Thursday, July 27, 2017
I had the privilege of being party to a series of high-level workshops intended to find out-of-the-box solutions to the problems being faced by today’s media: the lack of trust, the filter bubbles people inhabit, the lack of media literacy, the need for new revenue streams, mass disinformation… that sort of thing. There were around 60 of us; working media professionals, captains of the industry, journalism students, contributing as equals.
It was all very fascinating, but my attention could not escape the woman I’d been paired with. She is a senior journalist and producer on one of Australia’s most highly regarded investigative current affairs television shows. Her most recent achievement is a story not more than a few months old; a story that was picked up internationally, had wide-ranging political ramifications, and claimed a few political scalps in the process. It was also a story in which I was uniquely placed to know a great deal more than she did; that the conclusions she drew were supported not by facts, but by paranoia and suspicion. Her conclusions could not have fallen further from the actual truth – yet she and her story are now celebrated as the accepted public narrative.
As this cohort of problem-solvers blamed its ills on an ignorant and cynical public, an overabundance of choices, a lack of regulation, and a lack of entrepreneurial courage, I silently wondered whether any of them have considered whether the problem is with themselves.
About today’s photo: the media is more concerned with edibility than credibility.