I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Don't call it journalism - continued

I have discussed the sorry state of the 4th estate here and how this played out in the coverage of the death of Anna Nicole Smith yesterday. Over at Editor and Publisher tells us about a "real" tragic death that went unreported yesterday:
Young Woman Meets Tragic End -- No, It's Not Anna Nicole
NEW YORK A young woman met a sudden and tragic end, it was reported on Thursday, leaving her family and people who knew her in great distress.

No, it's not Anna Nicole Smith. Her name is Jennifer Parcell, and she died in Iraq. But you'd be lucky if you could find any mention of her, amidst the front page and wall-to-wall media coverage of the likely drug-related death of "starlet" Smith.

In fact, as of noon today, there were only seven press mentions, all in the area of her native Maryland, according to a Google search.

In contrast to, say, Anna Nicole Smith, Parcell seemed to have a serious side. Even in Iraq, she was managing to take a course at the University of Maryland, the Baltimore Sun relates, adding: "Helping others was routine for the Marine corporal. She sponsored an African child through a mission charity. And when Pakistan was devastated by an earthquake last year, she and others in her unit were dispatched to the scene. She earned the Humanitarian Service Medal for her efforts."
Now I would imagine that we will be hearing about Ms Smith for days or even weeks unless of course her death can somehow be tied to the Bush administration. Now poor Jennifer Parcell was only a good human being who was doing what she thought was right - one of over 3100 such Americans we are encouraged by the press and the administration to not think about too much. Too bad that the 14 seconds the NBC Nightly News was not enough to mention Jennifer. I'll do my part, this post will have a tag for Jennifer Parcell but not for Ms Smith. Thank you Jennifer, you are a hero.

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