To: journalism [at] kent.ac.uk
Subject: Re: Why Rupert Murdoch is a Desperate Man (or How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?)
Original Date: Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 10:47 PM
Revised Date: Sunday, Dec. 06, 2009 3 PM
Dear Prof. Tim Luckhurst, Ian Reeves, Sarah Lonsdale, Richard Pendry and Dr Suzanne Franks,
I came to your website http://www.centreforjournalism.co.uk following the story about Rupert Murdoch titled: “Why Rupert Murdoch is a Desperate Man (or How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?)” thinking how superficially the issues of Journalism are formulated by most everyone who even dares to think reform, including in this article, thus already ensuring that the core issue will never be identified amidst the red herrings perpetually chased by even those with genuine expressions of concern.
And I discovered that you have a new school of journalism and are training a new generation of – stenographers hopefully not – I. F. Stone legatees. So I thought I'd gratuitously offer a link to a letter outlining some of the real challenges to journalism. It was written in partial response to Prof. Robert Jensen's September 15, 2009 article: “Can journalism schools be relevant in a world on the brink?” The rest of the response is cited in  in the letter:
Please feel free take from that letter what you feel is useful, and discard what is not.
If you would permit me to make a gratuitous suggestion as well: It would surely be useful to your young students to become exposed to unvarnished reality at an early age. Perhaps due to their youthful inexperience in not knowing political correctness and not being hampered by the long list of thought-crimes which experience garners, they might come up with new solutions to the age old problem of hegemony and the role modern journalism plays in enabling it.
Before teaching them about journalism, do teach them about Zbigniew Brzezinski's “The Grand Chessboard”. Please get them to identify the crucial role journalism plays on the Grand Chessboard according to its own grandmaster's handwriting. Followed of course by an immersion into the Republic of Plato, and studying the relevance of “The Simile of the Cave” to modernity when it is deemed by imperial pundits themselves that “democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization”, and therefore, requires both Orwellian 10th and 11th edition Newspeak dictionaries to be distributed to the newsrooms to un-permit thought-crimes. They might in fact even try analyzing one of these being used today as a case study: “The Israel Project’s 2009 GLOBAL LANGUAGE DICTIONARY”.
I will take a bet that by going this provocative route early in your young idealists' education when libraries still exist and there is no overt restriction on what young students may or may not read, you are bound to produce a substantial number of high intellectual energy honest professionals who won't be indoctrinated into the axioms of empire. A majority of them will surely not acquire its 'la mission civilisatrice', nor own its 'white man's burden', and nor ever be plagued by its many shades of Orientalism which often looks upon the rest of the world with jaundiced eyes instead of the clear lens of truth.
The tools to uncover these truths when “Deception is a state of mind and the mind of the state” require acute forensic training starting at a young age rather than merely being taught how to write wonderful prose while rehearsing puppetshows in all their fine minutiae.
Furthermore, exploring at an early age what function does this truth-telling serve – how does it affect change – when the democratic public has already been made “prisoners of the cave”, might enable them to solve the complex problem of how many generations of de-briefing work is it to pragmatically undo what Goethe had stated, and which has become the unfortunate reality du jour: “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free”?
Otherwise, I am afraid, the only “greatness” any journalism school will be thrusting upon the young minds is producing more 'embedded' stenographers serving mainly the interests of the “Philosophers” outside the cave holding up their placards of “truth” for those within! This is a universal problem of journalism today and I hope that your training program can begin to address it with some measure of efficacy. Additional aspects of the many challenges besetting journalism are analyzed in my 2003 book “Prisoners of the Cave”, in Chapters 4 through 7. It is available on my website, FYI.
California, United States.
Letter to the Center for Journalism At the University of Kent 'Where journalists have greatness thrust upon them' By Zahir Ebrahim