Home > Uncategorized > Blog 4: Journalist Role During Crisis

Blog 4: Journalist Role During Crisis

NY Times Prints out Pentagon Papers

In a time of crisis jounalist should challenge the president and military leaders.  Journalist have to learn and incorporate watchdog journalism (investigative reporting) to their pieces. It is the journalist job to uncover what the government is “hiding”.  The question that this presents is what do we keep a secret for the safety of our country? The Pentagon Papers is an example of printing government information that could go either way. The executive branch of course wasn’t happy because they said that it was leaking personal goverment information that could endanger the country but The New York TImes thought that the people had a right to know. This situation has been brought up again in journalism with the Wiki leaks. Wiki leaks published gunfight footage from the Afgan War and did An Afgan War Diary. People were happy with it because it showed them what the troops were really doing over in Afganistan and showed the nation how this really was a pointless war. Of course government officials hated it for exposing classified information and claimed that the leak sharm national secuirty and compromise internationl diplomacy!

Wiki Leaks exposes Afgan War

These two instances shows how journalist have adhered to the watchdog role and it turned out for the good of the people. Yes, the government was outraged, but I think that it’s important for people to know what their government is up to. We get take the time to vote and elect people not to lie to us and when mistakes are made. 

Journalist role after major crisis like September 11 and terriost attacks are to still be playing that watchdog role. Executive branch could try to spin that its unpatriotic to be reporting such destrumental things to the people after a serious attack like this but a journalist is suppose to stay objective. Thats the man rule and if they continue to do so then they would always have their feelings out of the news. Yes, it may be hard to write about attacks and want to back your country up, but if they don’t tell the truth and report what’s really going on then doesn’t that mean that all those people died in vain. Sometimes you have to print facts and I can see at the time of the September 11 attacks that everyone thought us going into this war was a retaliation to what happened, but after we found out that it wasn’t there should have been reports on whats really going on. If this happened I believe it will keep the President on his toes to make the best decisions for the country and not do anything for personal gain or greed.  I think that journalism and the papers and the media are another check and balance on governemnt. It doesn’t allow them to be manipulative and do whatever they want when they are in fear of getting caught and exposed.

President G.W. Bush

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