One of the great tragedies of recent times is the death of quality journalism; so much of the press is given over to hype, scandal, trivia, or spin, so much of the press is owned and controlled by so few politically powerful magnates, there appears little room for investigative reporting or thorough analysis. There are a few, inspiring exceptions.
John Pilger has an incisive writing style, a sharp focus, and apparently endless energy. For years, now, he has been castigating our political and economic masters, exposing the abuses of power and uses of corruption which dominate international relations and internal politics. In his "New Rulers", Pilger shines his investigative light into areas the press is usually happy to abandon to darkness.
It's a well judged package - looking at the plight of the indigenous population in Australia, at ethnic conflict in East Timor, at Turkish abuses of Kurds, at Western abuses of Iraq and Afghanistan, and at the tensions of the Middle East. It's a world in which globalisation is not just a word, it's a world where globalisation means manipulation of silence - thousands of people will die today, tomorrow, and the next day because it is to the advantage of the West and the political status quo.
This is a timeless enquiry. The abuses Pilger exposes have not gone away. They will not go away until investigative journalism, or crusading journalism of Pilger's quality becomes the yardstick by which we judge our newspapers, magazines, television and radio coverage. Implicit in Pilger's analysis is the recognition that we, each of us, have to get up and make our voices heard. We have to demand greater press freedom, we have to demand better standards, and we have to take to the streets and ballot boxes and protest ... until people like Blair and Bush are forced to take note and not simply try to explain away the suffering of the world as a necessary toll in their war against 'terrorism'.