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“Right now teachers are– understandably —  fighting for their rights, but not for the lights that need to be turned on for our youth. And journalists cover up what’s most important with their coverage of protest these days. Often unintentionally, simply because they’re on treadmills.” — Annapurna Tosca Sriramarcel bouncing off of an article by Ilana Novick

I’m going to soon — as per my most recent article — be interacting progressively with youngsters, their loved ones and colleagues respecting our collective crises on stage. So that my new community will have a shot at getting on board with new kinds of actions in solidarity in the so-called real world.

But I’m also (in the “real world”) — as a former investigative journalist, columnist and instructor of Journalism — going to attempt to teach proper reporting to the youth in my new adopted home area. And on that note, I give you what my friend Andrew J. Bacevich shared this morning, using an old Hitchcock film as a point of departure for making a very important point for concerned citizens:

I’m not a newspaperman, but I’m reminded of that wonderful 1940 Hitchcock movie Foreign Correspondent.  I expect you’ve seen it.  Europe is stumbling toward war and Mr. Powers, head honcho at the fictitious New York Globe, is tired of getting the same-old same-old from the people he has on the scene. “I don’t want any more economists, sages, or oracles bombinating over our cables,” he rages. “I want a reporter.  Somebody who doesn’t know the difference between an ism and a kangaroo.”

His rant requires deciphering. What Powers wants is someone with the combination of guts and naiveté to pose questions that more seasoned journalists trapped in a defective narrative of their own creation simply overlook.

So he pulls the decidedly unseasoned and spectacularly uninformed John Jones off the police beat, renames him Huntley Haverstock, sets him up with an expense account, and sends him off to take a fresh look at what gives in Europe.  Haverstock proceeds to unearth the big truths to which his more sophisticated colleagues have become blind.  Almost singlehandedly he alerts the American people to the dangers just ahead — and he also gets the girl.  Terrific movie (even if, given Hitchcock’s well-documented mistreatment of women, it may be politically incorrect to say so).

I’ve got much better films to recommend focusing on journalism, but Andrew touches upon a truly germane issue for our times here. One which can be addressed by encouraging inexperienced youth to do what their much older and more seasoned elders in the professional capacity of newspaper people are NOT doing. That is, tell the truth. To tell the truth that even their teachers are not delving into these days.  And not just about our wars, but about our very lifestyles during peacetime. [When did we last have that?]

Kids could kick us into a new gear respecting reporting on the major matters of our time, our collective crises. For because parents love their children… they tend to listen to them, take quite seriously criticism from them that they would not even consider if leveled at them by an adult. “You shouldn’t smoke, mom!”  “You’re drinking too much, dad, and I want you to spend more time with me at home.” That sort of thing is what I’m talking about.

But I’m talking about getting our youth to do too what professional journalists and their own parents don’t seem capable of doing because of the treadmills they’re on. Youngsters can command attention. And they hold the potential to make a serious difference within a given family. Worldwide.

Respecting what sources of news loved ones listen to every day. By not “respecting” what’s being taken in mindlessly while on treadmills… courtesy of paper mills churning out pablum.

The life they save may be their own.

Richard Martin Oxman is part of the Oxman Collective, some writers for which are spotlighted above with links to their CC articles. They can all be reached, including the author, at aptosnews@gmail.com.

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