Journalist ethics
Posted by aogFriday, 17 October 2003 at 20:05 TrackBack Ping URL

This post by Instapundit caused me to think about why the infamous story of reporters who said that they wouldn’t warn US troops of an ambush by enemy troops. While many consider this despicable, there doesn’t seem to be much distate in the world of journalism.

The primary objection is usually that journalists shouldn’t be jinoistic, that they should put “journalism” above political loyalty. But what such journalists are really elevating over any patriotic concerns is their own careers. It’s stunning to see people who wouldn’t give up a front page story and their moment of fame to preserve the lives of US soldiers going on about chicken-hawks. In my view it’s not so much favoring the enemy as being unwilling to make any personal sacrifice on behalf of their country that leads to accusations of being “unpatriotic”. It’s not about going out “rah! rah!” for the US, but making having at least some concern for the well being of the country and one’s fellow citizens over personal gain.

Isn’t that the real difference between jingoism and patriotism? The former is about running down other countries while boosting your own while the latter is about making sacrifices on behalf of one’s country. Or more simply, jingoist exclude others while patriots join with their fellow citizens. Journalists who’d prefer buffing their public stature rather than helping the country deserve the unpatriotic aspersions cast at them.