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Friday, January 20, 2017

Journalism 03 - Arianna Huffington on the media

Arianna Huffington spoke to Editor-in-Chief of The Economist Zanny Minton Beddoes on the role of the media.

Some interesting points here:

We can come out of this but it depends on how wise our leaders are going to be.

There is lot less time for reflection.

At the start of election process Trump was given lot of uncritical publicity that was not justified by anything except the ratings.

We have to get back to the world where there is such a thing as truth.

Sometimes there are no two sides to the story - like in climate change. "everything has two sides" gives an impression that there is no truth.

Some comments:

Huffington is right on many counts. I am not sure Huffington Post was above it all though. In any case there is nothing wrong with what she is saying.

Journalists did abdicate their responsibility to dig out the truth. 

Opinion war type journalism
Most of the journalist  deal with opinion war. In an opinion war journalists as one person about their views on some subject or better still some person. Then they go to a person who holds opposite views on the topic and ask them to comment about the adverse remarks of the former. 

This is fine if the debate was based on correct facts or it was about interpretation of facts. But sadly the debate is about "facts" themselves. Or it is pure opinion - with a topic like "What do you think Kim Kardashian do next?" or something.

This makes for a good road-side brawl and gets that type of rubber-necking attention but no further. It does however demean the institution of journalism. 

In case of climate change, this is absolutely true. The whole truth about human action causing warming was reduced to a bunch of opinions on global warming.

Cold-war effect
It is possible that decline of journalism started during cold-war times when the press gave up their values and got themselves a pop-corn and soda and eagerly bought into the cold-war propaganda.

Not all did it, I admit. And some did it because other side would not respond properly and facts were difficult to ascertain. But some did buy into the propaganda completely.

Buy my books "Subverting Capitalism & Democracy" and "Understanding Firms".

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