Reporters Without Borders: pro-USA

Lueko Willms Lueko.Willms at
Thu Jul 17 03:28:46 MDT 2003

  in reply to: 

# From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at>
# To: Emily Jacquard <rsfcanada at>, marxism at,
# Subject: Re: Reporters Without Borders: pro-USA
# Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 11:13:38 -0400
> You campaign against 
> reporters being tortured or locked up, but you don't seem at all 
> bothered by the power of the US media to control information 
> through the power of the dollar. 
> As A.J. Liebling once said, "Freedom of the press 
> is guaranteed only to those who own one." 

   That is exactly the "freedom of the press" which RSF campaigns for
-- a press completely owned by capitalist corporations who can buy
media whores to write what is in the interest of the capitalist
class, without any constraints relating to the interestests of the
working majority of the population. 

   I have never heard that RSF would protest against the
victimization of a journalist by his or her employer, like the
journalist at the SWR (SüdWestRundfunk) in Germany, who dared to step
out of the prescribed phraseology during the US aggression against
Jugoslavia -- he even dared to raise doubts about the alleded Racak

  According to RSF, substantial amount of public ownership (well in
the regular sense, i.e. not private ownership) is already a threat to
their idea of "freedom of the press". But in many countries, the
publicly owned media (TV and radio) are often an area with more
liberties for journalists, at least they are being perceived as such,
like in Germany the publicly owned TV and radio chains compared to
the privately owned where journalists are much more subjected to the
chase for the quota.  

  They obviously also view the "the existence of a regulatory body"
as a negative sign limiting their concept of "freedom of the press".
What I have not seen being protested is the imposition of a uniform
phraseology without a state body imposing it, like the sudden change
in Germany from "Einwanderung" (immigration) to "Zuwanderung" (which
would also be translated to 'immigration', but more with the meaning
of 'newcomer') in all media and the public discourse. It was amazing;
suddenly nobody (with very few exceptions) spoke of "Einwanderung"
any more, replacing it by "Zuwanderung", and nobody ever discussed
the change. It was like the Orwellian Ministry of Truth putting the
"Einwanderung" in the memory hole. 

>  Where do you people get 
> your funding from, by the way? CPJ at least lists its corporate 
> sponsors. With outfits like Hachette Inc. doing your public 
> relations, I assume that your bills must be substantial.

  When you search the Marxmail archives you should find a letter from
"narconews" (probably posted by Fred Feldman) to RSF concerning their
worries about "freedom of the press" of the few private monopolies in
Venezuela, but disregarding completely the threats to the small
independent publications and their journalists. 

  The writer of that letter asserted that 42% of the budget of
"Reporter sans frontières" is covered by the Commission of the
European Union... a body which is ferociously for the wildest
privatization. The "about us" page at RSF's website does not say
anything about how their expenses are covered, only that "Reporters
Without Borders is an association officially recognised as serving
the public interest" -- well which class' public interest? 

   The famous Russian bolchevik Leon Trotsky once wrote: "The
interest of the nation can only be formulated as the interests of the
ruling class or the class striving for power"*). 

Lüko Willms 

*) My translation from German to English... 

More information about the Marxism mailing list