Tiananmen plus 20

A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times had a great blog post about the iconic image of Tiananmen Square– the unarmed man facing down a line of tanks.  It described four photographers' versions of the same photo, the differences between their angles, and what they went through to get their film out of China, in those days before digital photography.  I remember vividly watching the television coverage of the uprising — my sister was graduating that week, and so I remember getting dressed in a hotel room in Pittsburgh, watching the coverage unfold.

I'm not a basher of the "MSM," but it really does seem like the coverage of the protests in Iran is fundamentally not at the same level.  I think that I have to agree with Megan McArdle (gasp) — this is what happens when you close all your foreign bureaus.  There's still information coming out via tweets and other sources, but I'm having trouble piecing it together into a story, since I have a full-time job and can't spend my day online.  But it does seem like "At least one killed in election protests in Iran"  (which is the Washington Post's current headline) doesn't quite capture the moment of what's going on.

4 Responses to “Tiananmen plus 20”

  1. dave.s. Says:

    Here’s Howie Carr being triumphalist about the Globe: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1179158. We’ve had a nice long run of stuff journalists like to do (foreign bureau report on Iran, Tienanmen, Duke Cunningham getting money on the side) being paid for by selling things people liked/needed to read (classified ads, Macy’s ads, Ann Landers, sports). Now you can get all that from TV, Craigslist, and the cross subsidy for hard news is not there. So the foreign bureaus are gone.
    If the old days are not coming back, what will we do for news? Is it all Instapundit versus Huffington? The Globe wants a ‘deep pocketed vanity buyer’ – all those guys lost their shirts with Bernie Madoff and Alan Stanford.

  2. Phantom Scribbler Says:

    It gets better, about the Globe. The only serious journalism it manages these days is on the way major players in the local health care scene are driving up costs and creating inequity. So guess who one of the proposed deep-pocketed vanity buyers is? The chairman of the largest local health-care network. That would put a quick end to *that* kind of journalism, yup.

  3. Erika Says:

    The Globe does have a nice photo essay today…
    http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/06/irans_disputed_election.html

  4. urbanartiste Says:

    The one bright side of the age of technology is that maybe journalists will be in less danger if most of the visuals are transported via individual cell phones. However, the talent and interest in the writing will suffer. CNN and BBC News are the only two news sources I have watched that have foreign correspondents in Iran. There are probably more from other media, but I am not aware of them.
    I could be wrong, but just in the last few weeks newspapers have really taken a dive in quality. My local large paper, Newsday, has now turned into a minimal news publication. And has anyone noticed The New York Times. What a shock! The size is smaller for the Sunday supplement sections and they say the same amount of info is in there, but that is a lie. The magazine was missing quite a bit. It had been decreasing in size over the past two years, but this is ridiculous. Plus both papers raised their rates in the last year, Newsday possibly twice. I don’t mind paying a little more as long as the quality is consistent. And I am no fan of the new Metropolitan section in the Times on Sunday.
    I understand that the market has shifted online, but I never felt newspapers were an oversaturated market such as home and garden magazines. Local news gave it a need for existence.

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