Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The 'power' of MEDIA

Have been reading aiesec.net postings, all possible news on the cartoons published in the newspaper and couldnt help but post my thoughts about this.

I would say the media or traditionally as we all have been referring to the power of pen has indeed shown drastic results.

Either the media can go on harping about the fact that they have the freedom of expression as their motto, or realize the fact that there is a section of people who wouldnt understand this or give a damn to the media's freedom of expression.

The world consists of people who have different mindsets - and to keep on fighting about who is right and who is wrong - and saying people should not react harshly etc. etc. is completely baseless. Realize the fact that there are such people who would spark off violence when they hear or read such things.

So coming back to media - which also reminds me of my last team's discussion at Vikhroli on the Kashmir issue - we were discussing on what could be the possible steps to improve the situation. Lets say reforms are started - education, economical... And what if the media promoted this rather than one person being killed and fuelling the already existing tensions.

What if there was one day a newspaper that dint mention anything about the war / terror / people being killed and mentioned positive or the better part of life - organizations like AIESEC that are trying to make a difference? Acco. to media - would the so called 'news' not sell enough?

The race for today's media to bring out the truth / to be the best media channels, publications etc. is all ok - but i would say media should realize its power - and work together with the governments closely to see how they can work together to lessen the violence. I firmly believe the power of media can make a huge difference to already existing tensions and make a big step towards world peace.

7 comments:

Superluli said...

see now iam conflicted
part of me says, well everyone can say whatever the hell they want, and i will believe whatever the hell i want!

but another part of me is deeply offended when something i believe in is insulted.
still i should fight with my words, with my pen and with my tongue, not with my bombs.

it's easy to win a war with bombs, but a discussion or a debate? much harder, but much more beneficial -it bridges gaps even when no agreement is reached.

which is why - things like that should not be blown out of proportions, it's a cartoon - a letter to the editor signed by millions would suffice to make a point. but bombs and fires and attacks? you gotta be kidding me!

Superluli said...

see now iam conflicted
part of me says, well everyone can say whatever the hell they want, and i will believe whatever the hell i want!

but another part of me is deeply offended when something i believe in is insulted.
still i should fight with my words, with my pen and with my tongue, not with my bombs.

it's easy to win a war with bombs, but a discussion or a debate? much harder, but much more beneficial -it bridges gaps even when no agreement is reached.

which is why - things like that should not be blown out of proportions, it's a cartoon - a letter to the editor signed by millions would suffice to make a point. but bombs and fires and attacks? you gotta be kidding me!

Amit Desai said...

agree to you, i hope people can think accordingly - the only point i am trying to make is to accept the fact that there are such people who would want to fight with bombs. So ofcourse they should get this rationale - but the media can also play a big role in this - which was my point in the post and this way efforts can be made by everyone towards world peace.

Pierre said...

Dude - totally agree with you. The media should do more than simply "sell a story". Unfortunately every large network has come to rely on advertisers money to keep them going. One bad story means they lose cash. It sucks, but that's the way it is.

What a truly independent media needs is a way of making real news sellable and not making really sellable news.

My favourite news piece will always be one called: "Living with refugees" by Sorious Samura for CNN. It's a depressing story - but it wasn't made for advertisers and thats what i love about it.

Pierre said...

this might be interesting. It was a lecture delivered sometime ago by Nik Gowing of the BBC - on how changes in journalism shape the information we see before us.

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/lhcma/info/lec00.htm

Noa said...

Just because there are people who react in an uneducated and violent manner to deep offence caused, which I do not deny, it does not mean that a Danish newspaper has to yield to it. As anybody else, who feels offended by a newspaper publications, a class action in front of a Danish court would most probably have been successful and appropriate to 'peace-loving' Muslims.

Yet, Muslims who joined the violent demonstrations burning flags and embassies, directly contributing to the loss of life, and shouting 'death to the West and death to the Jews', only confirm the message of the cartoons in the eyes of a non-Muslim. They cause the reaction, which moderate Muslims got insulted by and which should have been prevented: to describe Islam as a violent faith of suicide bombers threatening the West.

Here in London, Muslims lead by one of the most radical preachers of hate in the UK inciting Muslim Britons to become suicide bombers, A. Choudary, marched against the Danish embassy. One Muslim participant, a convicted Class-A drug dealer, dressed as a suicide bomber. Though the demonstration remained relatively peaceful, how does this not confirm the message of the cartoons? What is more insulting: Suicide bombers, violent burning and the beheading of innocent people in front of a camera in the name of Islam, or the cartoons in a Danish newspaper?
Should there comes a time when moderate Muslims stage demonstrations against bomb attacks and against violence, which genuinely insults their faith, the publication in the newspaper would be much more objectionable. In fact, violence in the past such as the killing of Van Gogh in the Netherlands and the fatwas against Salman Rushdie, have led to a unpresedent level of self-censorship in western media with regards to Islam; more than with regards to any other religion.

Further, newspapers are not there to work together with the government, although they should act responsibly (which they did not do in this particular case). They are there to ensure that the government follows its duties: that it is not corrupt, does not waste the tax payers money etc...
Press freedom is the basic tenet of democracy.

How many times, in mainly Muslim countries, have people not merely ridiculed a faith or a people, but instead incited to kill Christians and especially Jews? The reactions to the Mohammed cartoons are completely out of proportion and I am of the opinion, that moderate Muslims, who do not want their faith to be seen as a violent religion of terrorists, should speak out through a means backing their message: for example sit-ins etc...

Prabs said...

Boss, I think NDTV managed to get the minutes of our meeting in Vikhroli. Entire last week they had a India-Pak series. Well every night from 9.30 pm for an hour they had top government officials, corporate and media celebrities from both the countries, talk about different aspects of the relationship between the 2 countries. It was eye opening to see such varied opinions from the people who make decisions from the 2 warring countries, conference across 7 different cities and real life situations of "aama adami" from both the countries.

I was very suprised to know that the Indian government has been widely criticised for being slow in taking forward implementation, or even when it comes to commenting on suggestions made by the Pak Govern. The Indian govern. was also criticised for bringing dialogues to a stand still after terrorist incidents, even when it is not the Pak Govern who is promoting the terrorists, but its the terrorists groups out of their control.

In this specific case, greater freedom for movement of people across the borders would help the media in presenting to us the true picture. And this is a BCP for media fellows!!! I have fallen in love with NDTV!!!!!!!!!!!!