Michael Yon’s latest dispatch contains a number of significant observations about the media, both U.S. and international:
Many Americans are fed-up with a media blind to its own bias, pretentiously soaring high above it all, circling above the fray, above the politics, above it all, so high above in fact, that they were unable to predict the overwhelming turnout for Iraq’s first election, having already decided the outcome was a quagmire. There might be less rancor about their coverage of the war if it weren’t for the fact that this newfound detachment was being postured by members of the same press that had been widely accused of “going native” during the heady days of the invasion. But underlying the tension between the press and the people is disappointment based on a deeply held belief that a free press is a vital part of American democracy and so the standards should be higher. This is an important distinction. Many British journalists I have spoken with see their profession as inherently sleazy, and the Australians and Kiwis are also quick to reject any pretense about the nature of their work. These are not burned out or disaffected reporters, crying into pints about the glory days of war correspondence. They see themselves as realists and their profession as a commercial industry and many find the fuss in America about media bias silly.
Yon also writes, “The UK media universe could benefit from a vibrant ‘Blogger Class,’ which in the United States has shed its gills and grown lungs and earned a place at the table. The Aussies and Canadians are developing strong Blogger Classes, but the Brits are falling behind and leaving their citizens lapping up the news from the commercial providers and government mouthpieces.”
As they say, the whole thing is must-reading.