The world’s leading newspapers are struggling to maintain their place as voices of conscience in society when via social media everyone is free to express alternative views and opinions. Of course, having a public voice carries with it the responsibility to use it wisely, to present information and opinions that are fair and balanced. Many newspapers do so, while others focus on the biases of their owners or of political parties. Today, in the face of myriad sources of information, the question of credibility has never been more urgent. Read more “Integrity in news coverage”
How media report on sexual violence when political interests are at play is a litmus test for how serious they are about professional ethics.
Take the case of the American jurist Brett Kavanaugh’s highly publicised hearing for justice of the US Supreme Court that took place on September 27 before the American senate judiciary committee. News audiences saw, read and heard more of different versions of activist journalism and less of balanced narratives needed to shape informed opinions. Read more “When media, politics and sexual violence collide”
During Brazil’s military dictatorship (1964-85), the people’s ability to exercise some of their most fundamental human rights was severely curtailed. In addition to engaging in torture, extrajudicial killings, and repression against opposition groups, the successive military governments that governed Brazil during this period relentlessly restricted freedom of expression, access to public information, and controlled the majority of media outlets. Read more “‘Fake news’ is undermining Brazilian rights”
There has always been a suspicion that radio waves do more harm than good. With the arrival of the Internet of Things – wireless computing devices embedded in such everyday objects as fridges, washing machines and coffee makers – the scenario easily slips into one of doomsday. So the global telecommunications industry (worth trillions) needs to persuade its customers that any harmful impacts are negligible in comparison with the benefits.
Read more “Beware propaganda from the wireless industry”
On 7 September 2018, former President Obama delivered a pointed critique of the Trump presidency. Speaking to students at the University of Illinois, he urged political awareness and action, saying:
“When there’s a vacuum in our democracy, when we don’t vote, when we take our basic rights and freedoms for granted, Read more “Media bread and circuses”
Why do some genocides make the news and others hardly? Let me rephrase: Why do international news media give grossly disproportionate attention to different yet similarly grave ‘deliberate and systematic destructions of a racial, political, or cultural group’ (Miriam-Webster definition)? Or, why are African genocides (and other news events) marginalized by the international media, to echo communication rights scholar Michael Traber’s observation made almost a quarter century ago? Read more “Genocide in the news: On media elitism and racism”
According to a 2018 research report from the Pew Research Centre on trends in social media use in the United States, 74% of Facebook users in that country visited the platform at least once a day, and 51% did so several times a day. The numbers are similar for those using Snapchat (63% once a day; 49% several times a day) and Instagram (60% once a day; 38% several times a day). Read more “When did you last take a break from social media?”
“New technologies will enable high levels of social control at a reasonable cost. Governments will be able to selectively censor topics and behaviors to allow information for economically productive activities to flow freely, while curbing political discussions that might damage the regime.China’s so-called Great Firewall provides an early demonstration of this kind of selective censorship.”