July 15th, 2011 15:31 EST
Carl Bernstein Castigates Rupert Murdoch`s Brand of Journalism!
"There is an inescapable conclusion that we must reach if we are to have a better society. The only reliable, and perpetual guarantor of independence is profit." The Absence of Trust - James Murdoch
Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of Rupert Murdoch`s newspaper operations in Britain, announced her resignation today. Brooks` resignation comes in the wake of the final publication of News of the World, a British tabloid that`s been in existence since 1843.
For a week now, news of a scandal, involving phone hacking and bribery (by reporters at News of the World) has been hitting the newswire. The extent of wrongdoing has not yet been fully unearthed.
A quote on an ABC News reel hits me hard as I attempt to wrap my mind around all the tentacles of this scandal. Peter Oborne, a political commentator at the Daily Telegraph, makes a lucid appraisal of the situation.
"It is perfectly clear that News of the World, as owned and managed by Rupert Murdoch, was a criminal organization." What Peter Oborne means by this statement becomes clearer as you probe these allegations a little closer.
Two areas of greatest concern (to me) are the phone hacking of 9/11 victims (by Murdoch employees) and the extent to which investigators at the Scotland Yard may have been bribed or blackmailed for information. So, I feel as if it`s my duty to fully understand every aspect of this scandal.
The question at issue here is the future of journalism itself (or if there`ll be any future), and the possibility of any prevailing integrity or ethics, in light of these blows. As I looked around for something that will bring meaning to this scandal, I came upon a piece from an old stalwart of journalism.
The essay is Murdoch`s Watergate? by Carl Bernstein (published by Newsweek), a former reporter at The Washington Post, who broke the most important story for journalism ever, Watergate. I want you to read what Carl has to say, so I`ll link it down below.
Murdoch`s brand of journalism `substitutes gossip, sensationalism, and manufactured controversy (paragraph 5, Carl Bernstein)` for a reporting of the truth, which use to be called news reporting, back in a former day. But Murdoch`s forte is `tabloid journalism.`
So how did this obvious yellow journalism contaminate what is suppose to be `legitimate journalism?` Why does, for example, Fox News (a prize-possession of Rupert Murdoch) purport themselves to be genuine reporters of the news, when in fact they are really only trying to spin a right-wing agenda?
Carl Bernstein explores these issues and more in his brilliant essay. Ironically, in light of all these lethal jabs to journalism, one traditionalist brings a relish of virtue back to an age-old trade and craft. The quotation in the prologue (by James Murdoch) couldn`t be anymore OFF THE MARK! If news reporting is solely driven by profit it will inevitably falter.
Murdoch`s Watergate? By Carl Bernstein