Access journalism taken to its limit

Access journalism is why you hear flattering personal stories about rich people, and more realistic stories about people with less money or influence. Reporters need access to them, and if they don’t like what you write, they won’t talk with you, or no access. It sometimes applies to whole countries. If China doesn’t like what you write about them, they’ll kick your reporters out of the country.

Journalists don’t generally write about access journalism. It’s the environment, the context. You don’t talk about it because it’s everything and everywhere.

So it’s unusual for the NY Times to run a piece about it.

The story is about Bloomberg reporters working on government corruption in China. “Mr. Winkler defended his decision, comparing it to the self-censorship by foreign news bureaus trying to preserve their ability to report inside Nazi-era Germany, according to Bloomberg employees familiar with the discussion.”

Winkler is the Bloomberg editor who killed the China corruption story.

It’s only natural as our economies integrate, so do our political systems. This evening-out is probably the larger force behind the move of the US to become a surveillance state. If our trading partners do it, the incentive is there for us to.

Remarkable story, totally worth reading.


About Dave Winer

Dave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.
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