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June 09, 2005

Blogosphere Keeps MSM Accountable

Victor Navasky

In the latest example of the blogosphere holding the MSM accountable to the public, blogger David M questions the Columbia Journalism Review, which calls itself "the watchdog of the press." David M exposed the fact that for over a year this supposedly non-partisan media monitoring journal was receiving editorial advice and direction from Victor Navasky—without divulging this connection on its masthead or website.. Navasky is the editor and publisher of The Nation—a publication known for its strong ideological bias.

According to the CJR website:

The Columbia Journalism Review is recognized throughout the world as America's premier media monitor—a watchdog of the press in all its forms, from newspapers and magazines to radio, television, and cable to the wire services and the Web. Founded in 1961 under the auspices of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, CJR examines not only day-to-day press performance but also the many forces—political, economic, technological, social, legal, and more—that affect that performance for better or worse....

Presumably, that means CJR encourages transparency in the media. Yet clearly it seems to be the blogosphere that watches the MSM and its watchdogs, including CJR. For over a week after David M's exposure, CJR remained mum about its own editorial advisor. And while Power Line, Mediacrity and other bloggers pounced on the story, most of the mainstream media ignored it. (Notable exceptions were Editor & Publisher, the New York Sun and Fox News' Brit Humes.) Mediacrity today notes that Columbia Journalism Review's website has finally acknowledged Victor Navasky as its advisor, no doubt as a result of the blog-initiated pressure.

CAMERA has long indicated that media self-scrutiny about coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is sorely lacking.

With few exceptions, the journalistic take on the outcry has been self-justification, disparagement of critics and nearly non-existent substantive inquiry about issues raised.

No wonder!

Posted by rh at June 9, 2005 12:58 PM