It is evident that whenever somebody checks the papers online, there will be a constant repetition pattern in what is going to be seen in them. Lately there was an overpopulation of entries over BBC’s Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson and the possibility of him being sacked from the show over a fight with a producer. Before that there were entries over the viral image of a dress that people couldn’t decide the colour of. And before that it was EastEnders and ‘news’ updates over every single development in the ‘drama’.
Although you can still find news concerning the real state of the country and topics that will be determinant in the next elections, it has amazed me how important these ‘dramatic’ news can be in British journalism.
It is necessary to highlight that the real function of journalism is to objectively inform society and help citizens develop a critical opinion of what is happening; an opinion of where the country is being led by the government. And the people are showing their discomfort against the way the world is being managed. People are mobilising against racism-based politics, against austerity and showing support for a differently built political system.
A rally on the 21st of March was evidence of this discomfort and could be seen while walking through Trafalgar Square – though I have seen nothing on this in the news. At least, not as much as it deserved.
People are mobilising. People know they have the capacity for change in their hands. And we now need to show this to the world. A society needs a cultural identity and that is definitely linked with British TV shows and dramas, but there are also dramas happening on the streets of the country; there are real-life dramas in the minds of the people; there are day-to-day struggles that seem not important enough to be addressed by the papers or government per se.
These struggles include the rise of zero-hours contracts, diminishing the labour/financial safety employees need. They also include the increasing intent neoliberal societies have when it comes to privatising public assets, which, if they were managed properly, would be profitable and an advantage for public welfare instead of a burden. Such problems finally have the consequence of inciting radicalism.
It was stated once by Stieg Larsson that when citizens lose trust for democratic government, radicalised anti-democratic views creep out from the shadows and into the public. UKIP is an example but not the only example.
So, now we need to ask ourselves if the newspapers and the press are here to inform us in an objective way, or to disinform us in some other way?