Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dan Rather at the National Conference for Media Reform

By: Harry Waisbren

Dan Rather gave quite the speech Saturday day at the Free Press National Conference for Media Reform. I was especially excited to see him in light of his $70 million lawsuit against CBS and it's parent company Viacom which could act as an "extraordinary commission of inquiry into a major news organization's intimidation, complicity and corruption under the Bush administration."

Although Rather was unable to discuss the law suit, he provided an astute insider's view into how our press has grown so rancorous:

Rather made sure not to extricate himself from the farcical nature of today's journalism, emphasizing that "when you hear me criticize the press, please know, I do not exmept myself from these criticisms."

Within the speech, Rather described how "almost all of [the mainstream media's] failings come down to this: in the current model of corporate news ownership, the incentive to produce good and valueable news is simply not there. Good journalism, quality news of integrity requires resources and it requires talent. These things are expensive, these things eat away at the bottom line."

I agree wholeheartedly with Rather, as it is undeniably true that our founding father's never envisioned the free press to be relient on a for profit system. This is why I consider blogging to be so important, as it is a medium where passionate citizens can write controversial and dissenting views no matter what advertisers or subscribers would think. I consider the most patriotic and courageous acts of an American to be ones in which uncomfortable, inconvenient, or even enraging truths are told in our efforts to create a more perfect union. Hopefully more and more of our country's "professional journalists" will see the error in their ways and recognize this edict from our founding father's as well.

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