Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Reporters are better than you.

Media: Via Instapundit.

JACK SHAFER NOTES that American media organizations value the lives of their colleagues more highly than the lives of other Americans: Sitting on newsworthy information is an unnatural act for most reporters—some would say unprofessional—and nobody can argue that the kidnapping of Jill Carroll isn't newsworthy. By effortlessly banding together across several time zones to squelch information in the name of protecting one colleague in Baghdad, American journalists placed themselves in a hypocritical position. Didn't their leading newspaper just publish national security information over the objections of a White House that protests that the story endangers the lives of millions of Americans? Why yes, it did.
President of the Military Reporters and Editors is really unhappy.
"....But, Christenson stressed, the key objection he has to such a blackout is the way it portrays the media as giving its own members special treatment. "We already have readers who question our credibility," he said. "In this case, there will be people who think we consider ourselves different and worthy of special treatment." He said MRE, which recently announced plans for its annual convention in October, will likely have a panel on the issue. "This is something that we ought to all have a serious discussion about because it will, unfortunately, come up again," he said."
But you do consider yourselves different and worthy of special treatment.
Guardian: US military 'still failing to protect journalists in Iraq' Claire Cozens, press and publishing correspondent Friday November 19, 2004 Independent journalists operating in Iraq face arrest and even torture at the hands of the US military and the authorities are failing to act on promises to do more to protect them, news organisations have warned. Eason Jordan, chief news executive at CNN, said there had been only a "limited amount of progress", despite repeated meetings between news organisations and the US authorities. "Actions speak louder than words. The reality is that at least 10 journalists have been killed by the US military, and according to reports I believe to be true journalists have been arrested and tortured by US forces," Mr Jordan told an audience of news executives at the News Xchange conference in Portugal. Mr Jordan highlighted the case of al-Arabiya journalist Abdel Kader al-Saadi, who was arrested in Falluja last week by US forces and remains in their custody even though no reason has yet been given for his detention. "These actions and the fact that no one has been reprimanded would indicate that no one is taking responsibility. We hear good words but not the actions to back them up," he added. David Schlesinger, global managing editor for Reuters, said there was no indication the US government's own recommendations on journalists' safety had been understood or carried out by American military commanders in Iraq, or that there had been any progress.
Guardian: No special treatment for journalists in Iraq, says US Chris Tryhorn Friday August 26, 2005 The US military has told journalists working in Iraq they will be given no special consideration after Reuters demanded an explanation for the continued detention of its cameraman in the country's notorious Abu Ghraib prison. Reuters has been denied access to Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani since he was arrested by US troops at his home in Ramadi on August 8. Military sources told the news agency Mashhadani was a "security detainee", implying suspected links to insurgents, but have refused to give details of any suspicions or accusations. International press freedom groups have spoken out against the arrest, pointing out that journalists' work is likely to put them into contact with insurgents. But a spokesman for the US forces in Iraq said they would examine any detainee "regardless of what his profession is" and that journalists would not get special dispensation. "What we've got to do is look at the individual that was indeed detained and what was he doing, regardless of what his profession is," Major General Rick Lynch told a news conference in Baghdad, reported by Reuters. "The policy doesn't need to change. The policy that's in effect is the one that will stay in effect."
One thing is very clear. When the U.S. media wants to have a blackout of information, they can make it happen. The fact they still try to be the gatekeeper in this day and age shows they are still slow on learning why they are losing their credibility and their audience.

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