The World and the L. A. Times
This is a potent post which I believe is of vital interest to anyone in the world who is interested in news. This is also a blatant promotion on my part for an upcoming public television program "Frontline," and the fourth in their series about the news upon which we are all so dependent in order to accurately know what is happening in our country and the world. This episode is titled "Stories From A Small Planet." Please check your local PBS TV listings for when the program will air in your area. The program will air on KCET-TV in Los Angeles, California on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 9-10 p.m. PDT. (Click for links on PBS TV and KCET-TV above.)
I have long believed soon after the tragic horrendous events of 9/11 that the true war on terrorism was for the hearts and minds of peoples all over this world which is the subject of this PBS program. I found the reaction of the leaders of governments abhorrent when they chose to resort to the means by which they did to win this war against terror by attacking Iraq. Such an act has done little more than to exacerbate the situation. That is not to say there might not be instances in which our country and others might have to resort to physical means in order to secure their citizens and country's safety, but the ill-conceived means by which our leaders chose to react have clearly done more damage to our country than 9/11 ever did.
A failure or stubborn unwillingness to recognize, much less even consider how the real war needed to be fought, should give us all pause, since the actions by our leaders and some others around this world were taken in my name and yours. The blood of innocent civilians and those of countless deceased and maimed military persons is on our hands. We have betrayed true meaningful justice for our own -- our victims of 9/11.
I have found this whole "Frontline" series to be of special interest. The previous episode which aired 2/13/07 focused on the critical aspect of "News Wars" going on within our own country. The sources of information from which we can derive accurate news are diminishing. Those of us enamoured with the Internet, the blogosphere and blogs would do well to examine from whence our actual news comes.
I don't have a news team on the ground in Iraq, or in any other country, including my own, that feeds me news reports. I am dependent upon many sources I read, hear or see that are provided by a decreasing number of newspeople. I respectfully will credit those sources from whom I obtain my information, thus, in turn, those from whom my sources derive their news -- crediting those who often place their lives at risk, so that I can know what is happening elsewhere, as well as what is being done in my name.
The "News War" episode is of interest to everyone since it encompasses the state of news and can be seen by clicking on this link HERE, then clicking on "Frontline," and finally selecting "News War."
There is a segment of special interest to all, as well as readers of the Los Angeles Times, which includes an interview with the publisher, who regrettably is not local. He smilingly expresses his intent to eviscerate the paper's Pulitzer Prize winning news department to focus more on entertainment world information, along with claims of an increased focus on "local" news, but that is hardly likely to have much benefit for me or most other readers. There certainly is a need for more entertainment news, to which all can attest, since there is so little of it anywhere. (I'm saying this bitterly and sarcastically.) Any thought of public service responsibility is relegated to the film cutting room floor by this Chicago publisher, since they own our paper, who is more concerned with 20% profit than a meager 10% other successful public-minded publishers are willing to accept elsewhere as reported in the "News War" program.
Subsequent to my viewing of this program, other major news media reports have recently revealed a refusal by this same publisher to accept buy back offers for local Los Angeles ownership. Powerful groups of varied individuals composed those blocks bidding for the paper. I don't suggest that either one of them would have been desirable except for the fact that I believe the illustrious Los Angeles Times deserves local ownership and owners dedicated to shepherding the newspaper through these difficult times of converging print, with other media and the Internet while maintaining a quality publication. I understand this is no small task for the feint at heart with the final outcome yet to be seen. In other words, there's also a lot of money at stake. I would like to believe there are still individuals and groups less greedy than our current publisher -- those who care more about our southern California, with a greater sense of commitment to our residents, and moral sense of responsibility to the public.
Wouldn't it be refreshing if the stockholders to whom this Chicago publisher is beholden would stand up and let him know that they are not only willing to be satisfied with a smaller profit margin, but demand that he take the morally responsible high road with this award winning newspaper, since he lacks the courage to do so on his own?