While ambassadors and State Department officials tear their hair out and Hillary rants to the press about how Julian Assange is putting lives at risk with releases like the most recent dump of diplomatic cables, they’re failing to realize a fact about the world we live in. There’s a great post from The Economist about “missing the point of Wikileaks,” reflecting my thoughts very well.
Reading Ted Koppel’s piece about the death of real news on television gave me no surprise. Since taking a class on media and politics last year at UVM, I’ve questioned the ability of TV to provide a societally healthy version of news. In that class, we read Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death, a book about the danger of TV in American political discourse.
Television, as a medium, is not fit for news. It is too easy to be overly animated and entertaining and forget altogether – if you were trying in the first place – to give the news. Glenn Beck, with his chalkboard and on-air weeping sessions, knows this all too well. TV is a sensational experience, and in news, sensationalism is frowned upon. So there is, of course, an inherent conflict of interests in any TV news. While Koppel is nostalgic for the days when anchors were able to give an unbiased account of events (and maybe they did), I don’t think it was ever possible to give an accurate or full description of events on television.
James Gordon Meek covers terrorism, justice, intel, and war for the New York Daily News. I emailed him with the hopes of learning more about the life of a war reporter, as it’s a field that has always interested me but been hard to learn about. I asked him some questions that came to mind about war reporting and his answers proved interesting.