Saturday, July 16, 2005

In Yost's Defense

Most people probably have no idea who Mark Yost is, and until a couple of days ago neither did I, but Mr. Yost has recently managed to raise the ire of more than a few of his fellow journalists. His crime? He dared ask the question "Why they hate us" (registration may be required) with regards to why public opinion of the MSM has dropped so much in recent years.

While he doesn't go into too much detail in his article, he does raise some good points about how very little of the good news stories from Iraq ever make it into a MSM article while every negative story gets front page treatment. For instance, how many articles have you seen mentioning the fact that Iraqi power production is up from the pre-war level of 3,598 megawatts to over 4,500, allowing many more Iraqis to have access to electricity for the first time in over a decade or longer, or that current oil production levels are very near, and sometimes exceed, pre-war levels (limited mostly by terrorist activities). There's also the interesting fact that the number of both cars and telephones owned by Iraqis have more than quadrupled in the time since Saddam's removal.

All of these stories, and many more like them, get little or no attention in most major media outlets which was exactly Yost's point. You would think that this may cause some of his fellow members of the main stream media to take at least a small look at the way they've been reporting on things and wonder if they might be able to do a little more to balance things, but no, they choose instead to attack the messenger. Jeff Jarvis over a BuzzMachine has a good back and forth with Steve Lovelady, the managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review Daily. You'd think that someone who works at a Journalism Review would be a little more open to criticism of journalists. You can follow the links within the Jarvis piece to several other prominent media members and their attacks on Yost.

I just have one simple question; if journalists get this riled up over a simple article by a fellow writer, who are they to then claim that their actual reporting is free of bias and is in fact a truthful representation of what is going on.

Cam Edwards throws in his 2 cents over at his site, camedwards.com. I'd definitely advise reading the comments over at Buzz Machine and Cam Edwards. And check out Michelle Malkin for more insight and links on the Yost story.

Coincidentally enough, todays Day by Day was inspired by the whole Yost bruhaha.

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