The Chronicle on Honest Reporting

Eric Brown |Managing Editor|

When getting the facts for a story, I always pursue them with the utmost candor and responsibility.

Luckily, the publication I write for doesn’t have enormous overheads, pressure from investors or an idea to own everything it touches.

News Corp, or more specifically its subsidiary News International has come under much scrutiny for the manner in which it has conducted itself over the years.

Its about damn time, too long have we let media influence us instead of consult us.

Having been accused of intercepting private voice-mails, hacking e-mails, and other such devious information gathering techniques, the media giant has been exposed recently due to an investigation by Scotland Yard. The aftermath, or fallout of which is occurring now (click here for the LA Times most recent story and related links).

To bring all of this into perspective, News Corp. owns most of the major publishinhg and media institutions on the UK (including The Times, The Guardian, News of the World, and SKY) whilst in America the corporation owns FOX News and its affialtes, The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal and many more. Not to mention other Australian and international holdings.

All of which stem as the brainchild of Rupert Murdoch, the founder and chairman of the media behemoth.

I can appreciate Murdoch as an entrepreneur and capitalist, as he has accomplished something magnificent in what he has amassed, but at what cost, he has lost me on his ethics.

Media today is increasingly scrutinized as being puppeted by advertisers, the government, or individual personas.I won’t even begin to touch on FOX News, and how it has already affected media and history today.

Instead my quarrel is with Murdoch, or rather the idea of media he has seemingly created, inadvertently or not in the minds of those connected to modern media.

Journalism should be about the reporting, and at one time it was. It shouldn’t be about turning a dime. However, it comes with the business that there is money to be made in advertisements and there is money to be made in what you report.

Fabricating news is different then reporting, when searching for a story, one can dig but not soullessly hunt for a story.

Examples of good use of media is the blitz put on in the LA area about the 405 freeway closure and “Carmageddon.” also the BP oil spill showed signs of honest reporting.

In both cases, as with most news stories there is money, reputation and/or lives at stake.

Not that News Corp. or Murdoch don’t care about the news or not report it, they do. However, it is the news they have sought, not as it happens.

There is a balance that must be struck, while the public needs to know, news need not be chased or created, stories should be reported unbiased and journalists should avoid agendas, just follow them.

This harder to accomplish as undercover reporting has led to much good in the past, thanks to such efforts that our oil actually gets changed now thanks to a news expose.

Regardless, if we continue down Murdoch’s path, how then will people trust news and to what avail will I report on things?

Hopefully you will continue to listen to us, and hopefully Murdoch does as well, less all us journalists not have jobs and the people not know what is happening.

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