With reporters assigned to areas throughout space the network was able to learn about events without having to wait for official press releases; and in some cases were tasked with creating their own news routine for local markets.
History[edit | edit source]
Mary Ann Cramer was assigned to Babylon 5 during its first two years of operation. ISN also produced news segments specifically targeted to the station residents that was broadcast across the station monitors and available in the residences. The station's news program broke the story about the Senate approving the use of the Rush Act against the allegedly-striking Docker's Guild in 2258 for example.
ISN was live broadcasting on New Year's Eve, 2258, when Santiago was supposed to be giving a speech on New Years Eve from the transfer point off Io. During the delay anchorwoman Jane tried to recap the expected talking points when Earthforce One suddenly exploded; startling the newscaster and filling her with emotion.
On Sept 16, 2259, ISN produced one of their 36 Hours series on Babylon 5, providing a view of many of the issues being discussed on Earth. It was hosted by Cynthia Torqueman and sponsored by Interplanetary Expeditions. Torqueman had interviews with many of the staff and ambassadors.
Important stories on ISN in 2260 included a recording of a strange alien ship in hyperspace, which was used to argue for stronger Earth security, and of evidence and allegations of Clark being involved in a conspiracy to assassinate Santiago, which he characterized as an unfounded plot against him. As President Morgan Clark consolidated power, ISN began to be censored to any viewpoint contrary to those of Clark and his administration. Terror attacks against EA Forces were not shared, to prevent others from taking similar actions elsewhere. When Martial law was evoked, troops headed to the ISN Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Anchor Jane was joined by Rick who reported on the incoming shock troops, the bombing of Mars, and the secession of Proxima III and Orion VII from the Earth Alliance. He told viewers that there was more information but they hadn't been able to tell them. At that time military forces stormed the station and shut down the broadcasts.
ISN returned months later, but was a mouthpiece for Clark's propaganda. The previous anchors were arrested and were replaced by new ones. Alison Higgins was the head anchor at this time, replacing the long time anchor, Jane. Under the government's control, ISN became a propaganda machine employed to defend the government's xenophobic policies and destroy the public image of opposers and dissidents.
The network did continue to promote real news, including the announcement of the travel restrictions to Babylon 5.
ISN Reporter Dan Randall headed a news crew to smuggle in recording equipment and to covertly record events taking place on the renegade station after it declared itself a separate State from the Earth Alliance. Expecting resistance the equipment was crated and not declared to customs officials that then forced open the crates for inspection. Captain Sheridan agreed to allow the crew aboard to produce their report and asked Lennier to be their guide in an effort to try to appear transparent. Sheridan was confident that any statements he made were short, to the point, and would be difficult to take out of context and had a general good feeling about the time; however the broadcast version did not air that way. Randall and his editors recorded additional segments that included questions not asked in person, then played clips from the real interviews to create false statements in a direct attempt to mislead the public. They portrayed Lennier's tour as if aliens were in control over the station and prominently displayed the Down Below sections as though that were the only place humans lived aboard the station, stating that the rest of the place was reserved for aliens, dignitaries, and renegade human crew. Randall even went to the extreme to ask a phychologist William Indiri to make judgments based on the altered portrayal. He then completed his segment talking about a fire at the Sheridan ranch (home to Sheridan's parents) and stated that his father was still missing. "Our job is to report the news; not to make it, or guide it," and made editorial commentary. This news story was even replayed on ISN "for all our viewers in Grid Epsilon," likely repeatedly to antagonize the residents of the station and remind the locals of the alleged attrocities.
Follow-up stories indicated that the news agency received messages, purportedly smuggled out of Babylon 5, reporting that humans remain under cruel oppression, and how public opinion was placing pressure on EarthGov to take action.
Since ISN had become unreliable people had to look for other sources of information. Members of the Resistance, on Earth and Mars, would smuggle out data crystals to keep others informed of real events. Several religious leaders traveled to Babylon 5 to inform Sheridan and others with the news they collected.
Once Clark committed suicide and the reign of terror was over, the anchors were released from jail and returned to their former jobs.
Shows[edit | edit source]
- 36 Hours was a program in which special reports from a special location were presented. Hosted by Cynthia Torqueman; she and crew would spend 36 hours at the location to learn about a brief segment of life.
- ISN Nightside was a night-time program in which debates took place concerning current political events. Hosted by Derek Mitchell.
- Babylon 5 was a special docu-drama series depicting the five most pivotal years in the station's operation, based on Londo Mollari's memoirs. It was funded in part by the Anla'shok Memorial Fund.
ISN Journalists[edit | edit source]
- Jim Bitterbane
- Mary Ann Cramer
- Alison Higgins
- Derek Mitchell
- Derek Mobotabwe
- Dan Randall
- Cynthia Torqueman
- Tonia Wallace
See Also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- And Now For a Word
- Conflicts of Interest
- Passing Through Gethsemane
- By Any Means Necessary
- A Voice in the Wilderness, Part I
- The Fall of Night
- Messages from Earth
- Lines of Communication
- Severed Dreams
- The Illusion of Truth
- Racing Mars
- Ship of Tears
- And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place
- Rising Star
- Sleeping in Light