A free press is highly overrated

Someone emailed me this story.

Several reporters from the Chicago Tribune are asked about their paper’s coverage of the "street attacks" in Chicago. The street attacks involve mobs of black kids attacking white people. The paper doesn’t refer to the race of the people that make up the "youth mob." Specifically, the reporters are asked how they feel about this unofficial policy of not mentioning the race of the attackers, i.e. the actual story.

The first reporter says that race should be mentioned (in the actual article, he says that the media doesn’t know how to cover black-on-white crimes). The second says that she would not mention race. The third is apparently unable to discern any pattern in the attacks – hopefully the third person was immediately fired for being an idiot.

A free press is probably the most overrated institution in the world. How would the press function any differently if it were controlled by an actual arm of the government? Frankly, I think such a state would be better – at least then we would all know that the press was keeping certain stories from us.

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6 Responses to A free press is highly overrated

  1. Zimriel says:

    The premise of this post is that “free press” means “printed press”. In fact the printed press is not free in any sense of that word; it depends upon advertisers, all of whom fear being noticed by BRA.

    A free Internet by contrast permits your site to exist and for your commenter to allude to even more dangerous sites, like those which tell us what BRA stands for.

    But you know this already. I guess you were just trolling

  2. Handle says:

    The competition from the internet news sites is gradually routing around this problem. In countries with actual government-run press it really can’t.

  3. More Anon says:

    Government regulation of personnel policy is implicit regulation of the press and its attitudes.

    I just asked myself: has the EEOC ever discussed the newspaper business?

    Sure enough, a quick google on “EEOC newspapers” reveals this page:

    “This chart book responds to the public’s request for data regarding diversity in employment among some of the key media industries in the nation. The data provided here can be used by employers in these industries to evaluate their employment practices. This effort is consistent with the emphasis on proactive prevention in the Commission’s Five Point Plan… The EEOC encourages readers to utilize this chart book as one resource ensuring that the diversity of America’s workers is effectively utilized in the industries examined.”

    http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/reports/media/index.html

    Even if the press were to be exempt from these regulations, the advertising departments at other businesses would not, so the effect would be similar.

  4. Dr. Horsemeat says:

    The third person was probably made managing editor.

    “The competition from the internet news sites is gradually routing around this problem.” For now . . . .

  5. Borepatch says:

    Well, we know today that the press keeps certain stories from us. That’s why the press is in such terrible economic shape – why pay good money for something that you know has major flaws and no desire to address them?

  6. […] – “What Have Stupid People Done Lately?“, “Weiner“, “A Free Press is Highly Overrated“, “Review of “Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist” by Walter A. […]

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