Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Geopolitical Intelligence, Political Journalism and 'Wants' vs. 'Needs'

By David D. Judson Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Just last week, the question came again. It is a common one, sometimes from a former colleague in newspaperdom, sometimes from a current colleague here at Stratfor and often from a reader. It is always to the effect of, "Why is Stratfor so often out of sync with the news media?" All of us at Stratfor encounter questions regarding the difference between geopolitical intelligence and political journalism. One useful reply to ponder is that in conventional journalism, the person providing information is presumed to know more about the subject matter than the reader. At Stratfor, the case is frequently the opposite: Our readers typically are expert in the topics we study and write about, and our task is to provide the already well-informed with further insights. But the question is larger than that.
For as the camp of those who make their living selling -- or trying to sell -- words and images grows exponentially via the Internet, the placement of one's electronically tethered tent takes on a new importance. This campsite has its own ecology, something scholars have taken to calling the "media ecosystem." We co-exist in this ecosystem, but geopolitical intelligence is scarcely part of the journalistic flora and fauna. Our uniqueness creates unique challenges, and these are worth some discussion in this space that is generally devoted to more specific geopolitical themes.....To Read More.....

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