Saturday, October 1, 2022

Journalism: Freedom or Dependency?

Independent journalism is not synonymous with apolitical journalism, which is why it is very important that the followers of a communication medium know the degree of independence of each journalist from that medium’s environment, including their social and political ideas.

Information or opinion

In the 20th century the concept of “media” was very static, made up of print, radio or visual media. However, in the 21st century audiovisual communication gave way to chains, networks and platforms called “multimedia”.

Another very important change of the new century is that, starting with smartphones and social networks, the idea of informative journalism was diluted, since anyone is an informer of reality who, by simply focusing the camera of his phone in the right place, can transmit to the world the events of the moment in “live and direct”.

It is when we journalists had to become analysts, columnists, columnists, editorialists, tipping the balance from independence to opinion, where the political opinions of each journalist emerge quickly.

In this case, we must assume that each multimedia has social and political interests, since they are an economic and power business, but they rarely influence the opinions of journalists.

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Most journalists pride themselves on their independence and their objectivity, and I don’t doubt it, because the owners of the media do not need to “go down the line” on what their employees say or publish, because in reality and to avoid confrontations, there is the so-called “selective recruitment”, where they only hire those professionals related to their ideas and needs.

Opinion makers

So, does the media shape the opinions of society or are citizens looking to the media to represent them?

Today it is easy to know what social and political ideology each multimedia responds to. The idea that the news is “pure” and a report “bland” is in the past. The canons of objectivity have been eroded. The officials of political group serve as main sources for many types of political news, limiting the range of the debate, deepening the need for regular access to valuable information, and echoing well-defined political positions.

There is no doubt that the media promotes their own political agendas, but it is the public that chooses which media to follow, because it responds to its own ideological needs.

This would not matter if there was a vigorous competition in the media, on equal terms, with accurate information and interpretations, so that citizens can distinguish what is true from what is false, what is useful from what is useless or misleading, which would allow them to reach sensible conclusions. But it often happens that when information and analysis move away from general interests and become partisan, citizens can feel suffocated and deceived.

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At this point there is a great distance between the needs of the “sender” and the “receiver”. While the media talk about internal politics, statistical reports or the life of the artistic show business, distracting the population from their true needs.

The most that citizens need is to be informed about the economic reality, improvements in health and security problems, that is, those political campaign promises that are never fulfilled.

Cesar Leo Marcus was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Doctor (PhD) in International Logistics and Foreign Trade, and Master (MBA) in Economic Sociology, he was professor of both chairs at the Universities of Madrid (Spain) and Cordoba (Argentina).
A journalist, he publishes in newspapers in California, Miami, and New York. He is a writer, he published twelve books, and a literary editor, director of Windmills Editions. He currently resides in California.

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