By Dan Rather, Reader Supported News
On November 22, Dan Rather received the Committee to Protect Journalists' Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for 2011 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. What follows is the speech he gave upon accepting the prestigious award. -- JPS/RSN...
Of course freedom of the press and of speech both come with pitfalls. People can peddle opinions as if they were facts. Those armed with the big, expensive megaphones drown out those blowing whistles.
But now, we see our fellow citizens taking to the streets. And, that my friends, is our cue to get back to work. As the People of our nation begin rising up, they expect the business of news to be about inquiry and accountability.
And, luckily for us, we can still do that ... but it may not be within the confines of big corporate media. As you know, we are living in an age when big money owns everything ... including the news.
That cash bought a lot of silence for a long time. Enough time for unchecked power to get this country tangled into messes all around the world. We all know that money talks. But, so do the people. They tire of conflicts at home and abroad ... conflicts that avert our eyes from the corruption and callowness that does little more than spill our blood and misspend our treasure.
"We had fed the heart on fantasies," wrote William Butler Yeats, "the heart's grown brutal from the fare."
In other words, we have gotten used to it.more...>>