Thursday, 22 August 2013

Ambush journalism

A journalist ambushes Russia Today for their concentration on the (deplorable) Bradley Manning/Edward Snowden stories and near-silence on much-worse domestic abuses, enjoy:

His criticism goes right to the heart of the problem of working for dictatorship-funded media, be it Russia Today, Press TV, CCTV 9, CRI, Global Times, or any of the media outlets set up by dictatorial states for the explicit purpose of getting their message across to the wider world. Essentially, they are a kind of faux-media that many of the foreigners working within seem to sleep-walk into without fully realising what they are doing. Many seem to believe (or at least, want to believe) that somehow working for a propaganda outlet will be no different to working for any other media outlet, that the assurances they receive that they will be free to cover whatever they like can ever be kept to, and that the experience they gain will be counted in their favour rather than being taken as a black mark on their record. The truth is quite different.

(H/T The Dish)


Taide said...

I had a good laugh about the video. And I feel respect for the Guardian.

However, in that light: nice post, wrong timing.

(And I hope you didn't think of German media as great and independent sources of information. It's not better do mislead a domestic audience, than to mislead a foreign audience.)

justrecently said...

I think we had this discussion before - all three of us -, and I agree that no journalist with a sense of dignity should work for outlets like the ones mentioned in your post, Foarp.

But while there is a difference between working for a "normal" station and a totalitarian system's shop window which emulates independent media, I have become skeptical of "our" journalists and media organizations, too. The "Guardian" is more an exception than the rule. If the dangers of creeping totalitarian tendencies in our societies would be as much a topic as threats from terrorists organizations, public opinion would be very different from what it is.

There is no reason to believe that Western media, these days, are doing a particularly good job (and I'm trying to put this mildly).

Cathy Liu said...

2nd JR. As someone who've been disappointed by Western media in many incidences (due to my poor language skills, mainly media outlets in US, and to a much less extent, UK), I think one of the best ways of counteracting the mouthpieces of regimes in China/Russian etc. is making "our" media better - being honest about differences between western values, interests, and prejudices may be a good place to start.

justrecently said...

I agree, Cathy. And as for German media, there's this story about Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany).

Mr. Wang's case will be heard in December; one of his colleagues who had also sued hasn't been successful.

There are aspects behind our media and their rules which should be worth a lot of thought - and correction.