Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Fining the Press?

China is proposing a new law that would fine journalists and media organizations- including foreign journalists- for unauthorized or fraudulent reporting. According to the story as reported by MyWay News:

"News outlets that report emergencies without authorization or issue fraudulent reports would be fined up to $12,500 under the draft law being considered by Parliament."

While I am definitely against the reporting of emergencies without approval clause (that is simply yet another way for China to try to keep its private messes away from the rest of the world and their own people), the fraudulent reporting fines are a great idea. If possible, I think that ought to be implemented here in the United States as well.

Considering the disasters caused by the fraudulent reporting on Plamegate, the Hurricane Katrina fiasco in New Orleans and various other stories- the once-again false reports of an impending Fitzmas (the hope held by most pressies and Democrats that Karl Rove might be indicted, though no one has yet offered a good explanation of any crime he has committed) being merely the latest, the US press needs some kind of mechanism to keep them in check. Their idea of reporting seems to be "if it hurts America (or even better a Republican office-holder, especially the President), let it rip! If it hurts America's enemies (or God forbid, a Democrat), bury it and kill it quick!" Yet another reason why the world's journalists are seeing their credibility and ratings drop precipitously all over, and especially here in the United States.

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