The Magazine


Sep 29, 1997, Vol. 3, No. 03 • By STEPHEN BATES
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The first chapter of Sentinel Under Siege features an epigraph from Tom Stoppard's Night and Day, saying in part: "Information is light. Information, in itself, about anything, is light. That's all you can say, really." Two lines uttered by a different character in Stoppard's play may bear more directly on Flink's effort. "Junk journalism," the reporter declares, "is the evidence of a society that has got at least one thing right, that there should be nobody with the power to dictate where responsible journalism begins." And, referring to a would-be media reformer, he says: " What Dick wants is a right-thinking press -- one that thinks like him."

Stephen Bates, literacy editor of the Wilson Quarterly, has written widely about journalism and politics.