Wednesday, October 25, 2006
What Are Oregonians Doing?
I have some old issues of the Oregonian from World War II. The Oregonian actually printed a servicemen’s edition which was miniaturized to be more easily sent to servicemen. That edition carried news of the war effort (which often was the front page headline story), the editorial page, some national and local news, sports news, and, of course, the comics.
A servicemen’s edition wouldn’t even be considered today. A main feature of the WWII edition was news of what US and allied troops were doing. But one rarely hears from today's Oregonian what US and allied troops, not to mention Oregon troops, are actually doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. From the news coverage one assumes they are doing, well, nothing--except to die now and again.
Journalists didn't cover WWII, as opposed to Iraq and Afghanistan, because it was safe. In fact the WWII issue that I highlight in the photo reports on the death of war correspondent William Makin, who “died Tuesday of wounds suffered while reporting United States army attacks in the Cherbourg peninsula.”
If there are modern “war correspondents”, none of them seems to write well enough to get a story published very often on "United States army attacks" in Iraq and Afghanistan. It looks like war correspondent covering US troops is no longer the place where the media puts ace reporters. If you want a quick trip to oblivion, sign up for that job.
The place for quick advancement is to be embedded, not with US troops, but with terrorists and insurgents. When they capture and kill, it gets headlines. When our troops capture and kill, it doesn’t even merit a yawn.
Except to the folks back home. I have yet to talk to an Oregonian who says they would not be interested to hear what Oregon servicemen and women are encountering and accomplishing. I bet none of those interested Oregonians would be turned off if the reports were published in a daily section on the front page.
To the Oregonian: How many of the enemy have our troops captured or killed in Iraq and Afghanistan today?
It looks like the people not interested in US (and Oregon) troops are reporters and editors. What a sad commentary.