Revealed: Why Journalists Are Leaving US Networks…

14/04/2014 22:33

By Christina Tobin

 

For too many years, journalism seemed to have lost its bearings and lost sight of the crucial function free and diverse speech plays in a democracy. That may finally be changing.

In 2012, Amber Lyon stood up against her employer CNN International for censoring iRevolution, a documentary she made about human rights abuses in Bahrain. She now has her own blog called amberlyonlive.com. In October 2013 she released a book of photojournalism, Peace, Love, and Pepper Spray, about the Occupy protests, and she will be speaking at the United We Stand festival in May at UCLA.

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(L to R) Amber Lyon and Abby Martin.

Abby Martin, host of “Breaking the Set” on Russia Today (RT) America network, is known for speaking her mind. Earlier this month, she voiced her opposition to Russia’s intervention in Crimea and criticized her employer for portraying Putin’s actions in a too favorable light.

While the US mainstream media, which generally supports U.S. intervention, initially praised Martin, they did an about face when Martin clarified that she also opposed U.S. interventions. In the end, Martin appeared to be the more principled journalist, consistently arguing against foreign intervention in civil wars.

Tellingly, she was not fired for speaking out. RT America backed Abby Martin’s editorial independence, in stark contrast to the corporate media who fired many anchors, hosts, and journalists for speaking out against the Iraq War.

It is, however, important to indicate here that there is a huge difference between merely working for the news and working for an opinion show at a network. Oftentimes they are inaccurately viewed as synonymous to each other.

In response to this brouhaha, Martin later filed a report on the serious problem in the U.S. of journalists being fired for speaking out. Joining her in the report, Amber Lyon advised the audiences who want honest media to follow the journalist not the media outlet, as seen on this interview.

Ben Swann (formerly with FOX), Cenk Uygur (formerly with MSNBC), Chris Hedges (New York Times), and Glenn Greenwald (formerly with The Guardian) are three prominent examples of journalists who have left their mainstream media outlets to pursue successful independent careers.

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Ben Swann, formerly of Fox 19, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Hopefully reinforcing the positive examples of these four courageous journalists will empower more to speak out. An alternative platform continues to rise for these honest journalists that now rivals the reach and scope of mainstream news networks.

Abby Martin, Ben Swann, and Amber Lyon will all be on stage at the United We Stand Festival on May 10th, 2014 at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. The revolution will not be televised – it will be mobilized.

 

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