Greetings! You are reading an article from The Mudville Gazette. To reach the front page, with all the latest news and views, click the logo above or "main" below. Thanks for stopping by!
July 15, 2005
Don't Hate!By Greyhawk
A must read:
Why they hate us
As opinion polls and surveys tell us, public faith in the news media is low, and falling. Acknowledging the problem and asking why seems like a fine starting point for a serious discussion on the topic. But the above piece actually singles out a specific group, as the author clearly points out: it's about why most Americans, particularly soldiers, hate the media.
From my experience, that soldiers "hate" the media is true - though dislike or mistrust might be better words. If you were to poll American troops on the question you'd probably get about an 80% "yes" response to "do you hate the media?" Dislike or mistrust would likely raise the number to the upper 90s. But that's a semantic issue - the point is there's a problem. That a journalist who's also a military veteran sees it and writes about it is indeed a good first step.
Steve Lovelady, managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review Daily, takes the discussion to another level:
Amazing. Mark Yost, an [editorial page] editor at Knight Ridder, the ONE news outlet which has consistently exposed the lies at the heart of the Iraq invasion and the grim reality of the current occupation, turns on his colleagues.That's his response in it's entirety - a point to remember as you read on.
What is amazing about this is that Lovelady is the managing editor of the friggin' Columbia Journalism Review Daily. You'd think that he would welcome intelligent, reasoned, two-sided discussion about media's coverage of this controverial story. Instead, he acts like the fat kid on the playground egging on the bullies in a fight.But Jarvis also wants a real discussion, and in fact invites one:
So how about a debate, sirs? I suggest an email debate. I'll be happy to post your responses on Buzzmachine.That would be a worthy debate, but note that even Jarvis doesn't mention the actual purpose of Yost's piece, which is about "...why most Americans, particularly soldiers, hate the media. That must be accepted truth. So then, are there valid reasons why? Good question - but we'll address it later.
Jeff Jarvis' proposal unfortunately brings a negative response from Lovelady, part of which follows:
I'll have to decline, on several counts...Let's review that "entire letter" again:
Amazing. Mark Yost, an [editorial page] editor at Knight Ridder, the ONE news outlet which has consistently exposed the lies at the heart of the Iraq invasion and the grim reality of the current occupation, turns on his colleagues.That's just the beginning - you can witness the complete melt down here. Come back when you're done.
"My guess is that by Monday Mr. Yost will be too busy standing in line outside the St. Paul unemployment office to engage in leisurely Internet debates. Which, frankly, is as it should be. He's a right-wing shill who belittled and betrayed the hundreds of reporters who go into harm's way every day to tell us what the hell is really going on.I might be mis-reading that, but it seems to me he's calling for Yost to be fired for what he wrote. An interesting position for a "journalist" to take. He also invites us to "Take a fresh look at Romenesko. This poor bastard has become the pinata of the day."
Fortunately, - and this is a crucial point - the responses at Romanesko are a bit more fair and balanced then that claim might imply. Though no doubt Lovelady would call them "right-wing shills", give credit to the journalists who offered these insights:
From MARTIN STEIN, A&E editor, Las Vegas Weekly: Dipping into Romenesko?s letters, it seems there?s quite a kerfuffle going on about reporting in Iraq. There is one person reporting on the good news going on there, and in Afghanistan and other parts of the world: Arthur Chrenkoff. I don?t know if he?s a reporter per se. Perhaps he?s just some retired gent who has the time to do things like research and read ? that sort of free time being a scarce commodity among many media professionals.These comments, along with Yost's original column, prove that the problem isn't with media as a whole - it's just certain individuals who bring the profession low.
Meanwhile, Lovelady, having relied solely on ad hominem attacks in response to Yost, also accuses others of doing the same to him at Romanesko. This prompts the following response:
From MIKE HENKINS: Steve Lovelady writes:
Lovelady's response is brief, and welcome:
STEVE LOVELADY RESPONDS: Mike, I hate to tell you, but 99% of the news coming out of Iraq already comes from someone "asking a soldier." Who else are they going to ask? Insurgents? I don't think so.
That's my que. Since I'm a military guy, I know that an attack deserves a response, measured and appropriate in force to that attack:
As for that bias business, welcome to Mudville. Start here.
Oh, and be sure and visit my good friends at Soldiers?Angels.
Posted by Greyhawk / July 15, 2005 7:09 PM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
Furthermore, I will occasionally use satire or parody herein. The bottom line: it's my house.
I like having visitors to my house. I hope you are entertained. I fight for your right to free speech, and am thrilled when you exercise said rights here. Comments and e-mails are welcome, but all such communication is to be assumed to be 1)the original work of any who initiate said communication and 2)the property of the Mudville Gazette, with free use granted thereto for publication in electronic or written form. If you do NOT wish to have your message posted, write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the subject line of your email.
Original content copyright © 2003 - 2011 by Greyhawk. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
Contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com