TV is dead, long live the Internet
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The impartial reporter is either a coward or an imposter

Amidst all the talk of how blogging is changing the way a story is reported, and how in this brave new media world personality, rather than the elusive quest for neutrality, seems key to building an audience, it is easy to forget that media impartiality wasn't always the mantra it is today. This article by The Wall Street Journal's Cynthia Crossen provides a useful reminder of the media's deeply political roots:

"To profess impartiality here," wrote William Cobbett in his Federalist newspaper, Porcupine's Gazette, "would be as absurd as to profess it in a war between virtue and vice, good and evil, happiness and misery." The motto of the Gazette of the United States, which began publication in 1789, was "He that is not for us is against us."

...a New Jersey printer wrote in 1798, "The times demand decision; there is a right and a wrong, and the printer, who under the specious name of impartiality jumbles both truth and falsehood into the same paper, is either doubtful of his own judgment or is governed by ulterior motives."


Hi, Im from Melbourne in the land of Oz. Please check out this unique understanding of media via this essay.
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Sorry, John. I don't buy into this conspiracy hogwash. I'd be the first to criticise media for its excesses or its shortcomings, and the media has many. However, media is actually made up of individuals who mostly are trying to do their best within the structures imposed by their profession and employers, and if u look at the big picture few are in it for the money.

I seriously considered deleting your comment, and may still do, as it's an obvious plug for yet another religious group espousing the evils and false representations of the Western world. I also realise that by responding to this I become a propaganda tool for you, but I find the kind of jumbled logic in the essay you refer too provoking not to. So, we're all being lied to and the media is forcing these lies down our throats? Are we then just passive bystanders who have no choice but to swallow everything presented to us by mass media? In fact, the brave new media world we are living today undermines these kind of arguments all together. Today we are all editors, and can all choose where we get our information, be it MSM, the blogosphere or religions books and revelations. The opportunities are limitless and there's no one, except ourselves, who can prevent us from exercising our 'discriminating' intelligence. You think MSM is all propaganda? Hey, set up your own blog or newssite and start reporting the truth as you see it...

And for the record, yes I'm a journalist, but that does not mean that I am MORE likely than other people to accept things on face value. I guess I was so 'uncritical' that I plowed thru the whole canon of Western philosophy before I made up my mind about where I stood myself, and the ideas and notions this essay you refer to espouse are really very old. So old that, apart from their illogic, they have become laughable in the world we are living in today

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