Muncie, Indiana – There has been much written about the National Security Agency (NSA) and the documents obtained by Edward Snowden as a contract employee for the federal government. A simple Google search will show many opinions about Mr. Snowden – opportunist or hero. We urge you to do a search for a different reason – bias in the media.
Muncie Voice has published several articles here and here. In general, we’re not too interested in Snowden, but we are interested in the gross violations of our 4th amendment rights as protected by the U.S. constitution. It also bothers us that NSA officials are lying to us under oath, and what now, will both Congress and our POTUS do about it.
I’m sure those in Washington would like to ignore it, but with Sen. Bernie Sanders writing a letter to the NSA essentially asking, “Has the NSA been spying on Congress?”, denial is not an option.
So far, in the testimony and elsewhere, we’ve gotten the typical response of a guilty party who is represented by legal counsel – mainly talk around the question instead of answering, yes or no. Expect more of this.
As powerful as government spying on its citizens and officials are for the western world, specifically in countries who are democratic, there is a story within the story – our 1st amendment rights. There is a war on journalism being perpetuated by other “journalists” working for media companies. With 80% of all media controlled by 6 companies, and these same six generally toting the government/corporate line, some are starting to circle the wagons. We’ve shared the implications of them lying here.
Some conclude we’ve become a totalitarian state already. Chris Hedges recently wrote:
Any state that has the capacity to monitor all its citizenry, any state that has the ability to snuff out factual public debate through control of information, any state that has the tools to instantly shut down all dissent is totalitarian. Our corporate state may not use this power today. But it will use it if it feels threatened by a population made restive by its corruption, ineptitude and mounting repression. The moment a popular movement arises—and one will arise—that truly confronts our corporate masters, our venal system of total surveillance will be thrust into overdrive.
Many believe the Department of Homeland Security was developed for this purpose – not to protect the citizens from terrorists, but to protect government from its citizenry. Do you think it sounds like a grand conspiracy?
Going back to Glenn Greenwald and his new journalism venture with Pierre Omidyar (founder of eBay) – First Look Media. Glenn enjoys online journalism because of what he calls an “accountability check”. You get feedback from the readers. You can engage with them and be challenged by them. Most media and newspaper companies allow for comments, but rarely do you get to engage with the content writer directly. The information flows in one direction.
The “accountability check” will further drive the industry in 2014. We’ll also keep a close eye on First Look Media as they build the technology framework to support their content.
As for the NSA story, here is what Glenn wrote on a recent blog post:
But beyond Laura, there are multiple organizations with tens of thousands of Snowden documents — tens of thousands! That includes the New York Times, the Guardian, ProPublica, and Bart Gellman/The Washington Post,” he writes, adding, “Our work is very far from done: there are many, many more documents and stories that we will publish.
While there is plenty more to be published on the NSA story, and we get answers to Bernie’s question, keep an eye on the media industry. Who protects who? Who attacks who? Are they protecting our government? Are they demanding government respond? Are they demanding NSA be disbanded? Is Snowden a traitor, or a hero? How will they respond to Glenn Greenwald?
Also, while this is taking place, Glenn is working with a group of independent investigative journalists to create a new journalism entity which will be run as they feel our constitutional framers wanted when they established the role of the free press. They have a very wealthy financial backer in Pierre Omidyar, who made his money with eBay and owns PayPal, both entities have connections with the NSA and WikiLeaks. Will they print incriminating evidence about eBay?
If the founders of Fresh Look continue down the path I believe they are heading, not only will the NSA and our federal government come under fire, but so will the journalism/media industry. If Chris Hedges is even partially correct, all of them will be under the spotlight in 2014 by how they respond to the NSA story unfolding as well as being called out for poor journalism by those involved with Fresh Look.
We’ll also learn if Chris Hedges’ fears are rational or irrational.
One thing is for sure, this will another year of major changes for the media industry, and come December 31, 2014, the journalism industry will be much different then it is today.