From independent war correspondent Michael Yon,
The military was overwhelmingly open, though there was confusion about how to categorize me. I didn’t work for a paper or magazine, or television or radio. I would just say, “I am a writer.” Initially, when my blog became known, it lowered what little stock I had: Blogging was not exactly seen as the epitome of journalistic platforms.
Then, Rathergate and a few other major news scoops by bloggers started to change that perception, and a readership swelled around my work. Soon my photos and dispatches were being cited by mainstream sources around the world. Although I was offered numerous writing assignments and jobs, I declined them all. Some of the offers were quite good, but after struggling for many years to be independent, I came to see the value of that status. Not as a rabble rouser or as pugnacious individualist reflexively bucking “the system,” merely someone who could buck the system when it needed bucking.
Although I declined employment and advertisers, I never turned my back on “the system.” I wanted to be at arm’s distance, but not completely isolated. These decisions were good for business ethics but lousy for the bottom line. I had cut myself off from the normal methods for obtaining operating capital, and this left me broke. By mid-2005, despite the notoriety that my work was gaining, (it had now been used in nearly every major media outlet in the world) my bank account wasn’t the only thing going broke, my primary camera was crippled, and most of my work and communications gear was rapidly heading in the same direction.
Today readers who wish to hear anything other than PR for progressive government must support the independent media financially, over and above taxes for government broadcasters and government advertising in trusted progressive media.
We don’t know when our own well-being may depend on knowing the facts.
Many years ago, an ancestor of mine, living in Eastern Europe, sensed that all was not as the legacy media there claimed. He subscribed to English language newspapers from Canada (then not government media, really) and taught himself enough English to understand what they were saying. Things that no one who listened to hi local progressive PR media were hearing. Shortly afterward, he packed up his whole large clan and moved to a Western province of Canada. Many of the distant ancestors he left behind ended up in Siberia, where many died.
It is not reported that any apparatchik media were ever held to account for their share in what happened, or ever would or will be.
It’s up to us, really to decide whether we need to know what such sources are not telling us.
See also: From Canada: A Thank You To U.S. Service Members