Approaching crisis point for journalism and corruption – Bill Moyers talks with John Nichols and Robert McChesney
Bill Moyers, John Nichols and Robert McChesney are three of the people I admire most in the world. Here they are sitting at the same table discussing what to do about the massive corruption of our political system, specifically, the challenges faced by those who are trying to do responsible journalism to report on this travesty. These issues are discussed with precision in the latest book by Nichols and McChesney: “Dollarocracy,” a stunningly sober look at the situation (I’ve almost finished reading it).
Toward the end of this excellent video, McChesney and Nichols indicate that they are “optimists.” They argue that we are at one of those acute crisis points periodically faced by Americans and thus positive change is in our grasp. The authors further argue that it is becoming apparent that we need to make the case for publicly funded journalism. This is an approach taken by many functional governments, and it was one of the cornerstones of early America, a topic discussed by Nichols and McChesney in one of their previous books.
The Onion “reports” on CNN’s explanation for promoting the Miley Cyrus story:
There was nothing, and I mean nothing, about that story that related to the important news of the day, the chronicling of significant human events, or the idea that journalism itself can be a force for positive change in the world. For Christ’s sake, there was an accompanying story with the headline “Miley’s Shocking Moves.” In fact, putting that story front and center was actually doing, if anything, a disservice to the public. And come to think of it, probably a disservice to the hundreds of thousands of people dying in Syria, those suffering from the current unrest in Egypt, or, hell, even people who just wanted to read about the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
Free Press reports on the new DOJ guidelines:
Last Friday, the Justice Department released revised guidelines governing the Department’s interactions with the press. President Obama had ordered Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct the review in response to the news earlier this year that the DoJ had obtained the phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors and the emails of a Fox News reporter.
One of the main issues is whether citizen journalists (e.g., many serious writers/reporters/investigators who run their own websites to report the new) will have any protection at all. This article warns that the federal government is moving in the direction of declaring an “official press,” deeming who is a journalist and who is not. This, in the digital age where citizen journalists are making a tremendous impact on news gathering.
The president of Associated Press is warning that reporters’ sources already are drying up because of the threat posed by the Obama administration’s grab of news agency telephone records.
In a report by the news wire, AP President Gary Pruitt said the Justice Department’s seizure of the records was unconstitutional, and ultimately Americans may be uninformed or misinformed about their government as a result.
The Death and Life of American Journalism (2010), by Robert McChesney and John Nichols, is an extraordinary book detailing A) the historical and jurisprudential foundation for freedom of the press (specifically granted in the First Amendment, separate and distinct from free speech), and B) the need to declare journalism as a public good and substantially […]