Is freedom of the press an increasingly scarce value?
In a world of uncertainties, of economic, social, environmental and political crises, society looks for institutions that guarantee freedom. Photo: Pexels
LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
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In a world of uncertainties, of economic, social, environmental, and political crises, society looks for institutions that guarantee freedom. In a world where information is sought, found, and created in piles and as discourse, (independent) journalism is the beacon and guarantor of democracies.
This past week the International Press Freedom Day was celebrated, precisely at a time when there is more press and more freedom but, ironically, there is less freedom of the press. Conflicts, censorship, self-censorship, repression, job insecurity, among other problems, are the main evils that jeopardize good journalism, that independent journalism.
Even today there are also the media related to extremist movements that directly seek to deliver the final blow, the thrust that is needed in already weak democracies. Conspiracy groups, terrorists, and extremists have found in digital media and social networks, the platforms to communicate their speeches. Here we must trust journalism, good or bad, but journalism.
Another challenge for independent journalism that is presented in the capitalist world in which we live, is the new media models like Fox News or CNN. Here, information is entertainment and opinions will be defined by a speech, but not by facts or evidence.
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So, faced with all these challenges, we have to defend freedom of the press together. Let's be demanding on the content, but let's also be empathetic with the communication workers.
Ryszard Kapuscinski, the father of modern journalism, said well that to be a good journalist, one must be a good person. In today's world, being a good person does not only mean having empathy, solidarity, and fighting for the truth and those most in need. Being a good person also means being a good professional, contrasting source, not just believing that the intention is enough, distrusting, and going further.
However, it will also be necessary to understand that journalists make mistakes. That sometimes, our lack of rigor, fatigue, stress and human error themselves play tricks on us. Neither do we think that he or the journalist is our enemy, perhaps he will be our adversary, but let's keep the benefit of the doubt.
Of course, we all have non-journalistic sources that we like to inform ourselves about. From which we receive first-hand information. We all follow like-minded opinions (and some opponents) to our thinking, but that should not let us blind our reason and be able to consume independent news and analysis, from reputable media (not necessarily great) and from which it is valid to listen to their point of view. . Let's not close ourselves to the debate, let's not be selfish about not allowing new ideas to enter our dictionary and for ours to travel and be challenged by others.
So, remember that to be a journalist there are: reporters, opinion makers, analysts, experts and (also) entertainment figures. Everyone plays a role and it will be your duty as a consumer to know which of these you read or listen to.