Monday, July 25, 2011

Press and Government Entangled in the U.S. Also

The News Corp scandal illustrates how massively damaging behind-the-scenes entanglements of the press and government are.
Investigations are implying that News Corp had tentacles of power providing influence in law enforcement and the highest reaches of government.
In the U.S., with our agencies’ PR office censorship, we have entanglements of press and government with one thing in common with the News Corp situation:  both parties in that alliance tell the public little about what happens in that nexus between reporting and political power.
But with our situation the power flows in the opposite direction.
Government agencies do not allow reporters to do news gathering except when the agencies have surveillance on us and on the staff people who talk to us. Often they find a way to stop us from doing newsgathering at all.
Reporters can do little without the blessing of the PR office gatekeepers, who inevitably are watching the backs of management and the political administration, if they want to keep their jobs.
And reporters are beholden to the PR gatekeepers. We have to stay in their good graces if we want information about what government is doing --however sterilized that information might be by the PR process-- in order to keep our jobs.

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