Saturday, 21 February 2015

A LETTER TO JAIME ORTEGA, PUBLISHER OF THE DAILY JOURNALIST ABOUT JOURNALISM

Hello Jaime,

First, a big thanks for posting the piece I sent and sorry that it is so long. I am very grateful indeed. Second, you know that the EU approved the 4-month extension for the SYRIZA  government, after a compromise. I will not bore you with any details, but I want to bring to your attention the hollowness and commercialization of journalism in our times, something that is generally recognized or at least ought to be recognized in schools of journalism in universities. I am not writing this to you because I honestly believe that Greenspan and every other individual peddling stories about a "Grexit" (Greece getting out of the euro zone) owes an apology to the public now that we have the EU-Greece deal. The issue here is blatant misinformationa and disinformation that goes under the label of "journalism".

It is indeed very difficult for the average person reading, listening, or watching the news to determine if the deliverer of news is:
a) paid above and beyond the publishing company to offer an opinion through the delivery of news;

b) an ideologue or politically connected person who refuses to acknowledge there is another side to the story;

c) a plant from government or international agency such as IMF, bank, financial firm or other corporation whose aim to gain some tangible benefit?

d) under-informed, misinformed, or simply lacking the depth to be able to tackle complex issues. This is not about all of the stories in the last several weeks regarding Greece getting out the euro. We live in a world where it is difficult to determine what is news, what is an "infomercial", what is political propaganda, and above all, what has substance and some modicum of depth even if it fits in all of the aforementioned categories.

It is not that I am amazed at the hollowness of news reporting, but that journalism has assigned itself the role of public guardian so that society is not deceived by public and private sector interests. In some respects, I feel sorry for NBC news anchor Brian Williams who fell victim to his blind ambitions and had to blatantly falsefy stories because he was mesmerized by the nature of sensationalist, commercial, propagandist, and hollow journalism in our times and sought to benefit from it personally.

Perhaps this is a reflection of our civilization, this is where we have evolved and simply because we possess the technical means in the communications sector we assume our age is making progress, that it is more advanced than at any time before before we have cell phones and laptops. Not that journalism was intended to offer in-depth, insgightful, objective analysis of issues regarding society and to be above politics and ideology, but what we have today is really unworthy of the title for the most part. 

best wishes,
Jon
Post a Comment