29 June 2013

Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few

"But the biggest clue that Sorkin's take on Greenwald was no accident came in the rest of that same Squawk Box appearance:
"I feel like, A, we've screwed this up, even letting him get to Russia. B, clearly the Chinese hate us to even let him out of the country.

I would arrest him . . . and now I would almost arrest Glenn Greenwald, who's the journalist who seems to want to help him get to Ecuador."
"...As a journalist, when you start speaking about political power in the first person plural, it's pretty much glue-factory time."

Matt Taibbi, All Journalism Is Advocacy Journalism

"And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that."

John Dalberg Lord Acton

While I obviously can not agree with everything in this long documentary, Orwell Rolls In His Grave, I found the discussion and examples to be interesting.

I have included a short video clip concerning the standard visual media set piece afterwards just for fun.

The problem is not that there is advocacy in journalism. There is always advocacy in journalism, even despite a striving for objectivity. Taibbi goes to some lengths to show this in the piece I quoted from above.

The problem is the concentration of ownership in a few powerful hands, and the accompanying diminishment of the exposure of all the facts and perspectives. Even deciding what is not covered becomes a form of censorship.

Like the deregulation of the financial industry, the concentration of the media in a relatively few corporate hands was a ongoing trend that took a great leap forward under the presidency of Bill Clinton, and was then continued and reinforced under George Bush and Barack Obama. It was the conscious undoing of reforms from past lessons learned.

It is the concentration of ownership of the corporate media that is at the heart of the problem of the decline of independent journalistic standards. That, and the culture of unprincipled expediency in the service of power and shameless greed.

We are not responsible, but are culpable to the extent we accept this decline in decency and justice, even by doing nothing as simple as passing on a leaflet, conveniently electronic these days. As Sophie Scholl once said, many years ago in Munich, a people deserve the government which they are willing to tolerate.