David Sirota, who writes regularly for the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, says: "It's a concern when almost half of the news business does not support reporting news that the government and corporations don't want reported." (May 17, 2014)
That is an astounding statement, in view of the often repeated affirmation that press freedom goes hand with democracy.
Sirota continues; "Simply put, the path that avoids regular confrontation with power is often far easier, less risky and more lucrative in the news business. Thus, it has become the preferred path du jour, to the point where almost half of the news business does not support reporting news that the government and corporations don't want reported. And who knows? Maybe the nest IU survey 10 years from now shows a full-on majority of journalists saying news outles shouldn't publish without the express consent of the corporations and government."
Mr. Sirota's observations raise a number of questions. Why is it that the vast majority of U.S. newspapers pipe the same line with respect to Washington's foreign policy? For example, why did the vast majority support the invasion of Irak? Why is it that the coverage of the financial crisis sounds as if it came straight out of some PR office? And why are U.S. newspapers so hard on supposed infringements of freedom of expression abroad? Finally, is it not significant that in the vast majority of U.S. cities the news is in the hands of only one or two giant corporations and that they play tug-of-war between the two predominant political parties in a balancing act that leaves other voices out of the picture?
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