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Monday, July 29, 2013

From Tom Paine to Glenn Greenwald, we need partisan journalism

Who am I to disagree?

However, I still say Greenwald should have passed the Snowden tips to his colleagues and let them write straight-news story while he continued his advocacy and reporting in his partisan column.

Yes, I've done that several times when I've been provided hard news tips.

From Tom Paine to Glenn Greenwald, we need partisan journalism

From the piece:

Judith and William Serrin’s anthology, Muckraking: The Journalism That Changed America, establishes the primacy of partisan, activist journalism from the revolutionary period through the modern era. Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison battled slavery in the 1830s with his newspaper, the Liberator. Elijah Lovejoy performed similar service in the Alton Observer, and in 1837 an Illinois mob attacked and killed him for his anti-slavery journalism. Beginning in the 1840s, Frederick Douglass used the press to fight for the freedom of his people, later writing, “It did not entirely satisfy me to narrate wrongs; I felt like denouncing them.” Imagine the Sorkins, Gregorys, Todds, Pincuses, and Farhis of those days telling Douglass he was doing journalism wrong!

No politically contentious issue has ever escaped the eye and the pen of partisan and activists journalists. Labor journalist John Swinton used his press to campaign for working people in 1884; Helen Hunt Jackson confronted the treatment of American Indians in 1885; John Muir defended the Yosemite Valley from the timber industry in 1890; Jacob Riis recorded tenement poverty in How the Other Half Lives in 1890; and Ida B. Wells exposed the South’s casual lynching practices in 1892.


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