From the series of interviews conducted by David Barsamian, which appear as a collection in the book Louder than Bombs ...
DB: What's wrong with journalism today?
John Pilger: Many journalists now are no more than channelers and echoers of what Orwell called the official truth. They simply cipher and transmit lies. It really grieves me that so many fellow journalists can be so manipulated that they become really what the French describe as 'functionaries', not journalists.
Many journalists become very defensive when you suggest to them that they are anything but impartial and objective. The problem with those words "impartiality" and "objectivity" is that they have lost their dictionary meaning. They've been taken over. "Impartially" and "objectivity" now mean the establishment point of view. Whenever a journalists says to me, "Oh, you don't understand, I'm impartial, I'm objective," I know what he's saying. I can decode it immediately. It means he channels the official truth. Almost always. That protestation means he speaks for a consensual view of the establishment. This is internalized. Journalists don't sit down and think, 'I'm now going to speak for the establishment." Of course not. But they internalize a whole set of assumptions, and one of the most potent assumptions is that the world should be seen in terms of its usefulness to the West, no humanity. This leads journalists to make a distinction between people who matter and people who don't matter. The people who died in the Twin Towers in the terrible crime mattered. The people who were bombed to death in dusty villages in Afghanistan didn't matter, even though it now seems their numbers were greater. The people who will die in Iraq don't matter. Iraq has been successfully demonized as if everybody who lives there is Saddam Hussein. In the buildup to this attack on Iraq, journalists have universally excluded the prospect of civilian deaths, the numbers of people who would die, because those people don't matter.
It's only when journalists understand the role they play in this propaganda, it's only when they realize they can't be both independent, honest journalists and agents of power, that things will begin to change.