From: Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
Date: Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 6:24 PM
To: Professor Robert Jensen, email@example.com
Subject Re: Can journalism schools be relevant in a world on the brink?
In response to your recent essay and discussion on journalism, here is my 0.02 worth left as comment to your article. Kind regards, Zahir.
Re-titling can perhaps make the problem-space more apparent: Can journalism schools be relevant in a New World Order of one-world government?
To focus on "Journalism for Justice/Storytelling for Sustainability: News Media Education for a New Future" when its overarching container, the society, is head long rushing into the oligarchic one-world government with forces that are so overwhelming, that without addressing these external forces and finding counters to them first, what is journalism but mere employment for those who engage in it, and a means of conducting the business of the oligarchic state in the best mold of Orwellian state-craft?
That institutional reality of state-craft in the modern world cannot be changed by wishing it to be different. Journalism is merely situated within that tortuous reality context. The Role of Mass Media in Empire Building is deemed crucial by global geopolitical strategists of the Grand Chessboard like Zbigniew Brzezinski. The tremendous social/political/economic/ corporate and national-security forces arrayed in harnessing journalism for "imperial mobilization" cannot be undone by adopting any charter statement in an academic environment.
Having identified that higher order bit, as one zooms into the container to examine how to make journalism a relevant revolutionary force (assuming useful dikes can be built around it to protect it from oligarch and state-craft influence), notice that this is predicated on the assumption that "knowledge" matters to the masses. As the organization "If Americans Knew" once wrote as its mission statement in its pamphlet (circa 2003):
“In a democracy, the ultimate responsibility for a nation's actions rests with its citizens. The top rung of government - the entity with the ultimate power of governance - is the asserted will of the people. Therefore, in any democracy, it is essential that its citizens be fully and accurately informed. In the United States, currently the most powerful nation on earth, it is even more essential that its citizens receive complete and undistorted information on topics of importance, so that they may wield their extraordinary power with wisdom and intelligence. Unfortunately such information is not always forthcoming. The mission of If Americans Knew is to inform and educate the American public on issues of major significance that are unreported, underreported, or misreported in the American media. It is our belief that when Americans know the facts on a subject, they will, in the final analysis, act in accordance with morality, justice, and the best interest of their nation, and the world. With insufficient information, or distorted information, they may do the precise opposite.”
It is no longer clear to me that the afore statement is true, whether for Americans, or any other nation, especially in the modern world were people are entirely attached to their stomach, to the pursuit of their "American Dreams" - or nightmares if you will, etc. It is a theory which has little empiricism to support its optimism.
The proof is before us - what is it that we don't know about what's transpired over the past 8 years? Who among the masses, worldwide, not just in the United States, gives a damn? Only when some are losing their own shirt, that they perhaps mobilize - as the DC protest last week. So if conditions domestically were still peachy, what could journalism have done that the revelations of the past 8 years aren't able to do to mobilize the role of the so called fourth pillar of democracy? Socrates' demonstration of democracy's usefulness with information has more empiricism than the lofty ideals of Ben Franklin.
Awareness does not translate to policing by the democracy! The assumption of the press being a watchdog over state-craft in a republic, is only an academic theory. Just as good a theory as the Constitution. When the latter is put into practice - then one can think more usefully of how to make its watchdog effective.
It's a good debate though for it intimately ties in with sociology, behavior control, Edward Bernays, and propaganda. And therefore, it cannot be taken in the isolated context - under the academic assumption that all external forces operating on it can be taken to be zero.
Source URL: http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2009/09/can-journalism-schools-be-relevant-nwo.html
Source PDF: http://humanbeingsfirst.wordpress.com/files/2009/09/response-to-robert-jensen-on-the-question-of-journalism-reform.pdf
Related: Letter to the Center for Journalism At the University of Kent 'Where journalists have greatness thrust upon them' December 06, 2009
Response to Robert Jensen's 'Can journalism schools be relevant in a world on the brink?' By Zahir Ebrahim