Monday, February 27, 2017

In Praise of the Media (by the media)

This editorial gets many things right, such as the paragraph quoted below, but there are also some things that are not being addressed. Among the most important is that, in today's media environment (and probably throughout history), lies can be much more attractive than the truth. Lies have infinite scope and can be tailored to appeal or persuade; the truth is stuck with reality, however unattractive or inconvenient it may be. As such, those claiming to be the guardians of truth cannot afford to give lies any deference at all. A lie not called out in time is tomorrow's article of faith. 

But this much is true:
"If facts don't exist, the world is in a hell of a pickle. So let's celebrate that, across Canada and around the world, there are buildings filled with people who stake their living – and even their lives; 74 journalists were killed in 2016, according to Reporters Without Borders – on the counterproposition. Without a set of norms and principles that are defended vigilantly and in a non-partisan way, societies can fall apart. Liberal democracy depends on a healthy free press closely watching our increasingly large and complex governments. The media, digging up what politicians, CEOs and bureaucrats would rather you not know, or saying things that those in power would prefer were not said, are an indispensable mechanism for ensuring an informed public."

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