Takes a big story to knock a flooding story off the front page, above-the-fold position of Fargo's daily nowadays.
The Iranian decision to charge Fargoan Roxana Saberi with espionage—a major ratchet-up from buying a bottle of wine, the first rationale offered for her detainment—is such a story.
Context on that espionage charge, based on one reporter's interviews with experts on the science of politics, reinforces my reaction yesterday to the first announcement of the charge: political gamesmanship likely in play.
Right now, I'm thinking about the important role we count on from so many in this delicate process. The Iranian lawyer representing Roxana, the US State Dept and Hillary Clinton who has taken a personal interest in this case, our Congressional delegation, journalist groups around the world on behalf of their sometime colleague, and ordinary folks raising one voice at a time.
And it's a delicate dance.
All the more important that we—and they—get it right.
Which brings me back to that local daily covering the story. We rely on our media for facts, for information and education that leads to reasoned understanding of issues and situations.
Yeah, we've all seen the traditional media folk who defensively point fingers and say the bloggers are all based on what they read in the papers or pick up from the electronic media.
To which I say, well...yeah. And your point is?
Because what too often gets lost in the fingerpointing and the media survival struggle is just how important that information, that education is. And too many of the media are too quick to cheapen, to denigrate, to tarnish their own product by failing to do their due diligence and just regurgitating one side's talking points or create colorful characters to shill and shrill with disdain and contempt for truth.
So when a local newspaper gets it right, does its job, does the reporting we should see as routine rather than exception in the media cosmos, I tip my hat—to the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Whether it's flood reporting or Roxana Saberi's story or whatever, they get it right most of the time.
It's not a Pulitzer, but today they get the Prairie Award = I'm a subscriber.
crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette
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