The Press: Friend or Foe?

After watching ‘The Shock Doctrine’ documentary based on  Naomi Klein’s book by the same name, I couldn’t help but be pulled in by the thought provoking questions it raised and so had to do a bit of reading in to conspiracy theory and anti-government based blogs, forums and articles.

I’m a firm believer in the news and journalism being a key element of democracy and its fundamental service is to the people, not the state and so was quite dismayed to see many posts blaming the media for aiding corruption and unethical action by the government.

Images such as the ones below, I feel are a type of propaganda in themselves, rallying supporters for their cause which reduces the public to passive, uncritical consumers of media and creating further fear and distrust. I believe that many creators of such images and blogs take a particularly pessimistic view of society that is unrealistic. No matter what kind of newspaper you buy or television program you watch, I feel that it is far more likely for the public to discuss and debate with friends about the views presented in them.

Many themes against the media that come up focus around network television and mass mind control and mass media indoctrination. Whilst it would be naive to deny any sensationalism, party-political leaning or indeed unethical motivations in the media industry, I feel that it is important for us to appreciate and respect the press, in order to use it to build and aid democracy.

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