The Partisan Journalism Zone
The Partisan Journo
There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a
dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle
ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it
lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge.
This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The
Partisan Journalism Zone.
--with apologies to Rod Serling, The twilight Zone
There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the
picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will
bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper.
We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the
image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it
to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that
you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television
set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to
experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to...
...bring you the Daily News Hour.
-- with apologies, the opening narration, The Outer Limits
Two opening narrations for popular 1960's sci-fi television. Little did they
know how appropriate their words would be in a discussion on the ever
increasing polarization of the left-right political and social dialogue.
In effect the left and right have become frozen in place neither moving
forward towards common ground to best resolve our problems, nor possess
the ability to speak to the common man. The unrelenting cacophony these
politico's create badgering and accusing, ridiculing and defaming each other
has surpassed the average persons ability to hear. The 'anti' diatribe has
become both the purpose and the reward for those who engage in partisan
biased journalism. Mainstream media has become the seller in fear of, and
hatred of their fellow citizen who has not adopted their interpretational belief
in a political or social policy or direction.
The prevailing attitude in order to control opinion by these politico's is one
of either blanket unquestionable acceptance to the ideology or be sidelined,
disenfranchised, made irrelevant and labeled either a gun toting bible
thumper terrified of the new 'progressive' world order, or a commie hell bent
on turning the place into a socialist gulag.
Since the first newspaper hit the shores of North America we have expected
that 'Newsmen/women' would act as an uncorrupted transition between the
public and the policymakers. That there would be a code of ethical behavior
guiding the journalist towards the unvarnished truth in our name. We held
the journalist in the same esteem as we did doctors and scientist. Men and
women who would speak to us and deliver the facts so we could best
use the facts in order to come to a decision collectively for the common good.
Oh, we know. We know. There was never a perfection in execution but, there
were enough men and women of scruple and integrity that kept the light
shining on those who attempted to abuse that trust. The same can not be
said today. It has become a herculean struggle to name less than a handful
of journalist who haven't gone to the dark-side of political and social bias.
Who don't write and talk like the reader is an incompetent fool needing to be
spoon fed how and what he or she should think, and worse -believe.
With the advent of e-journalism things have only gotten worse. Instead of
a great many striving to keep the events reported categorical and fee of
bias. Living up to the 'old ideal' that the Journalism's first obligation is to the
truth. That its first loyalty is to the citizens. That its essence is discipline of
verification. And that its practitioners must maintain an independence from
those they cover. instead we have the great many who have grown up
during these last years of 'mistrust in the system', this failing system of the
public trust. Far too many are dismissing, nay eschewing that very same old
journalistic ideal, and we are inundated with hate-filled rantings and a blog-
sphere dominated by political and social prejudice.
Don't look to me for the answer. While I do have one, it is only for the
brave at heart who know, who accept that the truth will be the reward in of
itself and can let that suffice, and stand above the demands of the ego. It
means pulling away from the 'anti' thinking. Understanding and overcoming
the nature of belittlement and ridicule as an intellectual device that only
perpetuates dissension and expands the divide. It means having to go with
out the mega site clicks per article. It means standing up and for some time
standing alone... until the new trend in reportage is a better, cleaner vision
that holds the reader as competent and enlightened to share in and advance
our common causes.
e-journalism should be, could be, a positively led mechanism used to unite
communities and fellow citizens in a move that creates a genuine atmosphere
that flows up hill so that one day our policymakers loose the same
negative and hostile biased attitudes too many e-journalist exhibit today in
support of the very narrow niche their opinions occupy.
Who knows what may be accomplished if we just close our eyes and ears to
the sellers of hate and mistrust from both the left and right and hold our faith
in a human oneness and simply step into that political and social chasm and
grasp the hands reaching from the other side. But, if you have bought into
the hate and suspicion...you probably can't see the hands probing the
smokescreen searching the abyss created to keep you apart.