When the political elite refuse to play by the rules, we need a morally conscious media to protect us from falsehood
Hypocrisy has become a defining trend in many so-called, ‘public leaders’. In the showbiz-obsessed society we are living in, certain rather ignorant and fame-hungry individuals have been able to permeate the public media and generate wealth for themselves while maintaining the pretence of shared ignorance.
It is not the first time I dedicate a post to this trend, and I am sure it will not be the last one. Although the common practice is to take citizens as useful idiots who are not going to demand accountability for the policies and practices of their governments, the last few years have shown the existence of potential leaderships that register and channel the social discomfort with hypocrisy and the way things are done.
This month the #PanamaPapers came to public light, and the practice of offshoring capital became another trending topic. It is not the first time news of illegal activity by public figures has hit the headlines — as the scandal linked to the HSBC’s Swiss private bank accounts demonstrated a few months ago — and it will not be the last: we need this openness. It is the way things should be given that government officials and the elite are not willing to be transparent and fulfil their civic duty. A duty which expects them to contribute to the common good, either by supporting the cause or by controlling those who are at the top of the social pyramid. In such circumstances the role of the press is to play the role of the judge; to become a source of accountability.
The role of the press I am describing is an objective one and quite instrumental. The media needs to recover its willingness to advocate for a fairer society. The media needs to take on the role of advocating and defending educated opinion that enables citizens to develop a clear and unbiased understanding. It should not be under the heel of major capitalist conglomerates that now own it, and responsible citizens who value freedom and truth will be willing to contribute in various ways to secure such a media’s survival.
The media we, as twenty-first-century citizens need is an independent, adaptive, agile and transparent one.
We need to align the media with the sources of information, with the social issues we are facing and with the inconvenient truth the political life we are living carries … that we, the citizens, are not being taken into account. This needs to change. We don’t need more Donald Trumps. We don’t need more Rupert Murdochs. We don’t need more George Osbornes. But we do need more #Indignados, #OccupyWallStreet, #PanamaPapers, #Wikileaks or #EdwardSnowdens. We need a media that’s willing to fight for our rights, and we need to demand this.