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Tuesday 7 November 2017

Why no one trusts the media

Once respected as the final bastion of a free society, our media has fallen far. It is hard to find any, ANY, media outlet that always takes the ethical high road on journalism. Our ABC, the Murdoch Press, Sky News, our Free to Air television stations, all present facts intermixed with the political biases of the outlet. This makes it impossible for a viewer/listener to glean the un-tainted 'facts' of a story.

While it is sometimes difficult for even the most ethical journalists to filter their own prejudices, this is not the cause of the bias. Journalists today insert their opinions intentionally to try to sway their readership to their views. Journalism has evolved into advocacy.

A recent Prager video titled "Why no one trusts Main Stream Media" presented by Sheryl Atkinsson covers the problem admirably. Well worth the few minutes.

The consequences for our society are dire. A free society require a vibrant free press. The media's role is to gather and report facts without fear or favour, without bias and free of personal opinion. While there is room for personal opinion and debate, it must be clearly delineated from the factual foundations. This allows the audience to critically review the information presented and form their own views. It generates a 'marketplace of ideas' allowing the survival of the fittest.

Alas it seems our media has caught the twitter/facebook disease whereby like minded audiences listen to like-minded journalists entrenching the same ideas in an endless loop. Advocates of an idea become so entrenched they cannot even consider an alternative view and will even resort to violence to prevent it being presented.

In 1839 Edward Bulwer-Lytton noted "The Pen is mightier than the sword" recognizing that the written word had more power than direct violence. How ironic that in today's world those who wield the pen have created a society that is willing to use the "sword" to control the "pen".

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