Media, Information and Transparency

“There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history [1880], in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job.

If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his [human] race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?

We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

John Swinton (1829-1901) pre-eminent New York journalist & head of the editorial staff at the New York Tribune. Quoted one night between 1880-1883.

While I can’t say how much of the above applies to today’s mass media, but it is true that several mainstream US media show things from one perspective only (which is like doubting the self-analysis capability of the average American viewer).

I just wanted to use the above quote to share the variety of unbiased news that we now have access to – thanks to the Internet and the 1000s of blogs that people use to share their unedited views. Next time you are searching for information, try doing a blog search and you will be amazed at some of the high quality results.

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