Beyond Objectivity: Global Voices and the Future of Journalism
by Lokman Tsui, student at Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania on Jun 04, 2009
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This project attempts to help us understand the cultures, practices and people of a new kind of news production environment: Global Voices, an international project that brings together and translates ...
This project attempts to help us understand the cultures, practices and people of a new kind of news production environment: Global Voices, an international project that brings together and translates blogs and citizen media from around the world in order to, “aggregate, curate, and amplify the global conversation online – shining light on places and people other media often ignore.”
Drawing on Global Voices as an exemplar, I argue that we need to move beyond objectivity towards "hospitality" in pursuing the potential of journalism in a networked world. Roger Silverstone defines hospitality as the "ethical obligation to listen." Indeed, in a world where the internet makes it so much easier for everybody to speak, Global Voices asks us: "The world is talking. Are you listening?" What is ultimately at stake is perhaps best described by Silverstone, who argues that, "it is only by attending to the realities of global communication, but also and even more so to its possibilities, that we will be able to reverse what otherwise will be a downward spiral towards increasing global incomprehension and inhumanity.”
Global Voices shows us that we would do ourselves a disservice by limiting our imagination to the ideal type of journalism from a previous era. Without expanding our imagination, we cannot hope to understand how the internet might alter the constraints of the relationship between journalism and democracy for the better. Indeed, communication scholar James Carey helped us understand that "the meaning of democracy changes over time because forms of communication with which to conduct politics change."
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