Building on Koppel

I assigned this essay by Ted Koppel, And Now, A Word for our Demographic, to the writing class. We discussed it yesterday, and today a student in the Intro to Mass Media class posted a link to this sharp article, ACCESS TO THE DEBATE: PUBLIC EDUCATION IN A POST-POST COLD WAR WORLD by Robert Nolan. The opening paragraph reads:
“SINCE THE EVENTS OF September 11, 2001 ushered in a “second” post cold war period, Americans have failed to reengage with the world at a level sufficient to maintain its role as a leader of democratic states. As potentially dangerous doctrines are put to the test with a largely consensual and uninformed pubic, it is imperative that educators and concerned citizens examine the role of the media, think tanks and the academy itself in shaping public attitudes towards America’s role in the world. Only by creating a richer, more accessible and more internationalist vernacular that draws on common values can the United States continue to lead the increasingly globalized and democratic world it is largely responsible for creating.”
Koppel’s main point is that journalism is supposed to tell us “what is important”, not cater to the whims of consumerist/profitistic desire. Interestingly, he concedes that the most practical strategy might be to use the economic power of the largest demographic, e.g., to work within the paradigm because “That’s the way it is.” Yet, the title of his piece suggests a more subversive motive. What “word” is he trying to spread?

One thought on “Building on Koppel”

  1. Journalists should be independent!!! Not bought by powers to do their bidding and tell their versions of truth. I saw an interview with Robert Fisk Middle East Correspondent. That man is a journalist…. And has values and emotions.” (posted by Steph from an email by someone who goes in for the more direct experience of telepresence)

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