Journalism 101: I propose

Monica Olmos Campos makes an excellent reflection over media and its influence on society, she writes for Los Tiempos:

I propose

2013-02-15 08.04.00 amSocial media have as primary responsibility the vital interests of the society.

When I turn on the TV and see a presenter with a “provocative dress” commenting on the joy of the “comadres” [day during carnival where women go out partying], with images showing minors drinking beer from the bottle spout, and teens “beating” their hips as experienced women from a brothel, it is evident that the medium is not fulfilling its social responsibility; on the contrary, is inducing alcohol consumption and the exposure of the female body as if it were a “disposable” product of mass consumption.

When I turn on the radio and hear the announcer suggesting the girl who did call first, and inviting to the “blow-out” on Friday, I am sure that the medium is far from fulfilling its social role.

When I open the newspaper and read “tight University girl and rich tits”, I have no doubt that the medium is not defending the vital interests of the society.

When the media releases crimes where the victims are babies raped by their parents and teens killed by peers with the same frivolous enthusiasm with which present the opening of the branch of a bank or the latest lingerie collection, I don’t do more than convince myself of the bad training of the press director, and the disgusting submission of presenters.

Before the (dis) order of situations I have described as an example, I consider it urgent to work on a regulation (law, interagency agreement or, finally, “gentleman’s agreement”) which balances the interests of the middle and those of civil society, of that public with their audience that pay for the salaries of the Heads of the press, journalists and presenters, which finances the purchase of police series that taught to steal and kill, and novels that vulgarize women. I just think that, before these calamities, the organized civil society have spaces in which to exercise their citizen right for the benefit of the community.

What benefit would be, for example, that said legislation would oblige television and radio media to give a certain amount of minutes a day to disseminating messages of awareness, information or prevention on HIV and cancer, the risks of early sexual relations, values, the family, the importance of education, drugs, the fight against gender-based violence, the effects of the consumption of alcohol, child neglect, and so many others that – unfortunately – they are not treated properly in the media.

That print media (newspapers) should be obliged to give up a certain amount of square centimeters per day earmarked for the above-mentioned purposes.

The rates of diffusion of the mass media are inaccessible to the non-profit institutions that are precisely those who work for the rights of the most vulnerable (women, children, the elderly), by which any initiative stays in that: a “Rosary” with good intentions that are not materialized due to lack of economic resources.

This sort of balance of messages between what decides the media and what people needs, morally would strengthen the media company being this a sort of disclaimer of conscience before the banalities that are part of their daily schedule. It would restore these companies, with their status as SOCIAL media.

We believe just this balance between what the media decide to spread and that organized civil society considered right and necessary to amplify on the benefit – always – of the whole of society. I wish this proposal would have an echo.

The author is a social Communicator

Certainly a most needed proposal, thank you Monica!

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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