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OP/ED: Journalism Today - It's Just Not News

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posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 12:09 PM
Once upon a time when children dreamed of becoming a reporter or a journalist when they grew up it was owed to a thirst. That thirst was to seek out the story, be on the spot, reporting live, seeking truth and searching out the edge. To scoop a story that was on "the edge" was considered to be a badge of glory.

Fast forward to todays journalism. Todays reporter and todays news......or should we say the total destruction of todays news. Once it paid to be on the spot for breaking news. Now it still pays but it doesn't really matter if you miss the story because you can just take it off the syndication feeds and report on it anyway. Once if you missed the scoop, the next edition of your employer's news broadcast would be sadly lacking in comparison to your opposition who had scooped the story. Nowadays owing to syndication all rival networks can report on the same stories at the same time.

This is where we have major problems marching insidiously into todays news. Where once we would sit down in front of the six o clock news and flick through the channels to get more details and a different slant on stories, today all rival channels are sprouting the same piece. All fed to them by a news organization such as Reuters.

Journalist integrity is a thing of the past. Reporters now write up stories with no clue except from the syndication feed in their hands. No followups are made, no separate witnesses are interviewed, it is all the same, no unique perspective, no unique broadcast.

While syndication may have helped media outlets to produce stories at a low cost to themselves and their budget, at what cost does that come to the people, the ultimate consumer? Instead of paying a journalist to sit in a war zone, it is much easier and a hell of a lot cheaper to pay reuters to get a live feed sent to you 24/7.

The media is monpolized by these syndications. No unique reporting is done and media outlets rarely sent their own correspondants to a news site to get the low down on news.

The issues with this are many. One story, one source, one side. We only get one perspective of news and unfortunatley many take this as gospel. As truth.

And its not just the syndications that are an issue. Media is tightly controlled by Governments. It was only this year that certain Internet bloggers were allowed to attend offical government media interviews. Freelance journalists nowadays do not get a look in. At official government press conferences and increasngly so in private and public conferences questions must be submitted by the reporters in advance. Only those pertinent to the point of view or stance taken are allowed to be asked. Soft journalism...... no putting interviewees on the spot no embarrassing questions taken.

It was recently experiences by an Irish journalist who interviewed George Bush in disasterous circumstances. This served to highlight the state of the integrity of journalism today or lack of. This reporter was told how to do everything and disiplined heavily by the government of the USA just for doing her job. Just for asking the hard questions and not allowing her interviewee to lead the interview. But this reporter has shown us that true journalism does still exist in isolated pockets. Even though the government of America and other so called super powers are trying their hardest to control the media totally. This womans story has become public, told by a true professional and the ultimate statement given by this woman to us of the state of the powers was that she should be grateful that "The Leader Of The Free World" was allowing her to interview him.

Media sent to war zones are tightly controlled of just what pictures and stories are released to the public. If a dissident reporter reports a tad more of the truth than is allowed, as in the above case, pressure is exerted by the government and journalists find themselves jobless or worse. Journalists have been known to go missing.

There lies the condundrum for any reporter. It was great to grow up and forfill that dream, to become that reporter. But now we have a choice, we have a great job, travel, benefits, fame, money and power, do we sacrifice that for the truth? Most and I mean most will toe the party line. It takes one with much courage and heart and probably little common sense to go out and get the "Real McCoy". Its far easier to sit in the offices, take the news off the feed, reword it and publish it and then go down to the local club for a long liquid lunch.

If real stories do come up reporters are discouraged from reporting the whole truth and in some instances outwardly stopped. There are many instances of stories being killed because "they are not in the national interest". The problem is those are the stories that are in the publics interest but the public never gets to hear about it.

Reuters has done for more for the New World Order than can be seen on the surface. Reuters is the largest propaganda machine created in the world today. If it has reuters on it, it is deemed to be a respectable piece.

Press releases are another way to stop journalistic integrity. Press releases do not allow for questioning. They do not allow for the reporter to put there own questions to the persons concerned.

Then there is the legal action and liability court cases. Journalists are less likely to search out sources unless they are ironclad in evidence for fear of being sued. Your editor is less likely to approve a good story if it exposes a high profile person with suing ability.

One instance of journalism gone wrong in the press lately was the Kate Moss fiasco.

Who was right and who was wrong - Games People Play.
Kate moss last year successfully sued Britains Mirror newspaper after it claimed she was involved with drugs. She was award compensation for this matter and an apology off the news agentswho had reported she took drugs. "I am sorry kate Moss, our mistake your not a drug taker",

Now anyone in their right mind knows Katies does drugs. In the 90's she was the centre of the "heroin chic models" scene. In the last few years nothing has appeared to change and rumours have cropped up in gossip columns often. So Kate lied. She lied to protect her image I presume but she lied. The media who reported on this got slugged with that lie. They got fined and slapped hard for doing their job and reporting the truth. But revenge is sweet. The paper had surveillence on the lovely Kate and held their ears to the ground and in one flick, one headline, one very revealing photo, Katies world was ruined. Payback Journalism. Integrity? No but sweet revenge. Katie does do drugs and she was caught on the front page worldwide with her pants down.

In the relentless pursuit of the new World Order, the buddy system, you scratch my back, I will scratch yours, many a life has been ruined by payback journalism. No integrity.

Recently the opposition leader of the News South Wales Australian state government was overheard at a party making a remark about the wife of the former premier of New South Wales calling her a "mail order bride". At parties comments like these are flicked between people like water off a ducks back. At private gatherings people tend to talk to friends more easily not thinking that someone in the group has wicked thoughts about destroying them. The person is then setup and the newspapers have a field day pasting the comment all over front pages and headline news. A comment that was a private speaking between friends is now the very public downfall of a leading politician who had obviously stepped onto someones toes. Payback journalism 0wned.

The question is often asked in these instances Is the media owned by the government or is the government 0wned by the media. The government holds the licences and control in their hands, yet the media has the ability to destroy that government with the flick of a headline. Watergate comes to mind. Would watergate have happened if Nixon and co were on "the right team".

The government cannot afford in this day and age not to have control over the media. The further up the hierarchy the more the lines blur into indestinction and indescretion. The media presents the powerful face of ability, yet refuses to expose all, choosing instead to play a game of chess with themselves as the pawns just as much as the ultimate consumer is, the reader and watcher.

All stories out of any situation should be regarded with suspicion. At times a clever journalist will hint without coming to the point and leave clues of thought behind in a readers head, but many times they don't they don't report the facts as they see it, they rewrite the scrap of paper in front of them and consider it gospel, because reuters told them so.

The news today is not news. We have no clue on the real news. We have no contrasting opinion and no other side of the coin. The syndications are sent worldwide and one only has to type a headlining article into google to find the same fed article, same wording staring back at them from most if not all the standard news outlets in every country, in every land.

Even closed countries like China and other "not so friendly to the super powers" countries report from reuters and AP feeds. One can no longer go and search an opposing countries news feeds for a different slant on the story.

ATSNN has a "Deny Bias" tag. How can ATSNN and any other news outlet deny bias when the story they have is pure bias. Its one side, Its a syndication feed, Its propaganda media, its censored. A reporter cannot swear by a no bias tag on their story when all they have as a source is that feed. No corroboration and no witness accounts.

Buzzwords abound like "A source close to the event" " A key witness" "A spokesman" "a doctor" "reports say" "witnesses report" 'an unnamed source" "mohammed azzi" "Zargewi" and the best buzzword of 2005 ...and actually this word gets my prize for the world wide media buzzword for 2005 is "insurgents".

For a word I had never really heard of or used 18 months ago, I come across it at least ten times a day, every day. Its all by rote, its all formulated, no imagination, no drift towards the truth. Where has all the honesty and brutal truth and cold hard facts gone?

The challenge I set to all journalists and reporters in the world today including armchair web journos is to start seeking the truth again. To purge the reporting of bias. To retake the media and give news back it's heart. To encourage originality, To encourage the hard questions, to encourage getting out there and finding the other side of the story. Its a bit harder to find the other side of the coin, its been lying in the dirt so long its rather hard to see, Its surface is hidden under the bright side, its dull and not shiny and atractive. Its gritty, its dirty and its real in all its hidden points and curves.

Do not take what you are told as gospel, find out more, study, research, seek, deny the bias that has so attractively been placed in your lap. Be a reporter, be a journalist, be a snoop.

Just who does own Reuters because Reuters certainly owns you.

Truth Justice ...and the new world order

[edit on 14-10-2005 by Mayet]

posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 01:27 PM
Very good points, Mayet. Journalists and reporters have become actors in the dramas they play out. The script is handed to them and then they make sure the delivery is appropriate for the emotion the scriptwriter intended - including using the correct buzzwords, as you pointed out.

Journalists are news-makers now...not news reporters.

These concerns that you address in this piece are why I believe ATSNN is so important. I just dug this up for subz's sake because he had referred to a ATSNN vision statement in his campaign thread, but it is very very appropriate here to address your concerns as well.

The unique thing about ATSNN is that the original article doesn't necessarily have to uncover all that is involved in the story. When we are trying to share something we feel is important here at ATSNN, we may have, at first blush, only the slanted MSM reports to begin with. But the power of ATSNN is not any one particular writer, but the fleshing out that occurs as the resultant discussion takes place. The story ends up being this in-depth multi-faceted view of what the MSM may portray as a black and white issue. Our members - from all over the world and with varying viewpoints, philosophies, experiences and beliefs come to the ensuing discussion and THEY are what makes the ultimate story rich, and far more in-depth than the corporately dominated, or the politically dominated MSM can ever dream of doing.

Thanks for a great read and for sharing your concerns and opinions.

[edit on 10-14-2005 by Valhall]

posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 03:31 PM
I can sum todays news up into one quote by one of the owners of many news outlets:

We just paid three billion dollars for these TV stations, the news is what we say it is.

And, as an FYI, 80% of the news outlets in america are owned by five companies...down from 50 in 1985.

EDIT: To answer your question, the Government is owned by Corporations which in turn own the Media, therefore the Media owns the Government.

[edit on 14-10-2005 by elderban]

posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 04:57 PM
Very good Mayet!!

Everytime I hear the conservatives whining about the "liberal Media" just proves to me that ideology forces critical thinking out of some minds faster than **** thru a goose. Journalism now days isn't about NEWS it's about entertainment and ratings.

It's a brave new world, welcome to the monkey house!

posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 07:03 PM
Thanks for sharing Mayet. Its hard to comment on this piece because all I really have to say is I concur. Give-em hell and keep up the good work.

posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 05:23 AM
How did I miss this awesome piece? Excellent stuff, Mayet.

Talking of scripted interviews, one of my favourite Bush moments is when he was asked at a White House press conference to state what his biggest mistake was since 9-11.

"Mmm...I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for know I just uhh...I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference with all the pressure of trying to come up with an hadn't yet [sic]..."

Watch unscripted Bush in action

As an aside, I googled "Reuters is owned by" and these were the first page of hits:

"Reuters is owned by Reuters"

"Reuters is owned by a consortium of British, Australian and New Zealand newspapers, with the controlling interest held in Britain"

"Reuters is owned by its staff and stockholders."

"Reuters is owned By some Arab Sheik"

"Reuters is owned by the a Saudi Prince"

"Reuters is owned by a member of the Saudi Royal family & is based in Naziland. It shouldn't even be allowed to operate in Israel"

"Reuters is owned by the Zionists"

"reuters is owned by euro morons."

"Reuters is owned by "the powers that be"

"Reuters is owned by Muslims"

So who does own Reuters?? Reuters pwns j00!

posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 07:25 AM
I think the answer to the question is imperative to ATSNN and other alternative view outlets.

I believe that the ownership of reuters should be researched until we know exactly who is planting and seeding our news.

The list you gave there is scary and not just because of the names mentioned there. Scarier that no one really seems to know -------------> Just who does own reuters........

posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 07:53 AM

Theres the official line

In October 1851 Paul Julius Reuter, a German-born immigrant, opened an office in the City of London which transmitted stock market quotations between London and Paris via the new Calais-Dover cable. Two years earlier he had used pigeons to fly stock prices between Aachen and Brussels, a service which operated for a year until the gap in the telegraph link was closed.

Reuters, as the agency soon became known, eventually extended its service to the whole British press as well as to other European countries. It also expanded the content to include general and economic news from all around the world. The reputation of its service was enhanced by a succession of reporting scoops. For example, in 1865 Reuters was first in Europe with news of President Lincoln’s assassination in the United States.

As overland telegraph and undersea cable facilities developed, the business expanded beyond Europe to include the Far East in 1872 and South America in 1874. In 1883 Reuters began to use a ‘column printer’ to transmit messages electrically to London newspapers and in 1923 pioneered the use of radio to transmit news internationally. In 1927 it introduced the teleprinter to distribute news to London newspapers.

In 1925 the Press Association, the UK press agency, took a majority holding in Reuters Ltd. and in 1939 the company moved its corporate headquarters to its present location at 85 Fleet Street, London.

Global Ethics
The Essential Facts

"The prepackaged news stories are purposefully designed to be indistinguishable from news segments broadcast to the public. When the television viewing public does not know that the stories they watched on television news programs about the government were in fact prepared by the government, the stories are, in this sense, no longer purely factual. The essential fact of attribution is missing.... We see no use for such information except for partisan political purposes. Engaging in a purely political activity such as this is not a proper use of appropriated funds."

-- Federal auditors from the independent Government Accountability Office (GAO), condemning the Bush administration's use of public money to prepare and distribute video segments praising White House policies that were disguised as news stories. The GAO found "that the Bush administration violated the law by buying favorable news coverage of President Bush's education policies, by making payments to the conservative commentator Armstrong Williams, and by hiring a public relations company to analyze media perceptions of the Republican Party," reported the New

[edit on 16-10-2005 by Mayet]

posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 11:04 AM

Here's an example of what drama-whores we've got working in the news industry.

"It's not like we were trying to pass it off as something it wasn't," spokeswoman Lauren Kapp said.

Yeah, right, whatever.

posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 11:38 AM

Too right! But I am equally frustrated by an audience who has allowed such a condition to exist in the first place. It is logical that the MSM will provide what sells...I don't fault them for that. I do, however, fault a dull minded audience that fails to consistently object to such trash-passed-as-news. It's very disappointing...

[edit on 16-10-2005 by loam]

posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 09:07 PM
I created a thread on this a while back just so people could read this speec given by Al Gore. The speech is relevant to this topic so here is the link to it:

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