Everyone loses out if the media don’t grow with the times
Without robust journalism, there will be more fake news, a deterioration of society and a flourishing of corruption
World Press Freedom Day is observed on May 3 annually. This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good” addresses the changed nature of information and communications worldwide and how it affects freedom of expression, human rights, democracies and sustainable development.
Across different forms of media, people are soaking up lies and disinformation every second of the day, including malicious allegations presented as facts. All this undermines true information and democracy because the majority of people worldwide are not schooled in distinguishing truth from lies in the news, and even educated, professional people repeat lies as facts.
Addressing this requires a reimagining of the media and media literacy, and we cannot be romantic about this. If you go into media sociology there are numerous examples locally and internationally, including apartheid SA, where constant disinformation and the telling of lies for political and economic agendas were the norm. The current era has many new forms of media, but the abuse of truth is not new...