Thursday, September 4, 2008

Abdicating Gatekeepers

Cassandra, who blogs at Villainous Company, has a post titled Palin v. The Gatekeepers that discusses how the mainstream media have completely abdicated their self-identified role as "gate-keepers" and taken up advocacy journalism; particularly in the way they've responded to Governor Palin's nomination. Her analysis is thoughtful, well-documented, and (IMO) right-on-the-mark! I'd recommend a jump over to her blog and read the whole post, but her conclusion is wonderful:

There is no "war on the press". For years now, the press has had a running war on their political opponents. The unpalatable truth here is that more than half of the American public now believe you are out to get Sarah Palin.

This should give the media pause because you own the megaphone.

If you are honest, if you really care about covering the news (as opposed to waging ideological war on your opponents), perhaps you need to steel yourselves to take a long, hard look at the way you are doing your jobs. You have lost the confidence of the public you serve. That is no accident.

Accountability is not just for those you claim to watch. Those who claim the right to be above the law had better be able to demonstrate some ability to police themselves.

In a system where everyone else must submit to checks and balances, who provides the check over your power to ruin lives and reputations, if the media are above the law? You'd better come up with a good answer.

AMEN, Cassandra, AMEN!

BTW, in this post Cassandra discusses bloggers and their contribution to the "infosphere." She elegantly explains why she started blogging. When I read this paragraph, I thought she could read my mind. People blog for different reasons, but Cassandra captured what I've been trying to tell people about my motivations for starting this blog:

Blogging is, as I wrote many years ago, a vigorous conversation over the backyard fences of America and it has renewed and revitalized our interest and participation in civic life in a way that is particularly heartening in this era of political apathy and cynicism. It took a former housewife and mother with no interest in politics and turned her into an avid follower of current events, conversant with both foreign policy and economic trends. It got me engaged.

Like Cassandra, writing these posts has taken me out of my "comfort zone" and allowed me to enter the "great conversation" in the blog-o-spnere. I've become interested and engaged. Is that a good thing?

1 comment:

Ky Woman said...

Hi Lela,

I've given you an award, could you drop by to pick it up?