From: Broughton, Northants, UK
Hi Morv (?) I know only a bit about newspapers in large countries like the US and Australia, but I do know that there is this syndication thing where people get the national and internatuional news from "local" newspapers, who in turn get it from a larger source. This can make it hard to know what the politics and biases of the various papers are. I know the US has some fine BIG newspapers with honourable histories, but as I undertsand it, a lot of people use the local papers. In the UK, because we are small, you tend to be able (if you are motivated) to reliably buy a newspaper that you can usually trust, and maybe shares a critical world view, but one to which you are sympathertic. We also have the "serious papers" and the "red tops" (the dreaded tabloids). One good side effect of this is that just as big TV news setups can be dangerous and be very biased, in the UK we still have things like the BBC, and also, in the intelligent papers, really hot commentators, reporters, and investigative journalists, who can still keep the TV on it's toes. I hear that FOX is a nightmare.
It is said that the days of good investigative journalism are passing, and I for one remember the hugely influential and controversial reports from the likes of the great John Pilger. I think we have this dangerous idea that the internet, and blogging, will do the job instead. It certainly does expose a lot of scandals, but if you want to go for the big structural stories of who does what, knows what, says what,and what thir motives are, then you need an intelligent and dogged journalist. Maybe newspapers have plenty of mileage in them, along with some of the more exciting documentary makers.
If anybody reading this has never heard of John Pilger I HIGHLY recommend looking him up. He is one hell of a phenomenon. I think that when he was most active, quite a few people would have preferred him dead. His reporting stretches all the way back to the Black Civil Rights struggle, mutinies in the US army in Vietnam, the inavasion of Timor by Indonesia, the horrors of Cambodia. He's Australian and he broke nearly all the best stories of the 20th century. A great, brave, radical humanitarian. To be honest, I'm surpised he's still alive! Even if you didn't agree with him, you had to respect him. he does have views on the current world situation but that's for another forum, which I will probably avoid.
As for the Martian, I suspect it's not one of Pilger's stories.
Incidentally, I'm not getting into any stupid arguments - especially when I have no idea what they're about.