Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/10/30/post-election-we-need-bold-plan-journalism
An extremely important topic that gets so little attention. Reminded my of Assange’s early writings and his pioneering contribution.
This is certainly a timely article, especially because it is coinciding with Glenn Greenwald’s
departure from The Intercept because, it seems, like so many other outlets, they decided his
journalism was not in line with the propaganda they preferred to support.
The Intercept’s statement about his departure from The Intercept grossly reeks of condescending
nastiness and name-calling while Greenwald’s explanation (on “substack?”) is clearly based in
a prioritization of what this article is promoting.
This is happening Now. There is no need to wait until “Post election.”
Is Common Dreams reaching out to Greenwald?
This problem of journalism can be traced back to the days of Reagan’s presidency. It’s only gotten worse over the decades as corporate consolidation put all “news” into the pockets of a handful of corporate owners.
Remember how back in the 80’s if a commercial airliner crashed, the networks pulled all their advertisements for X number of days? Remember how once GE had ownership of one of those networks, you never heard about nuclear power again in their news?
Journalism will only be viable again once it’s ripped from the hands of quarterly profit reports and handed over to those who actually believe in the 4th Estate, and its need for an informed citizenry.
Faux News will have to be scattered to the 4 winds, too. Opinion can no longer trump facts.
I think this is the first article in more detail addressing this problem of for profit media who only care about their bottom, not what’s best for America and we the people.
I really liked this article. I’ve been thinking about this topic fpr a few years (on and off). The issues are tough – how to get a broad spectrum of reliable news and information to everyone, without having bias towards government, sponsors, or wealthy individuals. Obviously, the “for-profit” model is corruption incarnate. Government sponsorship strongly influences content, especially over time. A ‘subscription model’ seems like the best financial support for an independent media, and the possible “vouchers” that the author mentioned are very desirable – providing equal access to each and all. The only thing that I will add is the idea that the organizations could be structured as ‘worker-cooperatives’. I envision thousands of cooperative news-cells, networked electronically, across the planet; sharing information, and creating a very broad expanse of material for everyone. Thanks, and salud!
The idea of a state controlled media that is the standard for truth is naive and stupid.
The mainstream press is an arm of the Democrat party. Start there if you want to fix it.
all Americans must have access to high quality news and information.
- Victor Pickard
This is exactly what a lot of politicians, and all of Power & Privilege do not want - will not allow.
That is why we are here, in first rate crisis mode.
There will be no reforming of journalism until the elephant in the room is addressed - the corporate takeover of everything.
And I see exactly ZERO workable ideas to address the elephant.
We are here in the immediate wake of Glenn Greenwald’s departure from The Intercept over censorship of his work for political ends. There was probably something inevitable about his eventual falling out from Omidyar funding, but it provides another point for perspective.
It is true that there is a problem in for-profit journalism, since it will diverge from truth where that is profitable. There is also a problem with vested and so-called “public” journalism, as can be seen easily in the deep prejudices of NPR.
What government or an NGO might accomplish is likely not an interest-free journalism, but an interest-free digital platform upon which anyone might discourse. Of course, some of us thought that “the Internet” as a general entity might provide this more durably than it did. But it appears that some social arrangement within the Net has become necessary, since various sorts of social discourse have become progressively more government-controlled and monitored.
Certain characteristics should apply:
- Open source from beginning to end so that backdoors and other foul play become obvious
- Easy and untrammeled use of aliases; there will be some cost in that it will be easy to troll, but more gain in that the platform itself will not contribute to loss of security of individual information (though government surveillance at present goes far beyond protections that this is likely to offer)
- Onion service to assure anonymity and privacy of meta data
- Portal-to-portal encrypted chat to ensure privacy of message content
- Opportunities for in-platform groups and alliances that might make information easier to gather and trace topically.
- Uncensored social media
The above are necessary to assure free speech against the very broad spectrum of attempts to disable it, whether in the name of patriotism or of justice.
You speak well for a “bold plan for journalism,” but
your silence on the fate of Julian Assange; rotting
away in democracy’s homeland (Magna Carta-1214),
stinks of hypocrisy.
Thanks for mentioning him lu.
Two important (albeit not the only ones) features that Wikileaks pioneered are (a) scientific journalism i.e. full disclosure of original documents, (b) encrypted drop box for source and publisher protection. I know this article primarily deals with the structure of funding and the economic model of journalism, but thought it important to highlight these, as Wikileaks, single-handedly, more than anyone has shown us the rot in the corporate journalism. Hope this author will offer us another article on this topic, which hopefully will also include the crimes conducted upon the founder of Wikileaks.
Victor, Are you aware of what happened to Julian Assange for attempting true journalism? How about what happens to sources to true journalists such as Chelsea Manning? Edward Snowden? Glenn Greenwald? The US is a failed state exactly for the reason that true journalism has had to go underground if it is to exist at all. Victor, you are not preaching to your college choir out here!
That is a very good question you ask. What is your answer, Common Dreams staff?
And, give time to both Parties which are merely both operatives of the plutocracy which own our “elected” government officials and their staffs. This is not an us v any particular Political Party; it is us v a corrupted government. It is us v an empirical State; it is us v a MIIC that has created a world economy based on murderous wars which distract us all from Human Caused Climate Change. Those, I think, are the big issues. Voting is a mere distraction from all of these issues which have been in existence for my entire 75 years of life. Now go vote and die waiting for any resulting change!
Very good points. Digital formats are not the focus of the article, which is fine. But I think that the character of the infrastructure will determine much of the nature of the discourse that passes over it.
Human nature involves a lot of conditional response; we won’t change things by changing human nature (barring GMO humans, mostly a chance at fresh catastrophe) but by changing the conditions to which or within which we respond.
No, CD is ignoring Greenwald for the same reasons his PC editors ignored him - fear of saying something that might be construed as “out of bounds,” like for instance, the story of 9-11 has always been here, or various other subjects of key importance. Nary a word to vary from the officially approved parameters of ‘dissent.’
Nope… Try and mention Juan Cole is cherry-picking ~47% of his obfuscatory pleonasm, today and see what happens? There’s more strawmen, simply made-up shit & red herrings up in here, than Wizard of Oz’s famous “Loaves N’ Fishes” orgy scene? I’ve watched four folks upside-down Glenn’s story in VERY cut&paste direct tropes, lifted verbatim from four gazillionaire owned publications. “Commie DREAMS… yeah WhatEVER!”