Thursday, June 22, 2006

Shielding Journalists or PR persons? Press

This is a copy of my words posted on the Yahoo message board today in response to the article about shield laws on Journalists. I post this here because it is essential to the public's understanding of what a "free Press" consists of, and what it doesn't consist of.

There are always two sides to every coin, and two or more viewpoints in any conflict. Journalists who use the shield laws to cover up their plagiarism or fabrication are immoral and they do a disservice to the public. There have been some recent cases where Journalists were fired from well-known and long time established news papers/ agencies for having either totally made up a story to publish for the sake of PR, or who plagiarized. I know that the Copyright laws' "fair use doctrine" allows short segments of anything copyrighted to be republished if the intent is to educate the public and if the appropriate recognition of the source is given. Probably most educated people learned that in their English literature classes or at college. That seems to me an adequate safeguard for most quoted material. The cases where the journalist was paid by the government to pump a cause for a Party is not journalism but Public Relations. There are tons of words in the US on some issues [e.g. sex education] that have no factual basis for any positive outcome, no "track record" in the history of human events and no acceptance from Biblical teachings, and yet are taught as "facts". Those kind of writings generally originate not from journalists but from PR people who work for ngos with a social agenda. The difference between bona-fide reporting of events, attitudes and beliefs of any nations' citizens and/or visitors or illegal immigrants--all humans in the land--and those who are paid to "spin" the truth for a group, must be recognized and labeled clearly so there is no deception. A paid PR person is not a journalist,yet there are many of that category in many major news agencies. A journalist answers the questions: whom? what? when? where? how? for what purpose? --those are answers that should be based on what actually happened, truth in other words. The media shield laws seem to be a cover-up for shady dealings,and a press not at liberty. A press that depends upon perqs like free office space in the L.O.B. in return for their privilege of "coverage" of events is not a free press.When the "news"that is real concern to citizens, such as the Speaker of the House doing his own thing "honoring" the High School football team for instance instead of listening to the debate on the House floor, is silenced to keep the perqs,that is perversion of the truth for PR.The Press has a law-enforced understanding that such PR events are not to be reported to the public in exchange for the "privilege" of being in the House in the first place.That is not liberty but deception.The concept of a unregulated press is virtually non-existent in the US Capitol and the Legislative Office Building. The Press may only report to the People what the politicians want them to know. That is a tactic of communism, not liberty.
So you know, I am Republican and I learned this lesson first hand when I was ejected from the US Senate gallery by armed Guards for having blank paper and a pen to write the names of who voted and how. I was told by Capitol guards that was "illegal" and I'd be arrested if I persisted. Free Press? Not in America.
signed gloria poole [RN]
Addendum: I am also known by my married name of gloria poole pappas.

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