Journalism’s Slow Death

Journalism’s woes continue. Mainstream outlets continue to hemorrhage (as a dual-forged result of the Internet inundation and the financial crisis), while the proliferation of new material on the web continues to be rife with trash. Someday, I hope, the industry will pull itself out of this mess and figure out a way to sustain quality investigative reporting. In the meantime, even some of the good outlets are printing stories I either know to be false or completely disagree with (after eight months on the ground in Iraq).
It amazes me that even writers with journalistic creds have allowed their ideological points of view to shape articles, no matter the objective realities that lay before them. One recent article (on the website of the otherwise respected Center for Investigative Reporting) criticized the Iraqi Army’s Special Forces division for putting a gun to a child’s head and threatening a house full of people—the reporter’s point was that those Special Forces units threaten to become death squads. Unlike that reporter, I lived with the Iraqi Army for two months (not, admittedly, with its Special Forces units). And I didn’t see anything approaching death-squad type material.
What I did see were the lists of hundreds of soldiers that have been killed with the bombs of extremists. And I heard the stories (unending) of other soldiers and civilians that have been killed, maimed and tortured by those extremists. I found it particularly entertaining that that reporter’s feelings were so offended by violence—in a war zone. Perhaps he should have left his San Francisco sensibilities where they belonged—outside of a war zone. The civilians I lived with were missing legs—as well as brothers, cousins, uncles and sons—and yet I’ve seen precious few reports treating the horrors visited on the Iraqi population by Arab foreign fighters (one of the most despicable lessons of this conflict is that Iraq’s own neighbors have brought the most sincere kind of wrath).
Plans are underway to begin printing with a website called The Moderate Voice (a centrist-centered site that includes voices from both ends of the political spectrum). Take a look at what Moderate Voice editor Joe Gandelman had to say about the blogging explosion—I think he makes some good points. Check back at this page, periodically, for updates re: the Moderate Voice, as well as new photos (I’m in the process of developing 50 rolls of film I shot in Iraq).

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One Response to “Journalism’s Slow Death”

  1. Full-On Ballsy to do what you’ve done in Iraq, and Mexico- Wading into the middle of the shit rather than reporting from a comfy office chair.
    cheers mate. keep up the good work.

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