The media are biased. They tend to portray negativity and scandals, preferring bad news over good and thus reinforcing this kind of mentality in the reader, listener, viewer or clicker. The second bias is towards ‘the executive’, in other words towards power and the power base, be it in industry, art, health or in politics. The masses aren’t heard unless they stage a negative event. That would create airtime and attention. Positive messages, dignified protest is seldom aired unless there is a well known face, a celebrity who joined the action. We know who is a scientologist, who defends the Dalai Lama, Indians, Peace, Aids patients… And thus the issue is turned into a human interest story. Maybe that is why there are so many bloggers. We are all voiceless, faceless claiming our space in the media landscape.
What do I expect of the media? Fact, not fiction, yet not only facts also analysis and critical comment. Robert Fisk does it marvelously about the Middle East. If you have different sources you will arrie at a balanced personal opinion, at least if the press is free and not tied to an ideology or a group in power. In that case, there is no longer information or news but the media then have become a propaganda and indoctrination machine. Truthful information is a citizens right and a prerequisite for a functioning democracy.
Boo to manipulation and hurray for today’s good news: After ten years of negotiating, today the first Northern Irish government consisting of four parties, former archenemies protestant and catholic has been installed, promising to work together for peace and the wellbeing of their people. So, there is hope and one day there will be peace in the Middle East, if we help to resolve the conflict, reinforce the good and help to rebuilt trust. Mr No Paisley, who spewed hate for years, who vilified his opponents, let people die in the H blocks is redeeming himself and is smiling, as are all on the pictures of this day. This is one process Clinton and Blair started together and helped come into being in a non-violent way. It is a good day.
Clowns from Amsterdam
4 years ago