Death in gambella: What many heard, what one blogger saw, and why the professional news media ignored it

Journal of Mass Media Ethics 22 (4):280 – 299 (2007)
Doug McGill published several articles about the massacre of 425 members of the Anuak tribe by the Ethiopian military in 2003 and 2004 on his Web site, The McGill Report. The mainstream news media ignored it. McGill's narrative demonstrates the impact of his reporting on the Anuak community worldwide, its impact on several beneficiary groups in the United States, and the lack of interest by the mainstream news media that failed to fulfill journalism's primary purpose. Two responses follow McGill's narrative. Jeremy Iggers examines the social and economic realities that make it difficult for journalists to fulfill their primary purpose. He suggests that partnerships between journalists and engaged citizens may provide a new model for journalism. Andrew Cline examines the rhetorical and ethical nature of the journalistic transaction between journalist and audience. Who counts as a journalist arises from the experiences of an audience that uses a journalist's work as a civically important text.
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