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Posted by Philip on 19 September 2012, 7:01 am in , , , ,

The media: should it reflect or create?

It seems to me that the place of traditional media, especially the news, has changed in the last few decades. It used to provide impartial information about what we may have not known. Now it prefers to reflect corporate agendas by providing skewed analysis through dumbed-down entertainment.

To boot, the current roles of broadcast and social media seem confused.

Broadcast media enjoys creating a polarised reality, favouring particularly the dark side (violence etc). It could be much more accurately reflecting the range of negative and positive forces in society.

Meanwhile, social media is increasingly reflecting this dark, broadcast reality of society, particularly the dark side (cyber bullying etc). But we know it has huge potential to create a more vibrant, positive reality.

How this all plays out in the future depends on us.

We can cease to consume the products that shape what is programmed for broadcast – because, let's face it, advertisers are the audience of broadcast media, not the watchers. When ads stop paying off for retailers, content will change so that we are watching what we want to, not what advertisers think we want to see between their ads.

Likewise, we can stop blaming Facebook and Twitter for creating bullying and stalking, and admit these behaviours already exist among us, partly fuelled by what we watch. Social media just makes it easier for people to play them out.