Saturday, January 03, 2004

Objective Reporting At Its Finest - From The NY Times
And the White House's approach, the result of both cold analytical intelligence and gut-level emotion, helped set in motion the extraordinary security measures seen over the last 10 days.

This kind of reporting is highly irresponsible. First, it's painting our leaders as heroic, when in fact they are doing the job they are supposed to be doing. Second, there is too much information that is unknown to determine if they are bumbling, and being made fools of by Al Qaeda, or if they really have legitimate concerns.

The Bush Administration has a tough job, there's no question about that. I applaud them for being overly cautious, as opposed to underly so, though I do not respect or see the value in the color-coded terror warnings.

The New York Times, on the other hand, needs to assure that its reporting is objective and oriented to the facts, and not spin, of the situation at hand. Some may say that I'm nitpicking, but I would argue otherwise. I'm seeing a trend in reporting that is split in two - one group of reporting with a slant towards the establishment administration, no matter the veracity of the available information, or whether it all is sourced from the administration, and one group that reports in a classical, skeptical sense based upon the information, and an evaluation of the veracity of that information, regardless of the impression or impact it puts on the establishment administration.

You see these two examples of reporting in the same newspapers, sometimes even in the same article (as the one cited above), and this needs to change. Newspapers need to stay true to their mission and report on the facts, on the available information, determining the veracity of that information, from all available sources, rather than operating as a public relations arm of American government and business interests, since, in many cases, not only sourcing much of their information solely from these interests, but doing so without any acknowledgement or skepticism of such.

If the lessons of history teach us anything, it is that you should not trust human beings in position of power without proper mechanisms of transparency and accountability. How many times have we found out about criminal actions and deceptive practices by our leaders here in America? The media needs to uphold its role, or its corporate masters need to be brought to their knees and downsized. By the American people. Because they, along with our representatives and corporate charters, answer to us.