You can’t rely in any mainstream media anymore.
Maybe you never could, but the world seemed more sane and less corrupt when I thought you could.
For me, the realization crystalized fully when I recently had a story pulled, for the second time, on LPB (Louisiana Public Broadcasting). It was about shadow schools (schools like the ones in Iberville that are not being reported to the state or federal government so small school districts can racial and financially segregate their students.) I jumped through all the ridiculous hoops and roadblocks they kept throwing in my path and even agreed to do the interview non-anonymously at no small personal risk to myself and my family (who were all against it.)
I know that if it was my children in those failing schools, being masked as adequate, that I would really hope someone would tell me what was going on if they knew. My children only have one childhood and one chance at an education. Once that chance is lost, once my children’s formative years sacrificed so wealthier whiter kids have a better shot, there is no going back.
However the editorial staff at LPB told the reporter I was working with, “it will never show on LPB.”
Not because there was anything factually untrue, but because there was “a chance” it might offend Jindal and John White.
Before I started getting involved with blogging, trying to contact and work with reporters, and the media I was under the false assumption that at least PBS and NPR were immune to meddling; that we had some sort of watchdog group looking out for us if we truly lost our way.
The sad truth is that corporate and political interests control all mainstream media. If the media you watch or read employs people who depend on a job, those people are afraid to cover anything too controversial or to get too involved that they step on any toes. And these days, who doesn’t?
Sure, we have flavors of news, like TCBY ice cream flavors, but would a Fox News reporter be able to cover a Republican sex or corruption scandal like they cover the made up ones like Benghazi? Would Rachel Maddow spend a lot of time covering a possible Planned Parenthood issue or a possible issue with ACORN? (I’m not saying there issues brought up about Planned Parenthood or ACORN are legit, just if they were, we probably would not hear about them from CNBC first nor in the amount of salacious detail Fox would slather on such topics.)control all groups that rely
If your news organization relies on advertising, government funding, or donations for the existence of their station, they are beholden to those interests. They are beholden to CEOs, shareholders, advertisers, and politicians. Bobby Jindal wields line item veto power over anything in the budget in Louisiana. LPB survives, in part, on state funding. Bobby Jindal has a robust reputation for punishing those who say things he disapproves of, firing staffer after staffer who says anything, even under oath, other than the approved talking points. I suppose I can understand why LPB would feel they have to appease Jindal and cover local festivals and 3 legged dogs large tomato contests rather than anything of substance, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it, nor that this is how I think things should be.
Bloggers can be wrong, but at least they are not afraid to be right – which is more than can said for most reporters and media these days.
I’m sure I would feel different if my own livelihood depended on not offending anyone, but isn’t that the problem?