El vigilante dormido de Estados Unidos

Este mes me quiero desviar de los temas económicos habituales y enfocarme en cambio en el sistema por el cual la prensa –principalmente la estadounidense- cubre actualmente a los gobiernos. Pero tal vez esta no sea una gran desviación ya que la conducta de los medios no sólo afecta a la política sino también a la economía.

Consideremos una columna escrita en marzo por el director editorial del Washington Post, Fred Hiatt, en donde ofrece una pequeña e insuficiente disculpa por la cobertura y evaluación de la administración Bush realizadas por el periódico. Según Hiatt, “abordamos esos temas”, como el de si la administración Bush pensó debidamente su aventura en Iraq, “pero sin el vigor necesario”. En otras palabras, Hiatt se reprocha a sí mismo y a su organización el haber informado lo correcto, pero sin la fuerza suficiente.

Ahora pensemos en el comentario del ex editor del New York Times, Max Frankel, sobre cómo la ecología de las filtraciones de los medios en Washington es saludable porque “la mayoría de los reporteros no se limitan únicamente a repetir perezosamente las filtraciones.” En cambio, “las usan como cuñas para extraer otros secretos” y así vigilan al gobierno. Puede que el sistema “sea desordenado y cree confusión” pero “el precio que la sociedad tiene que pagar por el beneficio de obtener filtraciones esenciales sobre el gobierno es tolerar que el gobierno abuse de ellas para desinformar.”

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