Some of you laughed when I said that today, Deep Throat might have a blog. OK, I was wrong. Instead, it appears he’d have a vlog. MediaDailyNews has the story of a whistleblower who couldn’t get heard by MSM so he made a vlog and put it on YouTube and then he was heard.
THE WHISTLE-BLOWER WHO AIRED ALLEGATIONS on YouTube that Lockheed Martin sold the U.S. Coast Guard $24 billion worth of refurbished Coast Guard patrol boats with significant security flaws and other deficiencies says it was a decision of “last resort.” He turned to YouTube when the mainstream media dismissed his claims as “outlandish.”
“I contacted every single mass media outlet on television and probably 75 separate reporters at different newspapers,” says Michael De Kort, the 41-year-old former engineer for Lockheed Martin. De Kort was laid off by the military contractor days after he posted his 10-minute video on August 3, soberly detailing shortcomings in the boats’ security cameras, communications abilities, and cold weather capabilities. “They wouldn’t do the story.”
Following De Kort’s YouTube airing, however, his allegations were subsequently reported in the Navy Times, and then picked up by The Washington Post, NPR and other news organizations. The video has become the latest example of new media driving the old, cited by ABC News as “further evidence that the Internet has given the average person a way to be heard.”
Amen. But this drive me nutty:
Is this a case of citizen journalism sounding an alarm so loud that the mainstream media has to act? Not really, says one expert. “This is terrific, certainly if the guy is speaking the truth. But it’s not journalism,” says Edward Wasserman, Knight Professor of Journalistic Ethics at Washington & Lee University in Virginia. “It’s his story–his side of things. A journalist would take his claims and talk to other people to reach the truth.”
Journalism is a process, damnit. It starts with people who know or witness something we should know getting that out. And the official journalists sure as hell didn’t do their part in this story. So the guy got his story out the only way he could. I call that an act of journalism. So is the followup that finally came from the official journalists. In any case, journalism isn’t about stopping the news from coming out… not anymore.
Note, by the way, more coverage of the story, finally, from TV news than from print. I guess that’s because it’s a video story.