Thursday, January 15, 2009

Freedom Ain't Free...

For those of you who haven't read it, PLEASE read this editorial from the Sri Lanka Sunday Leader by its former editor Lasantha Wickrematunge. Wickrematunge was assassinated January 8. He wrote this column well before his death, and instructed that it was to be published in the event of what he correctly believed to be his inevitable murder.

Sri Lanka's war between the government and an ethnic minority called the Tamils has been going on for 25 years. Wickrematunge was a critic of the Tamils, but an even harsher critic of the government. This is what the press is supposed to do, not report on voyeuristic pop culture nonsense. That stuff has its place, but not in news media outlets of record.

I don't know what's sadder: the papers' focus on triviality, or the public's demand for style and schadenfreude over substance. People in other parts of the world are dying in a quest to bring the public truth. Why aren't we willing to die to read it?