89 Connect Forums Media & Journalism Media and democracy: how to improve?

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    • #2200
      Maria Ludovica BozzoMaria Ludovica Bozzo
      Participant
      546 Points
      Halfway

      I have heard about nowadays problems of having access to all sort of news since many years by now. Fake news, distortion and strumentalisation are threats we all are well aware since the beginning of the Web 2.0 era. Still, it seems to me that we are not winning this battle, and we still struggle everyday to distinguish what to believe in. In my opinion, we could act both by giving a constantly updated education to media professional and by supporting the rise of more non-partisan media outlets.

      Education is important, and I think that be updated on the current issues of their sector should be a priority for journalists. It is not just a responsibility of the media sector, but it involves all the sectors, as they stakeholders should care to provide training courses to update the media on what’s going on in their sector. In the best case scenario, this courses should be provided by apolitical organisations.

      Parties often try to read the reality as more convenient for them. This is why I believe that there should be a balance between the number of partisan and non-partisan media outlets in a country, as well as private/public one.

      In my former experience in the Energy Sector, I found the case of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) emblematic for my argument. In Italy there was a strong discontent among the population for this pipeline, and one of the most important objections was environmental; the pipeline construction would made it necessary to  temporary displace 211 olive trees, traditional source of gain for the region and some of them really old and precious. Media outlets fomented the discontent  with sensationalistic headlines and moving pictures. Truth is, there are like 60 million olive trees in that region, but no-one mentioned this data for a long time.

      Of course, I am not talking about the “Truth”, I do not want to start a discussion on philosophy. Just want to know other opinions on such a concerning issue to me.

    • #2231
      Faedran BourhaniFaedran Bourhani
      Participant
      197 Points
      Newcomer

      I think one fundamental problem with current media is related to the fact that it is being instrumentalized as a political tool. This is the case both for fake media and the official outlets. There are guidelines on good journalism but they are just not being executed anymore, or very poorly at best. Everything is soaked with emotion and moralizing undertones.

      Most Media outlets also openly admit to being a product of consumption and therefore answer to public demand instead of objective truth. This should be the main objective when tackling this domain. Focus on returning to objective reporting instead of pleasing the general public with flashy titles and controversial topics. Perhaps some sort of accountability for not following certain guidelines? In any case this should be approached with utmost care as we dont want to endanger the freedom of press in the process…

    • #2249
      Riccardo VenturiRiccardo Venturi
      Moderator
      649 Points
      Halfway

      Although I personally agree with both your points and suggestions, the ideas of the training courses provided by stakeholders or that of the guidelines could be seen as an existential threat to free press – and it might be so in specific cases and contexts. The real question is: how do we create the conditions for free media outlets to raise the cultural and ethical bar in the form of a real journalistic filter, in a world dominated (both in terms of visibility, interests and economically) by partisan headlines/TV programmes and by the unruled jungle of the Internet?

    • #2260
      Sophie VériterSophie Veriter
      Participant
      266 Points
      Halfway

      I recently heard of an initiative called “Lie Detectors”. It invites journalists into schools to raise awareness about the media and disinformation, as well as trains pupils to be more critical when reading/hearing the news. It also encourages teachers to continue this effort. They are currently active in Belgium, Germany, and Austria. Their website is: https://lie-detectors.org

      I believe that media literacy and critical thinking skills are key to preserve free media and democracy. Education plays a crucial role in this regard.

      This project is truly fantastic and should definitely be active all over Europe, in my opinion!

    • #2277
      Riccardo VenturiRiccardo Venturi
      Moderator
      649 Points
      Halfway

      Great hint, Sophie! It would be very interesting to invite them on this platform and share more deeply their experience and work.

    • #2293
      Maria Ludovica BozzoMaria Ludovica Bozzo
      Participant
      546 Points
      Halfway

      Thank you all for your comments.

      I am happy to hear about Lie Detectors, it is really interesting!

      It is sure a sensitive topic, with the danger of falling into censorship and other kinds of menace to the freedom of press. This is what the policy leaders are dealing with on this issue, and the disruptive and it is even more hard to keep up with the fast digitalisation of the communication sector. Do you think they are leaving out something important?

    • #2391
      Faedran BourhaniFaedran Bourhani
      Participant
      197 Points
      Newcomer

      It’s a great initiative to teach young people to think critically and probably the best approach in structurally countering this phenomenon of fake news.  It makes me truly happy to see these kinds of engagement!

    • #2543
      Luka BeckerLuka Becker
      Participant
      229 Points
      Newcomer

      I just want to give you my point of view on a worrying issue such as “fake news”.

      I think that it is a double-edged sword because, on one hand it allows established media outlets to claim themselves to be a remedy against lies or misleading news (well welcome to initiatives like Lie Detectors, if they can offer a real solution instead). On the other hand, the problem in focusing on “fake news” switches the attention from the real threat, that is how much of the public doesn’t trust the work of professional journalists anymore.

      It is evident that we so highly partisan news and coverage when it comes in the national press, now amplified by social media to people who didn’t necessarily read those papers before they had access to them in their Facebook or Twitter feeds.

      I think that fake news has always existed, and that we are noticing it now just because social media are showing us what has always been on the newspapers we never read.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Luka Becker.
    • #3145
      Luka BeckerLuka Becker
      Participant
      229 Points
      Newcomer

      Hello guys, it’s been a while but…

      Have you heard about Wayne Bayley? He was victim of a Twitter hijack after a fake account in his name has deceived many, followers and media.

      Twitterstorms now generate real advertising. The possible impact of digital fakes (and fake news) on politics is stronger than ever and it is very difficult to correct the record. Social media just amplify the impact of fake news, a bit more every day.

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