Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pulitzer Prizes

The Guardian and Washington Post have shared the Pulitzer Prize for public service journalism for a series of stories on US electronic spying.
Their reporting was based on documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
The top prizes are bound to ruffle some feathers since they reward what some might call illegal activity. Snowden, who is holed up in Russia, is wanted for espionage by American authorities who claim his release of information caused demonstrable harm to American interests -- interests that remain shrouded in secrecy for 'national security' reasons... and the demonstrable harm remains undemonstrated on the basis, it seems, that the American public should trust the good intentions of the agencies hired to 'serve' them.

I guess it is impossible for those who consider Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea/Bradley Manning traitors to do otherwise. Were they to take that accusation off the table, the only alternative would be to stand accused as traitors themselves.

On public TV last night, a discussion of the Pulitzer Prizes included the observation that the Guardian's coverage represented a growing trend towards accepting personal appreciations into the realm of what once was more distanced coverage. Once, the baseline was to present facts and let the viewer/reader draw conclusions. It was never perfect, but it was an attempt. Now, increasingly, it is acceptable to reach conclusions that the viewer/reader might not reach on his/her own. Something along the lines of, "In case you missed it, this sucks!" ... and it sucks not necessarily based on fact, but increasingly simply because I say it sucks.

On the one hand, some things are so egregiously corrupt that they deserve the personal touch in an attempt to serve some wider good. On the other hand, it is a slippery slope, with increasing numbers assuming that their personal opinion warrants the status as fact... and convincing a gullible audience.

This is a realm that may be worthy of debate, but I doubt there is any clear-cut answer. My own persuasion is to stick to a blog which, by definition, is biased and frequently slipshod.

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