The Media and Global Political Change of the 21st Century

The Media and Global Political Change of the 21st Century

A race for ratings has made news more about entertainment that information, Hollywood style – Melissa Bell of Vox Media At the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism Lecture at the University of Oxford


The global political construct began to tilt or shift in 2011 in Tahrir square in Egypt with the populist uprising against the establishment which was extensively covered by the media. The populist movement and its media coverage became more pronounced in 2016 in the United Kingdom with Brexit, in The Philippines, in Italy, in America, in Ghana and currently in Romania.


For over 60 years if not more, there must have been an accepted media policy of covering and reporting political happenings but with the anti-establishment populism gathering momentum and most especially, with the heralding of President Donald Trump, who, countless times has bypassed the traditional media to relay news to the world via his social media platforms, the accepted media coverage modus operandi would need to be revisited and reviewed.


At the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism Lecture at the University of Oxford, which held on Saturday, the 11th of February 2017, media practitioners discussed pertinent issues relating to media. Of note and in relation to this piece were remarks by Melissa Bell of Vox Media, who posited that they are several mistakes made by the media organisations which include but not limited to falling trust in news, consequently, media needs to think about how we should operate in an environment of suspicion and cynicism.


She posited that we (media) yearn for a news monopoly and it meant media did not adjust its content to new methods of consumption. She went further to state that “we refuse to relinquish the idea of publishers but media should place value on all channels.


Furthermore, and this is important, she stated that competition has expanded beyond traditional media competitors like Google and Apple, but media has failed to recognise this.


But she hit the nail on the head when she posited that “a race for ratings has made news more about entertainment that information, Hollywood style”.


But I ponder if media organisations have realised this; probably they have but you see, for over 70 years, the establishments have called the shots, dictated the pace. To simplify it, let me go thus, the establishment; usually made up of politicians and leaders and policy makers, who are influenced by lobbyists, lobbyists are influenced by their wealthy clients with ideas cum beliefs (ideas from the mundane, sane to the insane).


I concur with Melissa Bell, who sees some positives and posits that the media must work things out more openly, consistently and seriously but most especially, stop wasting time.


Revision of the media policy of reporting political events and leaders which suited the 19th and 20th centuries is needed; for it appears not to be appropriate and seems archaic to the demands of the 21st Century. You don’t implement a stratagem that worked to oust or discredit establishment leaders for the new crop of anti-establishment leaders globally.


Succinctly put, if the media don't hold power to account and rather than get working, engage in soft sell angles of serious political issues, the public will would sooner rather than later see through the facade and would never forgive the media. And this also, goes for the journalists too.


Dolapo Aina,


Lagos, Nigeria.


dolapo@dolapoaina.com|dolapowrites@yahoo.com


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Photo Credit: Google Images

February, 14 2017


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