United Front on War Coverage

It seems inevitable that the United States will soon be engaged in warfare against Iraq. It’s also likely that the mainstream media, as in the Gulf War and in the military actions of the 1980s, will be reduced to water-carriers for the military. It will be even worse now, considering that the Bush administration equates criticism with treason. The alternative press in America should recognize that we have a unique mission – an opportunity or obligation, depending on your perspective – to vigorously cover this oncoming war in a way that the timid mainstream media can’t or won’t.

Several journalists at alternative and progressive publications, as well as academics, have talked about what we can do. It’s my feeling, and that of a few others, that we should cooperatively field a team or teams of reporters to Iraq and, perhaps, elsewhere in the Middle East. No doubt, this would be an expensive enterprise. But if we don’t take the initiative, we’ll be reduced to grousing as spectators to what may be the most important news events of our time.

It’s my feeling that we should put some of those profits from the sex and cigarette ads to work. If enough papers participate, the cost could become palatable to even the more tight-fisted publishers.

I’m not writing in any official capacity of the Creative Loafing group of papers. Indeed, it may be a hard sell to my corporate bosses. But I’m willing to use whatever clout I have in our group to get support for this project.

If you’re interested in joining this discussion, please contact me at: john.sugg@creativeloafing.com or at 404-614-1241.


John Sugg ______________________________________________________

“Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.”