Media Watchdogs Caught Napping

| March 24, 2003

When Dan Rather speaks, America listens. Owing to his status as one of the country?s most well-respected television journalists, many see Rather as a trustworthy source of information. Disquieting to hear, then, is that even he harbors doubts about the state of journalism in America today. In an interview with the BBC, Rather has admitted to, at best, a lack of candor in the U.S. media and, at worst, a troubling degree of self-censorship among journalists. Perhaps because of such insights into the inner workings of the media, many Americans are looking to sources overseas for their news, as Leander Kahney reports in the Webzine, Wired News. Kahney notes that, in January, ?half the visitors to the Guardian Unlimited news site . . . were from the Americas,? a number partially responsible for an overall ?10 percent increase in visitors? to the site. This increase in American visitors to foreign news sites is, Kahney argues, the result of the U.S. journalists? failure to call the government to task for its decisions, an action that forces Americans to look abroad for the vigorous debate of U.S. policy so conspicuously absent from most of the mainstream media?s coverage of events.
?Amelia Bauerly

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