I don’t need to tell you that it’s a little bit crazy on the world merry-go-round right now, crazy and some would go so far as to say dangerous.
Significant political moves to the far right and of extreme nationalism are threatening the liberal foundations of 70 years of relative peace and stability within Europe, but also attempting to threaten globalisation.
Up until now I’ve avoided writing any posts with a political angle, however, I’m increasingly finding what feels like a daily attack on my liberal beliefs and values – those of tolerance, acceptance and equality – both tiring and exhausting, and am now concerned by the very vocal attack on the media and press by a certain global leader over the past few weeks.
From the offset this is the most important thing I have to say – The day the press and freedom of speech is shut down for apparently not speaking the truth, is the day we lose the truth.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many people who are tired of reading and watching some of the mainstream media, which appears to be more than ever before controlled and influenced far too politically, me included.
Whilst I don’t agree with certain UK news publications and their line of offense at the moment – I’ve signed up to the stop funding hate campaign – I also don’t agree that the media should be shut down as everyone has, in my view, the right to evaluate and make up their own minds in terms of what they read and how they process the information they are presented with.
The face of media though as we all know is changing, or rather very rapidly over the past couple of years has changed.
There are now close to 3 million bloggers worldwide to add to the mix encouraged by the rise of social media.
Being able to put pen to paper so to speak, and really express your views without having to go via other mediums or channels is incredibly powerful.
There is however, one big difference between journalists and bloggers. Journalists report on the facts they are presented with, excluding personal opinion and from the different social/political angles. Bloggers express personal views and opinions based on their experiences and the facts as they see them, sometimes influenced by journalism.
That is also why blogs are so powerful, people like to read what other people think and feel around certain topics, and sometimes that’s what scares the powers that be and the institutions the most.
The press can – to some extent and even though they shouldn’t – be controlled and manipulated, mainly via funding, whereas most bloggers can’t, or at least it’s incredibly difficult to. Therefore, they are free to write and publish what they like.
As to some extent they should be!
Journalists should be given the freedom to write journalism, bloggers to blog, writers to write.
Let’s not forget the Nazi’s who also sent journalists and writers to their camps, who burnt books and important scripts, and then controlled and manipulated the press to spread their propaganda.
It’s dangerously close to what’s happening at the moment, the press and media accussed of lying “That’s not the truth, they lie, that’s fake news”, as the real lies continue to emerge from positions of power and influence.
I’d like to say I’m exaggerating but history has a habit of repeating itself!
A world leader who is confident in their position and abilities to get the job done, has control of their house, isn’t narcissistic or egotistical, has class maybe, wouldn’t be interested or concerned too much by what’s written about him in the media, at least not to the level that this current president is. He’d be getting on with the job in hand.
Most intelligent people with any ounce of common sense know the difference between real and ‘fake’ news. I like to laugh at the ‘fake’ news, as I enjoy satire, like to think I have a sense of humour, and can distinctly tell the difference.
Who’s read Orwell’s 1984? Powers that be telling us what to think, how to feel, how then to react. The day the media is shut down and controlled, however bad they may be at times, is the day that the freedom we all value is put at risk, and the day that the power hungry and institutions take control.
When I read things I don’t like or agree with I make a simple choice, and it’s one to not read that publication and news medium again, it really is that simple!
From the words of Voltaire (another famous writer) “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.
I do believe that anyone who writes, be that journalists, bloggers or anyone with an audience so social media influencers included, has a responsibility to be as factual and honest as they can be, without spreading hate or propaganda, but they still have a right.
Freedom of speech is the right but also privilege of all of us, after all if it starts here then where next… the content at our events? Think about it!
Until next time #eventprofs…