bother to avail themselves of them. On the contrary, people go out of their way to find facts that back up their preconceived notions. I even do it myself on occassion.

What would really happen is what's happening now: political candidates are judged minutely on everything they've ever done in their whole lives. I don't like Bush, but does it really matter that he did coke, skipped out on the national guard, or had a DUI? Does it make that much of a difference? But it's a much larger issue than his foreign policy blunders and blatant cronyism.

No, it's all reduced to soundbites, and all the issues are reduced to shady poll numbers and the pundits dissect every tiny piece of information into meaningless atoms, before producing unfounded tripe to throw at both sides. We're obsessed with things that could not matter less, and the things that people SHOULD be caring about, no one even TALKS about. What's Kerry's voting record REALLY like? How many times has Bush vetoed things that are popular to the American people? Who knows? You'd have to read fringe papers and the goddamn Congressional Report to figure these things out.

So yea, I think we need "better" journalism, but it's not the same "better" that everyone thinks of. It's not better scandal mongering, or even more psychotically in-depth coverage of shit that doesn't MATTER in people's personal lives, but instead real coverage of the issues, and real coverage of what the candidates have actually DONE in office (we're not talking interns here)!

The complete lack of substance in the political debate is utterly fed by the media. They need to stop playing the game, and stop pandering to the lowest common denominator and start covering shit with substance. I don't see it ever happening, but that's what needs to happen.

Re:STUPIDEST QUESTION EVER. (4, Insightful)

AmericanInKiev (453362) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293931)

Recently I got very angry with the conservative spammers in my family email list for sending along the drivel such as "John K voted against every military program . . . ala Zell *spitball* Miller's bit."

My Beef is that commitees make decisions by voting up or down on a series of compromised bill starting with the compromise closest to the heart of the bill's author and ending as close to the middle as it takes to reach a majority.

And inevitable the bill's title sounds like
"Bill to buy baby formula, flak jackets, schoolbooks, and lower the price of gasoline."

But the actual text says stuff like "Send or keep a billion dollars of useless production in my home district, my friends home district - screw the minority members in their districts, and give me a raise - plus, but enough of the stuff on top that foxnews will let it pass quietly.

In other words - it seems that the goal of congress is to complicate the actual vote, while the media is trying to explaint all that to the soccer moms who vote based on the 2 seconds of news they get while surfing between two lifetime movie channels.

AIK

PS - if you're a soccer mom who does keep up on the news - I apologize - my experience with soccer moms is limited by the bigamy laws of the state - your mileage will vary.

What does it feel like to make a choice? (-1, Offtopic)

benna (614220) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293549)

People talk about free will a lot and how it feels like they can make their own decisions and how can that be with what we know about physics. I think the first premise is wrong. It doesn't feel like we can make our own decisions. Its easy to tell this, just try to think of what it feels like to make a choice. You don't know do you? You can't even figure out when the choice is being made. After it happens you think you made a choice but at the time its just what you did. This is much closer to reality then the myth that we feel like we can make choices.

Mod Parent Down (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293565)

Agree, but a little off topic don't you think

Re: What does it feel like to make a choice? (2, Informative)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293595)

I recommend 12 Angry Men [imdb.com] for some insight into the decision-making process :)

Seriously though, just because you don't feel a thing doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

Re: What does it feel like to make a choice? (1)

benna (614220) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293616)

maybe, but the only real reason anybody believes in free will is because they say they feel it. If there was other evidence for it that wouldn't be the case but all the evidence what people say they feel.

Re: What does it feel like to make a choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293669)

If you really want to understand free will within yourself and be convinced of both its reality and lack of one, I would recommend you study buddhism, taoism, or even just plain meditating for silence of mind.

The only real reason anybody believes in anything at all, is because of their personal experiences. Either experience being taught it was true, or witnessing something which tends o indicate something is true. I mean, you can take this to a multitude of levels. The truth of it is, there are many ways to look at things, including free will. It's one of those things you have to make up your own damn mind about.

Thats a good example... (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293790)

Of what journalism could be doing. Being a voice of reason, and trying to stick unemotionally to the facts even when no one wants to hear them. There are a lot of people I'd like to be able to sit down and argue solid facts with for a day or so.

Television journalism makes me sick; I'm not sure whether they're the "Guy who wants to go to the Ballgame" or "The Sales Representative." I can't really see them as one of the other 12.

Re:Thats a good example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293924)

That would never, ever fly. A media outlet reporting the whole truth, just the truth, and nothing but the truth would be shouted down immediately for being biased, and for good reason -- the facts are biased.

In large part, the media have dodged this dilemma by instead reporting what one side has said, what another has, and saying that there's a controversy. Paraphrasing NYT editorial columnist Paul Krugman, it's reached the point where if Bush announced that the Earth is flat and Kerry put out a press release saying no, actually it's spherical, the major media outlets would the next day run a story with "SHAPE OF EARTH -- VIEWS DIFFER" as the headline.

Re: What does it feel like to make a choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293619)

what the hell?

So when I thought about wether or not to reply to this post was not a choice?

Are you trying to say the very pinpoint in time that I decided was the choice and therefore to fleeting to know how I felt?

or are you just saying a whole lot of gibberish nonsense?

Its not how you feel makeing a choice, its how you feeling having the freedom to make a choice.

I can choose to reply again or not. And that feels kinda good cause I may want to. How will I feel actually making the choice is irrelevent airy fairy rubbish.

Re: What does it feel like to make a choice? (-1, Offtopic)

benna (614220) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293633)

Well you can talk about having a choice but do you have a choice right NOW about whether or not you wanna think about making a choice? No, you don't. Choice is an illusion in the sense that we normally think of it. This is because the ego is an illusion.

Re: What does it feel like to make a choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293673)

And I ask again. Are you talking about the very pinpoint in time?

I can choose to stop thinking about weither or not I have a choice and go back to doing work.... so how is that not a choice.

I can think about wether or not I want to reply again. I chose to. so I have. So how is choice an illusion? post reply or not post reply? thats the choice I made. I actually thought about wether or not to reply and decided to. But somehow you think I had no "choice" in it? so what was it then. The decision was predefined somehow?

So if I made the choice not to make another reply it's somehow not a choice I made? what is it then?

Re: What does it feel like to make a choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293896)

You are absolutely correct. However I would say that 'freedom of choice' is the illusion.

Agree with parent (3, Interesting)

moofdaddy (570503) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293685)

People talk about free will a lot and how it feels like they can make their own decisions and how can that be with what we know about physics. I think the first premise is wrong. It doesn't feel like we can make our own decisions. Its easy to tell this, just try to think of what it feels like to make a choice. You don't know do you? You can't even figure out when the choice is being made. After it happens you think you made a choice but at the time its just what you did. This is much closer to reality then the myth that we feel like we can make choices.

The points made by the parent, while offtopic, are still both interesting and fairly valid. While I do believe that a person has free will to a point, I think that the majority of actions a person takes are dictated by forces outside of their control and thus the person is not really free to choose one way or another.

We have the illusion of freedom, I sit here and say to myself, if i wanted to, I could get up and murder my roommate while he is sleeping. But do I really have that option? Besides what the law mandates, as a person, the experiences and the values I have been raised with take that option in reality out of my range of choices. If I were to attempt to murder my roommate, I would find myself (as most of the readers on slashdot would) unable to do so.

The same holds true with getting up and flashing an entire stadium of people your twig and berries. You may sit there and think to yourself "Yeah, i don't do that because I choose not to." But in reality, do you really have that choice? All of our choices are a product of who we are as a person. As that is a result of both the enviorment in which we were raised and genetics, neither of which we really had a choice in. While one could argue that it results in a limited version fo free will, its still not even that because the full range of choices which would be availale in any given situation are not an option for you.

Our choices are driven by our upbringing and after that what we do is very much a cause and effect situation. You may sit there after reading this and say to myself "He's full of shit, watch, I'll do this and it'll be random" But remember, it will be neither random, nor your choice because you are doing this merely in reaction to what you have read and your values have instilled in you the desire to protect your freedom of will.

Re:Agree with parent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293746)

Your saying because the probablility and possibility of person X doing action Y is increadibly low the choice no longer exists.

thats rubbish. The choice is there. The reason they choose not to is influenced by their experiences, but not decided by their experiences. And thats why people with the same upbrining/circumstances will make different choices. And some people do choose to kill.

So you believe people's decision is purely due to thier experience and upbringing? Because I can tell you from my experience thats rubbish. I've seen people with the same sort of upbringings make totaly different choices in the same situation.

Re:Agree with parent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293882)

Our choices are driven by our upbringing and after that what we do is very much a cause and effect situation.

What is your behavior a product of?

  1. Some people say genetics.
  2. Some people say the environment you are exposed to.
  3. Yet others say people have free will and do what they want.

Psychological research shows both one and two influence a person's behavior. As for number three, in order to conduct research, you must assume the world is deterministic. If people have free will, then their behavior is not deterministic, thus psychology is pointless.

The real question is, how much of a person's behavior is genetic, how much their upbringing (environment), how much is due to their diet (environment) and how much is the story they just watched on TV (also environment)?

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293553)

FP!

Re:FP (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293580)

Nice try asshole!! I got it though

Founding Fathers thought so. (5, Insightful)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293561)

I approach the end of my own long run believing more strongly than ever that the quality of journalism and the quality of democracy are inextricably joined.

That's the whole idea behind the First Amendment isn't it?

Re:Founding Fathers thought so. (1)

Magickcat (768797) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293622)

So by that analogy, Fox "News" would be a sad indication as to the condition of American politics.

Re:Founding Fathers thought so. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293758)

Yea! If FUCKING sucks that opinions other then the ones you agree with are on the air. You sould just like those that think the 1st adm should only apply to your side and the other side should just shut the fuck up or go to prison.

We aren't 10 minutes into the future so turn your damn tv off if you do not like it. It ain't that hard.

Re:Founding Fathers thought so. (4, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293820)

I think news with an obvious and strong bias is dangerous, whether its Fox News or another.

I think the founding fathers were overly optimistic in this respect: I doubt they would have believed that a news station with such a viscious and pronounced bias could gather the market share it has.

Most people who dislike Fox news dislike it for the reason you said: Because they don't agree. But some of us dislike it because it's an unabashed propaganda outlet aimed directly at a potion of the populace that doesn't think too carefully about what it's looking at.

Re:Founding Fathers thought so. (2, Funny)

shobadobs (264600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293859)

No, biased news is good. As long as the bias vectors all point in a whole bunch of different directions.

Re:Founding Fathers thought so. (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293883)

It's good if people are capable of recognising bias. I've had people quote Fox News items at me like if Hannity said it, it must have come from God himself.

There is a parable about finding the truth, which says (super short version), ask a friend, then ask an enemy. You get both sides of the story, and you can figure out roughly what happened. But what if you don't bother to get the other side?

Re:Founding Fathers thought so. (2, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293923)

IOW, only your version of the truth is right and everyone elses is wrong. BTW, Hannity (Did you know he wrote a book) is a TALK SHOW HOST, not a news man.

Re:Founding Fathers thought so. (1)

Iron Clad Burrito (231521) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293933)

Kind of like CBS/Dan Ra"th"er.

Re:Founding Fathers thought so. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293766)

I hate Fox News, but it does stand for a revitalization of democratic debate. For too long the press has been spoon feeding boring journalism-school-approved "neutrality" to the public, and the result is that 50% of the population is completely apathetic and doesn't vote. The problem is that the system is gamed in favor of corporate interests, but the only way to change that is partisanism.

Re:Founding Fathers thought so. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293779)

Oh, and the socialist Moyers would be a better indication? He is so far left that it's not even a question as to which side he favors. (exactly like michael)

CNN, public television, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC, and MSNBC all lean to the left in BOTH commentary and news reporting. Fox commentary leans to the right, but you can't give even ONE example where they're biased in their news reporting. Fox just barely balances the scales.

You're upset because Fox is so popular. [sarcasm]All those stupid people; how in God's name can they like Fox!!![/sarcasm]

After the blatant lies and forgery by CBS, who can doubt that the news media is a bunch of leftists?

Re:Founding Fathers thought so. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293880)

> but you can't give even ONE example where they're biased in their news reporting

Any time Brit Hume (who is supposed to be the anchor/moderator) opens his mouth.

Re:Founding Fathers thought so. (0, Flamebait)

genrader (563784) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293915)

I have to say this is the most insightful thing I've seen all day. FOX leans to the right so the liberals are actually mad, because they no longer have a monopoly on the media. hahaha. I don't often watch FOX, but while it is right-winged they actually report news. CNN, NBC, etc. on the other hand, only tell you the left-side of any story.

Re:Founding Fathers thought so. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293821)

Fox "News" would be a sad indication as to the condition of American politics

Your statement is so very typical of the left. You just can't stand it when somebody has the freedom to say something you don't agree with, so you ridicule them and try to marginalize them.

Well, Sparky, FoxNews is beating the living shit out of the the other cable "news" channels because the American people are so hungry for real news and not leftist propaganda.

My suggestion is to get used to it. We're tired of your whining.

Re:Founding Fathers thought so. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293894)

usa founding fathers would have already rolled in their graves for the past 100 years anyways.

at least things are better than ~90 years ago(because you're less likely to get _KILLED_ for being a worker activist, while goverment, police and courts just look away because it was in 'common good' to lynch people without trial).

much like it is in 'common good' in russia that putin controls the media.

Warning (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293575)

Jeez. 14 page article. A warning in the summary would be nice. Now who is going to post a quick recap of article itself? You don't expect me to read it, do you? Sheesh

What? Manik Saha from India? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293577)

Please correct it, Manik Saha has nothing to do with India. He's from Bangladesh and killed there as the link shows.

Re:What? Manik Saha from India? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293824)

Speaking of India, heres a perfect example of a failed democracy that even after more than half a century is unable, or rather, unwilling, to provide most of its citizens the very basics of living such as clean water to drink and enough food to eat. Its media, instead of focusing on this issue, chooses instead to delude its readers that India is an 'IT superpower', that its 'shining' brightly, that its becoming prosperous etc. All lies.

Supports his thesis.

We're pretty screwed (0, Flamebait)

moofdaddy (570503) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293601)

The quality of journalism is intertwined with that of democracy? I guess we're pretty screwed then, huh?

Freedom of Bias (4, Insightful)

captnitro (160231) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293603)

The reason freedom of the press is so important is that they serve as the town criers for the people. "Making sure the Enquirer can write whatever it wants is the only way I can be sure the New York Times is writing whatever it wants."

The first thing you learn in Social Studies is the concept of bias. Bias is in some ways, unavoidable, and in others desirable, because it allows you to see what viewpoints people are coming from. We know the Washington Post is liberal, we know the Washington Times is conservative, and that there are plenty of people who would disagree with either of those claims. And a newspaper is only so many pages long, and some things get cut. Is it political? Much of the time, yes. But only because 'politics' is a better synonym for beliefs, those oh-so-irrational parts of the human experience that can easily trump the logical parts of us. And if I publish one thing and somebody disagrees, they'll publish another. The press isn't there to tell us what is True and Right, they are there to report on What Is Happening so we can make Our Own Decisions About the World. Whether this means I have to pick up a few papers instead of just one is an exercise for the reader.

As an example, a few months ago when ABC (I think?) decided to read the names of the young men and women who had been killed in Iraq, some stations refused to cover it. Not because they didn't think those people had died, but because it was believed there were motives beyond respect for the dead that had come into play. Whether there were matters less -- so much as the perception of those who decided to air or not to air it because they believed there were other motives. We see the same thing in the climate debate -- we see things reported or not reported about greenhouse gases because they believe the other side is 'junk science'. And in some ways, the bias is desirable; that way I know if I pick up the Post and the Times, I get both sides of the argument and not just what the editors think is right.

The late Martha Gellhorn, who spent half a century reporting on war and politicians - and observing journalists, too -- eventually lost her faith that journalism could, by itself, change the world.

It can't. It requires people to be informed about their situation to do something about it.

And guess what? That's the way it's supposed to work; God Bless America. True journalism is absolutely essential to a democracy; voters must be informed to make informed decisions. And I can't imagine a situation where everybody reported the same stories in the same way being anything but very accurate, or very censored. There is no middle ground.

Re:Freedom of Bias (5, Insightful)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293690)

People do not want to be informed -- they want to feel informed. I agree with everything you say, but it is this which has doomed true journalism. People want so much more to be "right" than to understand, to think, or to suffer challenge to their long-held beliefs.

What we get in America today is not true journalism. Partisan bias, which is largely demonstrated in the choice of what is and isn't "newsworthy", has been pushed to the fore of our media. Talking heads on a us-and-them political debate program on the news network of your choice where you are guaranteed moments to feel alternately indignant and superior and ultimately well-informed that you are right and they are wrong. The format is popular to the extent that almost all news has one pro- and one con- to give you a well-balanced viewpoint.

And at the end of it all you've seen a lot of sizzle with absolutely no steak. How many hours have been spent on Hurricane Ivan? Or decades-old military documents? The corporate media has no place for politics save those which fill an entertainment quotient -- anything meaningful is not newsworthy.

It's when you go out on the web to find news that you see just how joined journalism and politics can be. In fact, to the point you can't trust anything you read. This journey is much like the one through corporate media, except all the stories seem to end in police state or end-of-world scenarios.

Consequently, the news fails it.

The press is controlled (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293792)

The press does get controlled by governments. In the US, journalists that don't "play ball" get bumped down. Instead of getting immediate responses they will get put on hold and generally shunted around. This does not make for free press.

The journalists that go into war zones will get left in the cold if they don't say the right things. This makes them part of the political system. In theory, the journalists are independent observers, but they are not. No wonder the Iraqi forces etc treat them as "enemy".

Re:Freedom of Bias (3, Interesting)

csguy314 (559705) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293937)

What a load of crap... The vast majority of American media (Wash. Post & Times included) is right wing and just not that informative. And this is completely by design. All that mass media intentionally tries to keep people poorly informed as to the reality of many situations and that's because the majority of the mass media is owned by massive corporations. The 'liberal' post is owned by a multi-billion dollar corporation and those corporations will (in fact are legally obligated to) do what is best for its share-holders.
And when these mega-corps are involved with other corporations and lobbying politicians, how can the actually report objectively when they're taking part in the news-making.
"I was chairman for two days, and then I had jets with my engines hit a building I insured, which was covered by a network I owned, and we are still growing 2001 earnings by 11 percent."

That quote was from Jeffrey Immelt, who became Chairman of General Electric shortly before 9/11. GE owns NBC and also happens to manufacture weapons. It's also a major contractor in Iraq right now. Can you honestly believe that they would report on themselves and activities in which they're generating income with complete objectivity?

http://www.globalissues.org/HumanRights/Media/Co rp orations/Owners.asp

Excellent Points (5, Insightful)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293607)

The FA has some good observations but most of it has been said elsewhere. An excellent book on this subject is Manufacturing Consent : The Political Economy of the Mass Media [amazon.com] .

It comes down to the fact that freedom of the press is not what most people think. What it really means is that the media is free to make you hear what they want you to hear.

Re:Excellent Points (2)

ir0b0t (727703) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293809)

I agree, but I think that Noam Chomsky has less nuanced arguments than some. A book that I enjoyed was The Media Monopoly by Ben Bagdikian --- multiple editions. He focuses on the impact of economic concentration of ownership of media outlets. My favorite is Lawrence Lessig though. His sensitivity to the interaction between politics and, for e.g., the internet, is amazing.

Re:Excellent Points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293825)

An even more excellent book I recommend would be The Anti-Chomsky Reader [amazon.com] that exposes the intellectual dishonesty and rabid Anti-Americanism of the author.

Manufacturing Consent (1)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293903)

Every American should have to read Chomsky's _Manufacturing Consent_ . You can find excerpts of it here [thirdworldtraveler.com] and here [thirdworldtraveler.com]
Much of his work and speeches can be found here [chomsky.info]

When I finally went right to the source, and actuully read chomsky , it helped me make sense of what I had seen and read on the news after 9-11 and during the run-up to the Iraq war.

Edward Herman also has a lot of excellent and insightful material on the media and politics.

quality? (4, Funny)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293610)

the quality of journalism and the quality of democracy are inextricably joined.
Counterexample: slashdot is very democratic.

Re:quality? (0, Offtopic)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293654)

Counterexample: slashdot is very democratic.

False. I haven't been given the opportunity to moderate since my account was created. It is not democracy when not every has the opportunity to participate. Is it because I pissed off CmdrTaco? Because I haven't bought a subscription? I don't know, but I do know that this isn't a democracy.

Re:quality? (1)

AoT (107216) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293747)

do you meta-moderate? I get to moderate all the time.

Unfortunately it seems someone has modded you down for being "offtopic". Great system, this democracy here.

Re:quality? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293795)

That moderation was garbage. I hate it when people go through a thread and then pick something that is "offtopic" to the main article, but not in the context of the conversation the thread has taken. I don't think some people get it.

Re:quality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293819)

I *know* some people don't get it.

Re:quality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293858)

do you meta-moderate? I get to moderate all the time

I meta-moderate all the time and I used to get mod points every other day or so. Then, after posting several "conservative" leaning posts, I stopped getting mod points altogether. My karma is still excellent and I still meta-moderate. Am I wrong to suspect bias? It looks like cause and effect to me.

I'm about ready to say FUCK IT and leave /. permanently. Let the little lefties have their playground to themselves.

Re:quality? (1)

Veridium (752431) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293781)

I agree, I wouldn't call Slasdot's mod system democratic. And really, moderation shouldn't be used to vote on political viewpoints anyway IMO. I've modded up posts that contained opinions I strongly disagreed with because those posts also contained interesting or insightful ways of looking at things I hadn't considered before.

As for why you haven't gotten mod points, do you frequently visit the site and metamoderate regularly? Seriously, we need a lot more good meta moderations done to impede the bad moderators from getting mod points. Meta moderation is just as important, IMO, as moderation if you care about quality posts on slashdot. When you do get mod points, please don't see them as opportunities to vote down people you disagree with. That really sucks when intelligent posts get moderated down for no other apparent reason than what was said wasn't neccesarily a popular opinion.

It's far better, if you're going to use your mod points that way, to just vote up opinions you agree with, though even that really isn't the point of moderation.

journalism, politics, nerds (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293617)

yawn.... you nerds don't know a thing about either, so don't even try. You probably never will. So why not just drop it right here and save your time.

Re:journalism, politics, nerds (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293627)

don't get me wrong. It's an important topic, but (or, hence?) slashdot is just not the forum to discuss these issues.

well duh... (-1, Redundant)

spongman (182339) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293634)

politics is a sales & marketing venture.

Chomsky's been saying this since the 60's.

Its bigger than just the Political portion (4, Interesting)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293640)

When someone says Journalism what they are really describing is the quality of the information that people are receiving about their world. Often the only information people will have about a topic will come from one news outlet or another. The decisions made based on the information then has great real world impact.

There are many easy examples that do not involve the political arena. If you have been following the SCO case and made a decision to invest based on the mainstream reportage you would have been badly hurt. If you acted on the reporting and information present on Groklaw you would be laughing now.

SCO is an example where the presence of alternative sources of information has served to minimize the damage that would have been done. Most aren't so fortunate. In the 80's there was a scam that went by the name ZZZZ Best. It was a stock pump scam that managed to persist for quite awhile untill it was exposed by the then editor of Barons Alan Abelson.

There are also the clasic examples in the legal arena. Lawyers seem to be very fond of drumming up cases based on bad reportage. Examples include 20/20 rigging trucks to explode to prove mismanufacture, 60 minutes reporting volvo;s have an unexplained sudden acceleration. The perpetuation of junk science seems particularly popular witness the near miss that the cell phone companies took over brain tumors, or that cook thats continuing suing video game companies over violent behavior in children.

Its not that the democratic process that requires good reporting its that of governmental systems it makes unbiased reporting possible. It needs to go much further. We all lose when the news is manipulated.

Professional Journalism is dead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293643)

It has been struggling and 2 weeks ago Dan Rather killed it.The participation of CBS in a political "dirty tricks" campaign by the Democrat Party and John Kerry marks the end of any notion of "professional journalism" as an impartial fact-based discipline.
Fortunately amateur and alternative journalism are already established to fill the vacuum. Pick your favorites but always read,listen,watch the other side to stay informed.
As for Bill Moyers,Dan Rather et al?
Good riddance don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Re:Professional Journalism is dead (1)

Mike Rice (626857) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293942)

I totally agree. In my estimation there are no 'professional' journalists in the mass market. [footnote 1]

The 'mainstream' news media is driven by sensationalism and corporate greed. Any one who has half a brain and is willing to use it, need only experience a few minutes of Rush Limbaugh or Heraldo Rivera and their like to know that the media have been teetering on the precipice for a long time.

Lets face it. We live in an Orwellian time. What you see on TV may be true... and it might not be true. Remember when Gore made the statement that he played a role in the creation of the InterNet... and the media jumped on it, 'quoting' him as saying 'I created the Internet'.

That's called 'spin'. Republicans do it. Democrats do it. Naders and Perots do it.

Sigh... all this spin has my head spinning... I think I will cast a write in vote for Jesus Christ come November... oh wait, I can't! This ^&*(% Diebold machine keeps changing it to Ralph Nader! Arghhh!

[Footnote 1} Actually, there are MANY serious, professional journalists with integrity... but you will never hear from them because their reports will be edited and twisted to fit the corporate line.

Re:Professional Journalism is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293954)

Troll?
Dan Rather(of CBS news once the most respected electronic journalism outlet Home of Edward R Murrow) participating in partisan political fraud as an example of the Death of Professional Journalism is Troll?
Mods on Crack

Some interesting points... (4, Insightful)

here4fun (813136) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293652)

it took me awhile after I left government to get my footing back in journalism. I had to learn all over again that what's important for the journalist is not how close you are to power but how close you are to reality.

But everyone has a different "reality". The guy who lives in a ghetto probably sees very differnt things than the guy in suburbia with the gated communities. But in reality, nothing is differnt than perception. I think the problem is the people in the gated communities have such blinders on they don't understand the rest of the world. They are like the monday morning quaterback who says "if only they would get a job.... blah blah blah". Then they realize the person is working overtime and they say "if only they would get a better job blah blah blah". A good journalist shows it how it really is, without any value statements.

But I approach the end of my own long run believing more strongly than ever that the quality of journalism and the quality of democracy are inextricably joined

I would agree with that statement. Ever since new stations hire people like Fox does, their reputation goes into the toilet. For example, people like Orielly are nothing but paparazzi in disguise. Didn't he work for inside edition or some equally worthless tabloid? And now he is a news reporter? Wouldn't that be about the same if Jerry Springer decided to anchor the news?

Re:Some interesting points... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293786)

Troll? I think not. He's just expressing an opinion.

Re:Some interesting points... (2, Informative)

Bowling Moses (591924) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293804)

"For example, people like Orielly are nothing but paparazzi in disguise. Didn't he work for inside edition or some equally worthless tabloid? And now he is a news reporter? Wouldn't that be about the same if Jerry Springer decided to anchor the news?"

O'Reilly did work for six years on the TV-tabloid Inside Edition [foxnews.com] according to his bio on the FOX News website. It looks like a career low for O'Reilly, no matter what your opinion of FOX News is you'd have to say it is at least more credible a news source than "Inside Edition."

Oh, and it's Geraldo Riviera, not Jerry Springer that FOX News employed as a war correspondant, not an anchor. Now judging from the quality of personnel that FOX News employs they probably did think about Springer but they probably knew he has too much intelligence and integrity to ever work for them.

No, sorry. (5, Insightful)

Daniel Ellard (799842) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293659)

Democracy depends on the populace having the information to make informed decisions, the freedom to do so, and the power to make these decisions stick. Journalism plays a role on this, but it's hardly enough on its own.

To the extent that jounalism provides useful and accurage information, it's helpful. If it provides a way for leaders to share their considered opinions about matters of state, even better. When it's a tool of the government, then of course it sucks. In the long run I think that bad journalism is worse for democracies than good journalism is good...

Re:No, sorry. (5, Funny)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293718)

Democracy depends on the populace having the information to make informed decisions

Democracy depends on the populace having the CAPACITY to make informed decisions. We're doomed.

Re:No, sorry. (1)

Daniel Ellard (799842) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293951)

Democracy depends on the populace having the CAPACITY to make informed decisions.

Careful -- it's a slippery slope from there to saying that smarter people should get more votes or that uneducated people shouldn't be allowed to vote at all... and that's the sort of thinking that makes people very, very upset...

Re:No, sorry. (2, Interesting)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293848)

Maybe it's a question of security -- security of life. In other countries, life isn't as secure as it is, in say, the US.

Security tends to bring in stagnation, because people are afraid that if their security is affected, their life will enter a state of turmoil. Therefore, everyone (the society as a whole) chooses a safe path -- and as we all know, a safe path will always lead down stagnation.

Whereas, if you consider Srilanka or India or Bangladesh, there is security, but it's gotten at a price. And people realize that in order to hold on to that security, freedom of speech should be upheld -- remember, these places were colonies that were supressed until about 50 years ago. And so, the complacency that's seen in the US is not quite seen there, particularly since they cannot expect safety, they have to earn it.

While here in the US, security is largely taken for granted and expected.

(I've lived in Jammu & Kashmir, so I do know what is it that I'm talking about).

It's impossible for the governments to BUY out the media in these countries simply because of the diversity -- I'll paraphrase from an old Times of India article --

"...India will now have a (caucasian) Christian Prime Minister to go with a Muslim President (a widow and a bachelor to boot). The bastion of democracy, religious freedom and human rights -- the mostly white Christian United States, to paraphrase the description of India by western correspondents -- is set to elect its 44th President -- another Christian white male."

(ofcourse, the Prime Minister ended up being a Pakistan born Sikh Prime Minister [wikipedia.org] from a province that 20 years ago wanted to segregate away from India, but that only strengthens the argument).

With that kind of diversity, it is hard for any set of corporations or the government to control the media, and any attempts at doing so will only add fuel to the fire and start a chain reaction that will backfire. Which is why, media in the US is so screwed up with almost no sense of ethics or morals, while the media in the third world has a more reliable (albeit sometimes prejudiced) and true freedom-ish slant.

Oh well, just my two cents!

Re:No, sorry. (2, Interesting)

Daniel Ellard (799842) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293934)

The USA has a lot of diversity in its roots, but most of it has been homogenized at this point, at least from what the outside sees. As far as "white" goes, does that mean Italian, German, French, British, Irish, Nordic, Dutch, Russian, Spanish ancestry, or what? And as far as Christianity is concerned, there are many varieties (sects, if you will) of Christianity and the notion that one is the same as the other is not accurate -- although it also might not seem particularly important given that Christian sects don't tend to fight among each other (right now) with the same ferocity as followers of some other faiths. There's quite a mix of backgrounds and beliefs (I admit we don't come anywhere near India in this regard -- nobody can). True enough, every four years we elect some WASP (although not 100% with the P) but that has more to do with money than security, in my opinion.

Re:No, sorry. (2, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293871)

You forget: The populace has to be willing to make the effort to be informed. I think more than anything else, this is the problem. People believe what they see on the TV news of their choice, and they don't bother to add more facts or even check the competition.

I mean, the amount of our political discoure that is decided by the radical right and left is ridiculous. Most of us are neither, yet look at the big issues: Abortion, gun control, prayer in schools. Jesus.

And god, so uninformed. I'd like to see a day where you had to answer a five question multiple choice test about each candidate you vote for, and if you blow more than one, NO VOTE FOR YOU! No doubt the people putting the test together would run statistics and try to weigh the test against people who vote for their opponents.

Human nature sucks.

Yes... (5, Insightful)

ThomasFlip (669988) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293688)

If journalists choose to cover unimportant issues such as Howard Deans debacle, Zel Millers flaming, Bill Clintons sex scandal etc, then people aren't going to be well informed, hence they won't make smart decisions. People vote based on what the media tells them. What else do people have to go on ?(except inherited family/geographic leanings and here-say from other people)

That's why politicians always favor the media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293811)

People vote based on what the media tells them.

Which is exactly why no politician will vote to overturn the DMCA. It is why the DMCA passed by unanimous voice vote. It is why the Copyright Term Extension Act (retroactively added 20 years to the length of copyrights) passed by voice vote a couple weeks before the election. And it is why the INDUCE act will almost certainly pass as well.

Re:Yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293886)

Zell Miller IS news he is an old-time Democrat so disgusted by his Party's leftward ideological turn,particularly in time of war,that he is endorsing the Republican candidate.
That is newsworthy.
His speech at the convention was the first significant mention in the campaign of John Kerry's voting recored in the Senate.Kerry himself was scrupolously avoiding mentioning his 20 years in the Senate.
Zell's revelation of Kerry's record is newsworthy.

OT: Your Vote matters? (4, Funny)

JThundley (631154) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293696)

Look in the upper left corner. Slashdot: Politics for Nerds. Your vote matters.

And what is today's Slashdot poll? What color is your stapler?

Your vote matters!

Bill Moyers? Deep?? Convincing?? (-1, Troll)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293699)

ROFL

Quality? What about bias? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293700)

We may have high quality journalism by one side's interpretation of it, but the massive obvious bias of the Liberal media shows that there are more important things to worry about.

Shut up and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293708)

Singers:
shut up and sing!

Journalists:
Shut up and just REPORT the damn news!

We IMPLORE you!

FYI:

Bill Moyers is not a journalist, he is a political activist. [frontpagemag.com]

The courage of his convictions? (5, Insightful)

PapayaSF (721268) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293716)

If Moyers really believes what he writes, then shouldn't he be calling for Dan Rather's head on a platter? It seems to me that trying to influence a presidential election with forged documents is not exactly quality journalism.

Honestly, I'm not trolling or flamebaiting, just saying that Moyers isn't really Mr. Objectivity when it comes to journalism and politics. I found his laudatory reference to I.F. Stone a bit much, considering that we now know Stone was in the pay of the KGB [wikipedia.org] . And Moyers, for those of you who don't know, produced LBJ's infamous "Daisy" TV ad of 1964, certainly a landmark of American political campaigning, but hardly a positive one.

Re:The courage of his convictions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293793)

Watch, you'll be reamed for this.

It's not fair, but the crazies here will be on your ass in a few minutes.

Re:The courage of his convictions? (3, Insightful)

fizban (58094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293929)

Then we should also call for Fox News journalists' heads on platters, because they are trying to influence the presidential election just as much, and probably moreso than Dan Rather.

The key is the search for truth, and no news organization I've seen has completely done that, which is sad, because that's what true journalism is.

The problem today is that people don't want to be given information. They want to be given answers, thus the large number of "editorial" news programs (instead of "fact" news programs). Once people hear the answer they want, they don't listen anymore, and it takes tragedy and calamitous events to wake people up.

Because of this, I believe our democracy is on a downward spiral, and I'm not sure what it's going to take to send it back up...

Indian Press (1)

kaalamaadan (639250) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293743)

Manik Saha was killed in Bangladesh.

Indian Media has repeatedly showed a propensity for tameness. A prominent recent counterexample is the sensationalist tehelka [tehelka.com] who had to reinvent themselves after a brutual clampdown by the NDA government, in reaction to a defense exposé. More [india-seminar.com] on the tehelka controversy by a prominent Indian journalist, Vir Sanghvi.

This was the govt. led by a prominent leader who complained about the press' complaisance during the 1975-77 emergency of Indira Gandhi - the immortal remark - "When they were asked to bend, they crawled!" So true of the press in relation even to the NDA govt.

Re:Indian Press (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293868)

The entire indian system sucks. Big time. If democracy was the panacea, WHY are one BILLION people living under indian democracy so backward, so impoverished, so miserable?

Ditto for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka etc. These stupid, slavish south asians keep clinging to a system that doesnt work for them.

Of Course, Because... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293767)

Journalists and Politicians are both pigs.

Journalism != Fact (3, Insightful)

asciiwhite (679872) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293773)

One of the big problems with the media is people make a judgement from an opinion. Media isn't fact, it's nothing more then an opinion.
In law we wont accept a case unless we get at least two opinions, the defendant and the prosecutor opinion. But yet in journalism most people will make a judgement from the one opinion. This undermines democracy.
Anyone who thinks Journalism is more then an opinion should flick between different channels reporting the same story, and see the inconsistencies between the reports,Then if interested spent about 1 hour researching the topic and you'll soon see how inconsistent and how opinionated the story is.
Media has a big influence on politics, The average person gets his world news and politics from the TV and/or newspaper. If these sources are bias, then the average person isn't going to be able to make a fair judgement.

IF you belive in democracy then everything and nothing is more then just an opinion,nor fact or certainty thats why war is never an solution its a failure....

But hey democracy sure has changed as of late...

Talk about the pot calling the kettle "kettle." (2, Insightful)

e9th (652576) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293794)

Odd that Moyers chose to complain of "raging idealogies" in his little screed. He should have turned his gaze inwards, I think.

Re:Talk about the pot calling the kettle "kettle." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293870)

Oops. I spell like an ideat.

Re:Talk about the pot calling the kettle "kettle." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293928)

Better late than never.

Chomsky says it all about Media & Politics (2, Informative)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293856)

The media act as a set of filters that propagate a particular set of ideas to the citizens. This set of ideas is just happens to be about the same as what the rich and the powerful believe and think. More about this here [chomsky.info]

Re:Chomsky says it all about Media & Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293919)

You know that Chomsky is full of shit.
He says that the press is conservative, since they want to build up the 'war machine', despite the fact that the major network chairs are all liberals (Dan Rather, 'Lockjaw' Brokaw and that fucking Canadian with the bad hair.)

I mean, Rather is trying to build up the war machine by passing forged documents about Bush? WTF.
Kerry has already said he's pull out of Iraq and let Iran build their nuke. Why would Rather be shilling for that fucking retard is beyond me.

But considering how up Chomsky's ass you are, you probably think people keeping the money they make is a bad thing and should be spent by smart people like you and the linguist who only speaks ONE FUCKING LANGUAGE!!! (hint: that's Chomsky, dipshit).

Re:Chomsky says it all about Media & Politics (1)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293953)

" The media act as a set of filters that propagate a particular set of ideas to the citizens. This set of ideas is just happens to be about the same as what the rich and the powerful believe and think."

And since all mainstream press and media has now been bought up by the rich and powerful, this should not be surprising to us. Of course the media filters the news in a way that is pleasing to the rich and powerful. That's how they get advertising dollars from companies that are owned by the rich and powerful. It's how they get greater and favorable access to politicians, the very definition of the rich and powerful.

This, by the way, is how you can tell that the Right Wing meme of the "liberal media" is false. They may not be as conservative as some on the Right Wing would like, but they most certainly are conservative in their essence. That's how the rich and powerful like it: the status quo, aka conservative.

Thomas Paine (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293857)

Just a little commont on some history -- Thomas Paine was severely criticized because his writing style was all venom - he was the ultimate muckraker. He was great at tearing things down (deprecating the monarchy and royalty), but his invectives were ineffective at 'building up' the idea of democracy, and his contemporaries were well aware of this (there's a famous quote about him that elludes me at the moment).

Awesome article! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10293866)

This goes part of the way to helping understand why so many Americans were surprised by 9/11. Your government (and mine) are able to do atrocious things in the world, and get away with it because they are able to close the veil.

I urge you to read documents that have now been released relating to Nicaragua (US displaced popular govt), Iran (US displaced democratic govt), Indonesia (US assisted displacement of democratic govt, replaced with tyrant who, by own admission, quickly killed over 500K people), Laos, Cambodia... The list goes on.

None of this is reported. WHY!

Noam Chomsky [zmag.org] provides some good insight into this, ideas that are parallel, but deeper, that this article.

Isn't that obvious? (1)

kavau (554682) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293885)

'But I approach the end of my own long run believing more strongly than ever that the quality of journalism and the quality of democracy are inextricably joined.'

Isn't that an obvious truth? For democracy to work, people have to be informed. They get their information mainly from the mass media. Hence, without quality journalism no quality democracy.

The sad state of journalism in America might well be the principal reason for the sad state of American democracy.

Another reason is that people aren't taught the necessary critical-thinking skills. How can you learn critical thinking in an educational system that revolves around standardized tests?

Great Quotes: Whats Wrong with the Mainstream Medi (4, Interesting)

gestapo4you (590974) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293902)

These quotes pretty much sums up who runs the media nowadays. Make people believe they actually have a choice.

"The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone
of any significance in the major media."
- William Colby, former director of the CIA

"Any dictator would admire the uniformity
and obedience of the media"
- Noam Chomsky

"Truth is the greatest of all national possessions.
A state, a people, a system which suppresses the truth
or fears to publish it, deserves to collapse."
- Kurt Eisner

"Whoever controls the media--the images--controls the culture."
- Allen Ginsberg

"We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things
the general public does not need to know, and shouldn't.
I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take
legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press
can decide whether to print what it knows."
- Katherine Graham, late owner of the Washington Post,
in a speech to CIA recruits in 1988.

Look to the glorious example to the east! (1, Flamebait)

ssclift (97988) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293908)

For years we have top quality journalism in Soviet Union: Izvestia and Pravda. See how for years Russian people flock to polls to vote 99% to return Communist Party to the helm of our glorious mother Russia. Is proof: your journalists are corrupt, scandal-seeking, sensationalists, traitors to the revolutionary ideals of your forefathers and sow the discontent that leads to many political parties expending precious resources of the working people for election campaigns. With better journalists you then would finally reject this chaos acheive true unity and Socialist peace under the banner of a one-party rule of the People.

Long live Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly! True champions of the people and glorious vanguards of the unified socialist rule that is the inevitable destiny of every industrialised country!

... end stage Russian accent...

Medea and Politics are one. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#10293925)

It is a simple concept. Whatever issues that Journalist feel strongly about or they think that other people will feel strongly about will be covered while other issues that although may be more important but doesn't cause ones blood to boil will not be covered. American Journalism is a commercial activity and covering information that will make the most money will be showed. Unfortunately if the Journalism is truly controlled by the government then you get the issue of the government only telling the people what the government wants the people to hear. Truth is somewhere in the middle of both types of journalism, the problem with journalism and government is that they are both controlled by people, and there people who are concerned with keeping their reputation, their jobs, and their lifestyle.
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