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Journalism Isn't Dead Yet

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"Why pursue a dying career?" they said. "Everyday after birth is a day closer to death," she responded, "doesn't mean we need to go out without a fight." And not just a fight with bloodied knuckles, I am talking a fight to the death with barbed whips and unbridled tigers. Is journalism dying? Is it over? Have we succumbed to final defeat while refusing to prohibit the rout of those before us who once so valiantly defended free knowledge?

While we turn away and thumb our noses at the Seymour Hersh's and Ethel Payne's who so fearlessly risked their lives as intermediaries between society and knowledge, Rupert Murdoch has kicked another shoe full of manure on to the gravestone of Elijah Lovejoy, and hundreds of thousands of people have died in Iraq (and Fox viewers still think there was a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda in 2003). Suddenly, journalists report news to consumers and not citizens, while General Electric walks away with $157 billion in yearly revenue.

You can't help but feel slightly conquered as the daily papers slowly discard their scrupulous reporters and Google reports a 92% profit increase. You can't help but feel a bit more soulless as we strip the media of its nobility, poise and tenacity. The 1996 Telecommunications Act so thoughtfully sealed its fate as the privatization of the media took hold. Corporations like General Electric, Time-Warner, Disney, Viveldi International, News Corp., Bertlesmann, CBS and Viacom now monopolize the once free press here in the United States, and where once the focus fell on truth and dignity, it now rests on the bottom line.

The Internet has replaced the daily print and the Nation is losing its ability to fight back from the dominant control of insufferable giants who slowly grind the bones of integrity into the polluted ground until nothing is left but the glisten of blood and a few remnants of milky bone.

Ok, so maybe it isn't quite that bad. There are still plenty of people out there who speak to justice and truth; still more who fight for it. The Internet hasn't destroyed integrity as much as it has suffocated the little guy, you know, the one who usually stands up to adversity and demands honor from our Nation's leaders. Not to say there aren't valuable news enclaves out there, and what better place than the net to have them? But when all of our news media comes from a scant few sources, it closes the door to the novel and unsullied news that speaks for rest of us.

Plus, like daddy watching over your shoulder with a hot plate of Thanksgiving dinner ready for the one who gets the A on her test, not many Journalists at Fox are too eager to bite the hand that feeds. Do you think that one of Murdoch's own will last long after standing up and calling "fair and balanced" what it is: The height of bullshit? (O'Reilly: "Shut Up!"). They practically send them back to parochial school where they learn to spew propaganda like last nights whiskey as it emits forcefully from their lips. Fox isn't Journalism, it is a 24/7 political ad for the GOP.

Why pursue a career in Journalism? It is not f*cking dying! It just needs a little guerilla warfare, a little defense, and a plucky few who stand up and shout in the face of adversity. It just needs someone to stand up and remember who in the hell we once were. We are not defeated, we have not let go. There is still a large majority of this country who scream till their throats bleed, for truth and conviction.

 

Sarah Swatosh is a student of Political Science and Journalism
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