Monday, June 8, 2009
Lakers (101), American journalists in North Korea (12 years)
As I made an (illegal) run for the Transit Long Beach bus No. 5, I was sadden to find out that the sentencing news of American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling to 12 years of hard labor was pushed to page A 14 of the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile bearded man Pau Gasol of the Lakers was featured on the cover. Must be nice to be a Lakers' player right now! Not so nice to be a passionate journalist.
Maybe I'm being too biased here. Who am I kidding, I'm totally being biased. I don't necessarily hate sports, but I just have never been a fan. Bad memories of being a chubby 12-year old getting picked last for flag football may have something to do with it. But to know that there are two individuals who are potentially facing "extreme labor under extremely brutal conditions" just for doing their job and pretend like this is just another bit of "world news" is very frustrating for a journalism student.
We live in a very strange world. Why aren't we crying out in the streets about this injustice the same way that we'll be rallying when the Lakers win the NBA Finals. Most importantly, why is the L.A. Times pushing such important stories to its middle pages? Is it money? Of course. Is it bad journalism? Claro que yes. There's a new breed of journalism out there that is probably answering this questions. Current TV, the San Francisco-based cable news outlet Lee and Ling were reporting for when they got arrested, is an example of the development of journalism. Is it good or bad development? I don't know. Former Vice President Al Gore co-owns the station and everyone should fear politicians. All I know is that good journalism is dying and we, as the heirs of an exploding mother Earth, must keep our ears and eyes open to what is really important. Or whatever.