March 1, 2005
“McJournalism” of the elite media
I am sad that I missed the talks given this last weekend at the University by Palagummi Sainath, one of India’s most respected journalists. If any of you saw him in Blegen Hall this weekend, let me know what you thought. Since I missed his talks, I went online in search of information to share with you about what Palagummi Sainath has to say.
Brian Kaller, in the “Pulse of the Twin Cities” magazine, wrote and excellent article about Palagummi Sainath that I thought was worth reading. Some people who read this will be outraged at the light it puts the wealthy in, and some people who read this will be outraged because they did not know this kind of poverty existed. And some people who read this will probably think the poor deserve what they get. Or maybe we agree with everything said, but feel like there is nothing we can do. But as Palagummi Sainath said, ‘seeing it is a choice.’ It’s easy to pretend poverty and abuse doesn’t exist when we live in our society, where the trend is moving toward shutting out the harsh realities of life.
In this article there is a good interview, so if you missed the talks at the University like I did, see for yourself what Palagummi Sainath has to say:
“Poverty is not a natural state. It is not a disease. It happens because of what human beings do to other human beings.”
“Take the gap between the richest fifth of the world and the poorest fifth. In the last 20 years, the gap between those groups more than doubled. In 1998, the top fifth consumed 86 percent of all goods and services. The bottom fifth had to make do with 1.3 percent.
It’s very simple—when you have gross inequality in any society, you do not have democracy. You cannot have democracy when a huge section of society’s best hope is to become the servants of another group. If you are absolutely poor and absolutely incapable, people stop treating you as a human being. You are a subspecies.”
I wish we had more reporters like Palagummi Sainath, and Brian Kaller. I especially liked this sentence, “In articles and lectures he has harshly criticized the “McJournalism” of the elite media, urging his colleagues to instead get out among the people and focus on giving a voice to the voiceless.”
Posted by carl1236 at March 1, 2005 8:24 PM | Love your Neighbor
Thank you so much for the compliment! You made my evening. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by: Brian Kaller at March 5, 2005 8:37 PM