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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Page One

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

Ever hear of WikiLeaks? When the New York Times began publishing “The War Logs”, a collection of classified military documents in 2010, many decried this as unethical and unpatriotic. The New York Times, with members of the board from the same family that has owned it since 1896, went with the stories and documents anyway, maintaining its journalistic independence.
 
But what kind of journalism is WikiLeaks? It’s an online entity – no paper involved at this stage if at any. Is it a news source or a news organization? This question, and many more, is explored in this fascinating documentary that follows four Times journalists throughout 2010 and the morphing of a newspaper into a multiplatform source for news.
 
Nostalgia is present in the film as well; Carl Bernstein talks about how the Washington Post  brought down a president with its reporting on Watergate in the 1970s. Hard reporting, confirming details, checking sources.  Then there is embarrassment, but owning up to the worst in journalism, when New York Times reporter Judith Miller’s stories hyped Hussein’s search for weapons of mass destruction, information that proved to be false, but fed into President Bush’s decision to go to war.
 
The most interesting issue for me was about the face-off between news as business  for profit and news as an essential element of democracy. When the Tribune Company (that owns the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and other outlets and companies) filed for bankruptcy protection in December, 2008, the face-off shown in the film between businessmen who know nothing of journalism and journalists who do what they do as a calling, made me want to stand up and cheer for freedom of the press.
 
The question for the New York Times, and every other newspaper still in existence in the United States (so many have folded – literally), is how do you pay reporters and support news bureaus around the world? Print advertising diminished so fast that newspapers were left gasping for funds as loyal employees were laid off. You find revenue through online subscriptions and online advertising, in addition to publishing the news on paper.
 
“Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times” only touches the myriad issues and challenges to authentic journalism. The film is imperative for citizens who want to participate in a democracy rather than a political economy.
 
 


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Augustine of Canterbury: In the year 596, some 40 monks set out from Rome to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Leading the group was Augustine, the prior of their monastery in Rome. Hardly had he and his men reached Gaul (France) when they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons and of the treacherous waters of the English Channel. Augustine returned to Rome and to the pope who had sent them—St. Gregory the Great (September 3 )—only to be assured by him that their fears were groundless. 
<p>Augustine again set out. This time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, Bertha. Ethelbert received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within the year, on Pentecost Sunday, 597, was himself baptized. After being consecrated a bishop in France, Augustine returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands. As the faith spread, additional sees were established at London and Rochester. </p><p>Work was sometimes slow and Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the original Briton Christians (who had been driven into western England by Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure. Augustine failed to convince the Britons to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness, helping him evangelize their Anglo-Saxon conquerors </p><p>Laboring patiently, Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles—quite enlightened for the times—suggested by Pope Gregory the Great: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Augustine of Canterbury can truly be called the “Apostle of England.”</p> American Catholic Blog When we go through pain it is easy to feel abandoned or forgotten, but suffering doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us, He does. Even Jesus suffered, and He was completely without sin.

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