04.09.2007

 

Pressens stilling i samfunnet 1850 – 2007

 

Vi har nå fått se TV2 i aksjon i Dykker-saken, Amelia Riis-saken og nå sist Aker/Kværner-saken. I tillegg pågår en større sak i Sverige omkring pressens mørke side.

 

Hva er pressens stilling i samfunnet, og hvor stor makt har pressen? En av de største og mest anerkjente journalister mot slutten av 1800-tallet, Managing Editor i New York Times, John Swinton, uttalte følgende under en bankett til ære for ham:

“There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.

There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twentyfour hours my occupation would be gone.

The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?

We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”[1]

Lite synes å ha endret seg på de 150 år som har passert siden uttalelsen falt.

Herman J Berge
Luxembourg

1) Labor's Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, published by United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, NY, 1955/1979

 

 

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[1] Labor's Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, published by United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, NY, 1955/1979