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Report from "WEF, DAVOS" Will Democracy Survive the Media?...

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:43 PM
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Report from "WEF, DAVOS" Will Democracy Survive the Media?...
Will Democracy Survive the Media?
27.01.2005
Annual Meeting 2005
If the frank exchange of views between the media and politicians that characterized this session is anything to go by, the answer to the theme question was an emphatic "no". In a discussion that ranged from the disappearance of the county hall news bureau to the killing of journalists in Iraq, an informal consensus was reached that a healthy media makes for a robust democracy and one cannot survive without the other.

Which is not to say that everything is rosy. Moderator David R. Gergen, Director, Center for Public Leadership, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA, opened the session by suggesting that the trivialization of the press means that the public is becoming increasingly disengaged and is less inclined to vote. And because too much of the media is owned by corporations, much of the world isnt being covered because of the costs.

Barney Frank, Congressman from Massachusetts (Democrat), USA, agreed. "Essentially theres less news," he said. "Reporters used to come to the city hall and that is a thing of the past. The biggest change is in the corporate ownership. People used to put out newspapers because they wanted to be journalists. Nobody is doing that these days; they do it because they want to make money. Papers are in a circulation race."

The commercialization of the press is having its effect on the TV channels, too. Eason Jordan, Chief News Executive, CNN News Group, USA, said that his organization is under pressure to compete against entertainment-led cable outlets. For his part Richard Sambrook, Director, World Service and Global News, BBC World, United Kingdom, said that the suicide of David Kelly and the subsequent Hutton Report which criticized the BBC had resulted in a new commitment to the journalistic values of objectivity, transparency and accountability. "I think its going to become more important to divide the serious media from the others who are driving the bottom line," he said.

The importance of the media to democracy is nowhere more graphically illustrated in the world today than in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. As Gergen had pointed out in his introduction, the press has taken cameras to various dangerous places.

But it was the fifth panellist who reminded the largely Western audience of the key role that the media has to play in democracy. Abdullah Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, said his country now has its first free press since before the Soviet invasion. "The right of expression is now ensured for our citizens. We have 160 newspapers with only about 5 or 6 publicly supported," he said. "During the election there were debates going on that nobody would have believed possible a few years ago." And did he feel more accountable with a free press? "Certainly."

Related Link
Annual Meeting

http://www.weforum.org/site/knowledgenavigator.nsf/Cont...
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 07:55 PM
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1. They've chased the real journalists to the web (blogs) and the corp
media whores attempt to ridicule and discredit them. Why? Because they are a threat to the corporate controlled media circus we have now and their bottom line and preferred treatment by the admin. But it seems even this is slowly slipping away from Shrub, little by little, drip by drip, he's loosing his propaganda machine. They'll be no reason for the media to scratch his back if they get nothing in return.

People used to put out newspapers because they wanted to be journalists. Nobody is doing that these days; they do it because they want to make money.


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