The Day That Journalism Died
That was the day that Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens died in a plane crash.
For songwriter Don McClean the tragedy symbolized the “loss of innocence” of early rock and roll.
For me, August 30, 2014 was the day that journalism died.
That was the day that Charles Bowden passed away.
It was also the day my heart stopped functioning properly, quite literally broken by the news.
Bowden hated the term journalist…he was a reporter.
“I don’t keep a (expletive) journal”, he would growl.
He had contempt for American corporate journalism and “journalists” because they were mouthpieces for power…while in Latin America reporters were giving their lives to speak truth to power.
Bowden reported what he saw and he sought the truth no matter the cost to himself.
He was unafraid of those in power and he couldn’t be bought…he died almost penniless.
He raged against falsehood and injustice…”attention must be paid” he said, echoing the words of another writer.
His concern was for the victims of power, not power itself.
He was, I think, the last of his kind.
That is why my mourning has known no end.
I mourn especially because the Christian community has never had a Bowden to lose and we are “informed” by spineless toadys whose only goal is to create web traffic, sales, and income.
Christianity Today, The Christian Post, and the Assist News Service, are just a few examples of the baptized media whores who prop up and protect the wolves that are eating evangelicalism from the inside out.
They do so to protect the bottom line, not the people of God.
“Investigative reporting” is left to that most loathsome of creatures, the blogger.
Contrary to popular belief, bloggers don’t have “organizations”, nor do they have expense accounts, nor do they profit from their work unless they sell out the same way that “legitimate” journalism does.
They don’t often do so…they rarely have the opportunity to do so if they wished to.
When the last stories about Saeed Abedini and Gospel For Asia are finally written they will be an embarrassment to power and those who wrote about it in the mainline Christian media.
Those stories will also be an embarrassment to all those in power who covered for them.
I believe they are already an embarrassment to God.
In the end, it will have been the blogger who uncovered the truth and wrote the real stories.
Their work will be stolen and unaccredited to them,rewritten and published in corporate media when safe and profitable to do so.
It will have been written out of a love for truth and the people of God who should have been protected.
It will have cost the writers, not profited them.
Perhaps “journalism” isn’t dead yet after all…God bless my fellow broken hearted bloggers in arms.