Friday, January 13, 2006

Michael Yon Needs Help

Michael Yon, a former SF Operator turned freelance reporter, is in the States and has made an intersting observation, and is calling for help from retired military people:
The difference a year can make is staggering. One year ago, the gap between the ground reports from Iraq from military friends prompted my travel to Iraq to see for myself just what was happening. The dispatches posted to these pages over the ensuing months were an attempt to bridge that gap. Now that I’m back in the United States for a time, trying wring every bit of information of the war out of the news, only to come up dry most days, it’s become clear that in just under a year, the media gap has morphed into a chasm. Before this thing becomes a black hole, it’s time for a few good men and women to put their military experience and expertise to use in an operation that can create an alternative channel that will allow frontline information to break through and be heard.
Here's the post with his plea for those with connections to the real men and women on the front lines to step up to the plate and become the conduits for the news to flow from our service members. Think of it as a call to arms, to quit grumbling about those PAO types who were good for nothing, and become one. Who can sniff out a (let's be polite) "fake" story better than those who have been there, and also, who can know it's a good story for the same reasons? Most likely you also have connections to friends and family who are in some far flung corner of the world on a deployment, doing the hard work, and not having it reported, at all, let alone the way it is. Here's the unabridged direction from Michael:
Call for Volunteers: Any retired military personnel interested in the Frontline Forum, please email to, and put “Volunteer” in the subject heading. Please describe briefly your military experience and an estimate to the number of hours per week you can spend reading stories from troops. If you have skills that are in some way related to this project, please include a description of those skills in your email. Let us know what you can do and how much of it you are willing and able to do. Someone will get back to you soon. While the Volunteers organize, we’ll build the forum, network with others who are in touch with our troops, and when all is ready, we can turn on the faucets and open the flow of frontline news.
On the Rush Limbaugh show a few days ago a caller made a great point: Many years from now, the people researching what this time was all about will pull up articles from the NYT and Washington Post. He was a little discouraged, saying "they have alredy beat us, because they have written it the way they want and now it's history." Michael's call for volunteers may well be a way to counter the press bias for those of two and more generations down the road, who will no longer have the view of those who were there. So...time to quit grumbling about the Has Been Media and get out to poke a stick in thier eye, with that valuable tool called "truth." Thanks to Little Green Footballs for the Open Thread! Can you help?

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