Who’s watching the media?

My latest column for New Matilda discusses the failures of the corporate media and an alternative interpretation – Medialens:

Media writer for the Washington Post, Howard Kurtz, recently argued that the Washington press corps was suffering its greatest crisis in living memory. Aside from uncritically accepting Bush Administration spin on Iraq’s supposed WMD, Kurtz argued that far too many reporters were getting ”˜cosy’ with Administration sources and ”˜retailing their version of history,’ ”˜pulling their punches with the White House because of concerns about losing access’ and ”˜meeting secretly with the President while taking a vow of silence about the off-the-record chats.’

Kurtz warned that establishment media — of which he is a central figure — was in danger of forgetting its primary mission, namely, holding governments to account.

But what if the corporate media is structurally incapable of achieving this goal? Medialens is a UK-based group aimed at challenging ”˜the distorted vision of the corporate media.’ Their new book, Guardians of Power (Pluto Press, 2006) is a riveting analysis of the failures of contemporary journalism.

My New Matilda archive is here.