By Dana Priest – For Normunds Mežviets, Latvia’s news media is just as important as the country’s energy supply.
If Russia were to impede the flow of natural gas to the Baltic nations, their economies would tumble, which is the reason that Lithuania built a floating liquefied-natural-gas terminal off its coast, in 2014, and recently signed its first deal to buy natural gas from the United States.
Viewing the professional media as a strategic asset, the pipeline through which credible information travels, had never occurred to me in my thirty-five years as a reporter. But it is certainly the view of authoritarian governments and those transitioning to authoritarianism.
In every nation on Earth where the government is moving from a participatory to an authoritarian form of rule, seizing the information pipeline is a prerequisite for staying in power. As a strategic asset, the media in these countries serve the national interests as defined by their rulers.
Should professional journalism in the United States be considered a strategic asset, too?
Perhaps that is why the Founders gave the unkempt, sometimes inaccurate news industry special protections against government interference, under the First Amendment. more> https://goo.gl/29wkD2