Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Opinion

December 3, 2013

Dogged journalism is a blessing, not a curse

(Continued)

Although many commentators have raised questions about Snowden’s leaks, the journalists who have dug into the NSA files he provided are doing the job that democracy depends on them to do: getting information that details government actions and prompting a badly needed debate. It’s one of the most important ways to hold government accountable for the use of its power. Our ability to judge whether it acted appropriately or abusively and to act as responsible citizens is buttressed by journalists who are skilled at finding and keeping confidential sources, who know how to dig through copious records or amounts of data, who have learned how to build a story from a tip or a leak, and who are accurate, honest, rigorous and fair-minded.

Now, I don’t want to whitewash what’s happening in the media right now. There are plenty of worrisome trends. As a whole, media outlets are less interested than they used to be in accuracy, objectivity, and solid coverage, and more interested in advocacy, persuasion, and entertainment. Even at the largest papers, cutbacks have reined in their ability to cover the world and to launch expensive investigative work. The recent rise of alternatives - such as the non-profit ProPublica and the investigative reporting venture just announced by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar - may go some distance toward recovering what’s been lost, but they’re also an acknowledgement that we have lost ground.

And we’ve done so precisely at a time when we face a real challenge in constraining the reach of government into our lives. Its powers of monitoring and surveillance are astonishing and are being used aggressively. It is classifying secret information wholesale, it is vigorously seeking to prosecute leaks, and it is trying to intimidate journalists: all of these are signs of a national security state that is determined to bulk up.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Humane society support must be ongoing Dear Editor,There are two words that are short and simple. Two words that can mean the world to some, but yet sometimes cannot seem like enough. Those two words are “thank you.”The Franklin County Humane Society is not only thankful, but so very grat

    August 1, 2014

  • Wanted: concerned board candidates The Batesville Community School Corp. board has an important duty to fulfill – appoint a District 3 trustee due to Chris Lowery’s exit because of a conflict of interest with a new job. The new trustee must be named by remaining board members within 3

    August 1, 2014

  • A larger energy bill is on the way If there is one monthly bill you can count on, it’s your electricity bill. I think Hoosiers across the state can agree, electricity is something we can’t do without. And there is only so much we can save by using less. Every additional dollar spent o

    August 1, 2014

  • Expiring term heightens urgency INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law and thus allow children of undocumented immigrants t

    August 1, 2014

  • Children here are waiting for mentors From the seat I occupy every day, I have a window to the future of Greater Cincinnati’s children.I see children who want to do well in school and who want to stay out of trouble. I see parents who want to help their children, and are willing to reach

    August 1, 2014

  • Freudenfest is admirable Oldenburg has been picturesque ever since the village acquired its church steeples so many years ago.But a great town is not born, it’s made. The reputation the burg enjoys today – a striking German heritage community with extremely friendly people –

    July 29, 2014

  • Game raises $7,500 for Safe Passage Game raises $7,500 for Safe Passage Dear Editor,I recently helped organize an event to raise money for Safe Passage Inc., a nonprofit domestic violence prevention service headquartered in Batesville. With support from the community and countless volu

    July 29, 2014

  • Looking back 25 years agoRandy Records was named Batesville High School head football coach.The Batesville Community School Corp. trustees named two new principals: Kathy Hennon, Westwood Elementary School, and Charles “Chuck” Mason, Batesville High School.Constr

    July 29, 2014

  • Border crisis must be solved More than 60,000 unaccompanied alien children – mostly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – have been apprehended on America’s southern border during this fiscal year. Another 40,000 family members – one or both parents traveling with their chi

    July 29, 2014

  • Opinion page policy outlined The Herald-Tribunewelcomes your views. Please make your letters to the editor short and concise, and be sure to include your name and a telephone number where we can contact you to verify the origin of the letter. The submitted material should also c

    July 29, 2014