Scahill: embed ourselves with victims of US foreign policy

One of America’s finest journalists, Jeremy Scahill, has won this year’s Izzy Award, named after muckraking journalist I.F. Stone.

He tells Alternet that independent reporting is more important than ever:

I would define an independent journalist as someone that’s totally un-embedded when it comes to their relationship with the powerful. In other words, you don’t get into bed with any political party. I’m not a Democrat; I’m not a Republican. I’m a journalist. It means that you don’t get in bed with the military, with the CIA, or wealthy corporations, and you don’t compromise your journalistic or your personal integrity in the pursuit of anything, including a story.

I believe that the way independent journalists are most effectively able to conduct their work is by maintaining their independence from the powerful. I don’t hob-nob with the powerful. I don’t count among my friends executives or other powerful people. I think it’s important for independent journalists to not be beholden to any special interests whatsoever.

On the flip side of that, it’s the role of independent journalists to embed themselves with the victims of U.S. foreign policy — in the case of U.S. journalists — or domestic policy. What I mean by that is to actually go out to where the people live who are most affected by these policies — be it Afghanistan or the slums of the United States. You have to be un-embedded from the powerful and you have to embed yourself with the disempowered, because I think part of our role as independent journalists is not only to confront those in power, but to give voice to the voiceless.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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