The purpose of journalism is to shine a light on the happenings, occurrences, and deals that take place on a daily basis throughout the world and universe. In a derivated summary of the works of American writer Finley Peter Dunne, it is the role of journalism to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
New details surrounding the Washington Post, the CIA and Amazon make it much more difficult for Dunne’s vision to become a reality.
With what seems like a never-ending amount of NSA revelations that continue to point to the erosion of the Fourth Amendment and our privacy, it’s a disheartening sign to not only see that the CIA has made a deal with tech-giant Amazon involving cloud storage, but that Amazon’s owner, Jeff Bezos, also runs the Washington Post.
If the Post ignores normal routines of disclosure on articles involving the CIA and the intelligence community, then the paper will no doubt be compromised. It’s hard to think that the paper isn’t already in a poor position to do its civic duty.
The CIA, which operates through misinformation and deception (sometimes for the right reasons and other times not), has had a close relationship with journalists and other media in the past.
When Carl Bernstein left the Washington Post in 1977, he released CIA documents that revealed that hundreds of journalists had done the work of the Central Intelligence Agency as retold by author and Huffington Post contributor Norman Solomon.
With public concern over the NSA and its desire to request user information from cell phone, social media and tech giants becoming more prominent occurrence, these revelations most certainly don’t alleviate any worries.
We need journalists now more than ever to continue reporting at the local level despite newspapers still trudging through this unforgiving environment and economy.
We need newspapers and news stations to cover West Virginia oil spills, North Dakota oil tanker derailments, the fast-tracking of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other issues that affect millions but are unfortunately given little time by corporate television news.
The increasingly more common occurrence of government and corporate collusion is a troubling trend that is slowly eating away of at the fabric of our society.