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From: "Michael Peck" <email@example.com> > Good journalism is supposed to go beyond bureaucratic jargon > and cover your you-know-what conclusions. I am not an expert on No Gun Ri, but this comment bring a larger historiography question to the point. Whatever happened at No Gun Ri, it is no longer the province of journalists, but of _historians_. Journalism allows a margin of error that history cannot tolerate, the justification for that is that Journalism is immediate, there may not be time to gather all the facts on unfolding events. Moreover, Journalism is driven by sensationalism and scandal. The journalist looks for the 'scoop' and jealously hoards his sources against his fellow journalists. Journalism, constrained by time, tends to accept sources at face value, especially witnesses. And Journalists. Constrained by time and writing for an impatient audience, spend little time or effort on understanding the context of their story. They do not place it within the framework of larger events. Historians, in contrast, are _not_ driven by immediate concerns. They can, and should take as long as needed to ferret the truth of an event. They are not deadline driven. Historians should not be driven by sensation or scandal, but by historical importance and relevance. Many 'sensational' stories are interesting, but they are not historically relevant. Historians do not hunt for the 'scoop', nor do they hoard sources (or should not). On the contrary, the more historians who examine a given issue, the better. Historians spend a great deal of time carefully examining their sources, _especially_ witnesses, and especially witness speaking long after the fact. And every historian must answer the question of context fully. Anyone who has worked with veterans and oral history understands the ways in which war stories shift and then solidify into myth. Last year I interviewed some Medal of Honor recipients, these were all men who had been formally interviewed about these specific events many times. It was clear that they were reciting the 'Story', something honed, unintentionally, over the years through subconscious readings of what the listener found interesting or shocking. Our job would be easier if everyone possessed total, objective recall, but we do not. That is why history is difficult, and why journalism cuts that corner to save time. Finally, as I mentioned I am no expert on No Gun Ri, but I attended graduate school with Bob Bateman. He is an extremely ethical, skilled historian and he would never attempt to white wash any crimes or scandals he discovered in the Army, or his regiment. Bob is not an 'apologist' for this event but he is a historian who demands, as we all should, careful attention to the sources. Paul Westermeyer Historian, History Division Marine Corps University "Westermeyer GS11 Paul W" <firstname.lastname@example.org> ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----