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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Life as if truth matters: An independent journalist in Cuba

Columnist Val Prieto provides a glimpse into the difficult life of an independent journalist in Cuba, comparing it with the swank life of the legacy media.

He works by candlelight not because of the frequent "apagones" – power outages – but because any light shining though his window late at night is but a beacon to those who want to silence him. It would serve as proof that he’s up to no good by the standards of his government and an excuse to be picked up and taken into custody for "dangerousness."


Right now there remain at least two dozen independent journalists incarcerated in Cuba simply because they dared speak the truth. Some have been locked away since 2003, still in the infancy of their 15 or 20 year sentences. Truth has made them suffer beatings, torture and malnutrition. Truth has mocked, ridiculed, and subjected them to abject horrors and indignity.

By contrast, the legacy mainstream North American media:
There are many journalists from around the world in Havana. CNN is there. Reuters, the AP. They live comfortably in hotel rooms and work in comfortable in air-conditioned offices full of amenities. They have the copy machine. They have the faxes and computers and printers and scanners. They have staff and editors. What they don’t have is the security to report the truth. They trade that truth away, to keep a bureau and a staff. They walk on eggshells when they should be stomping the ground beneath them with integrity and zeal.

So there's the price tag. You sell out, and therefore you cannot report the things that really matter. Who, hearing this, should ever again care what Mr. Big Hair has to say about Cuba - or anything else?

I imagine that, after the apocalypse, there will be a lone j somewhere, typing on a hillside, hoping he can still find a working phone booth to contact his editor, assuming the paper will still go to press.

The celebrity news anchors will be buried under tonnes of boxes of top hair cosmetics in their favorite spas.

Yes, there is indeed intelligent design.
If you like this blog, check out my book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.

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