Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Truth Is Out There

Here's an interesting story that didn't get reported (hat tip: Polipundit):

Before we move back from Iraq, a word about the resignation/firing of CNN's chief news guy Eason Jordan for having suggested, in remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that journalists have been killed by coalition forces in Iraq on purpose.

Let me related this short story: About a year ago, two CNN journalists were killed in an ambush on the road between Hillah and Baghdad.

Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt - the military briefer - asked for a meeting of the bureau chiefs of the major western media. At that meeting he expressed his sorrow over the murder - by terrorists - of the CNN crew and asked the bureau chiefs to take down his personal cell phone number.

He told them that if any of their reporters or crews got into trouble - any time of the day or night - to call him. "Don't worry about protocol," he said. "Get to me as quickly as you can, and we'll try to get help to your people as quickly as we can."

That meeting was never, to my knowledge, reported.

In light of the the Eason Jordan Kerfuffle, it would sure be nice to understand what criteria the mainstream media use to determine what is newsworthy and what is not. The fact that someone is making arbitrary decisions about what to print has become a real issue in the conflict between the MSM and the blogsphere.

"All the news that's fit to print" is a good motto if you really are printing ALL the news; but determining what is "fit" is the issue here. I would like to suggest that one way the mainstream media could do better is to be up front about the criteria that each uses to make their determination of what is "fit" to print.

In other words, why not tell us, the readers, how they make their decisions each day? What matters most to them in deciding if a story should be printed; and what determines where it will be printed in the paper?

One of the truly wonderful things about the blogsphere is that there are an almost infinite number of stories out there and because we are so many, we --unlike the MSM--can print them all. And no matter how remote, uninteresting, wildly inaccurate, or sensational, they are out there for anyone who wants to look.

In the blogsphere at least, ALL the news--and the truth--is out there, and each of us readers get to determine, using our own rational faculties (or not) what is important and relevant and true. NOT an editor with his/her particular agenda; but hundreds of thousands, each with their own particular agenda. And we get to pick and choose; not someone else on our behalf. And not someone else pretending to be "objective" and "neutral".

Personally, I find I like it better that way.

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