Media Can be Held Accountable on Misinformation

Here’s a couple interesting events of late…

Australia’s channel 7 network has recently been found guilty of violating the broadcasting code for racist vilification. A little persistent and dedicated pressure lead to this corrective outcome.

On the other hand, little to zilch is done to correct what the Union of Concerned Scientists demonstrates to be a deliberate act of distorting public perception of what has grave potential to undermine the prosperity and well-being of future generations by News Corp. (see the report here). Finding that over 90% of the media for the first half of this this year from Fox News Channel which addresses climate change is misleading should set some alarm bells off. Instead we have business as usual, fuelling ignorance and political paralysis against sound risk management.

Media is supposed to be where sound bipartisan information is presented fairly to the mass audience. This is fundamental for democratic societies in which the lay audience depends almost exclusively on such media to inform their involvement in governance of their state (ie. through voting). Wilful undermining this process to misinform, confuse and warp public opinion to deliberately favour a political ideology (in lieu of compelling contrary evidence) should be seen as one of the greatest disgraces to “free” states.

This is not in contradiction to my previous post on free speech. Let the droning Bolts and old wind bag Jones’s speak on whatever topics such grumpy men wish to – just put it in context. It’s not informed. It’s often not sensible. But it’s opinion and that’s fine. Fair media would allow whoever to say whatever (within context of the various codes of conduct), but credit the authority of such on the empirical evidence that supplies the underlying reasoning.

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