Media Monopoly vs Media Democracy


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Societás Founder Melissa Sterry's provocation, presented at the InterACT Participatory Media Forum on 2nd December 2009.

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Media Monopoly vs Media Democracy

  1. 1. Media Monopoly vs Media Democracy A provocation by Melissa Sterry of Societás
  2. 2. Do we really need mainstream media anymore?
  3. 3. In an interview with The Guardian earlier this week Zac Goldsmith stated ‘the single biggest block’ to action on green issues in Britain is the media and that… “as long as the media remains completely, cripplingly, violently hostile to green talk and green solutions, I do not think politicians will really have the courage to grapple with this issue."
  4. 4. Journalist Peter Hitchens is waging his own personal war on the climate change lobby through his Daily Mail column… ‘The inconvenient truths Mr Gore and his fanatical friends DIDN'T tell you about climate change’ ‘Many people – and bodies – presented as experts actually have little or no knowledge of the [Climate Change] science involved’ ‘Recent studies show that most polar bear populations are rising’
  5. 5. The reality… Individuals Hitchens describes as ‘fanatics’ include: o UK Government Chief Scientific Advisor Professor John Beddington o Former Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government Sir David King o Senior NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen - credited as being the most qualified climate change scientist in the world o Harvard Physicist Dr. John Holdren - advisor to US President Barack Obama for Science and Technology © Societas Ltd 2009 All Rights Reserved
  6. 6. The reality continued… The bodies Hitchens claims have ‘no understanding’ of climate change science include: Every national science academy worldwide, including the world’s oldest scientific institution - the Royal Society, which has been the UK’s leading science academy for 350 years To quote Wikipedia ‘At present, no scientific body of national or international standing has issued a dissenting statement [relating to the fact that climate change is happening and is due to man-made greenhouse gas emissions]’ © Societas Ltd 2009 All Rights Reserved
  7. 7. The reality continued… Scientists predict that, if current warming trends continue in the Arctic, 2/3 of the world's polar bears could disappear by 2050 At the most recent meeting of the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (2009), the world's leading polar bear scientists reported that of the 19 subpopulations of polar bears, 8 were declining, 3 were stable, 1 was increasing, and 7 had insufficient data to make a determination © Societas Ltd 2009 All Rights Reserved
  8. 8. Another example of poor reporting by mainstream media… When reporting on the recent flooding in Cumbria, not a single mainstream newspaper highlighted the following related facts: o Flooding on this scale was indicated by the climate change models of institutions including the Met Office and NASA o Worldwide, in recent years, we have seen the worst floods in centuries - including: •Flooding in UK in June/July 2007 across Northern Island, East Yorkshire, The Midlands, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, South Wales and Berkshire •Flooding in India in 2008 across Maharashtra state, Andhra Pradesh as well as northern Bihar with led to 2,404 deaths and 2.5 million homeless •Flash floods in Istanbul in September 2009 causing $70 million of damage and loss of 31 lives •August 2009 saw the worst typhoon since records began hit Asia - resulting in the loss of over 500 lives in Taiwan from flooding and more than 50,000 left homeless © Societas Ltd 2009 All Rights Reserved
  9. 9. If we cannot trust mainstream media to report accurately on world events, who can we trust? © Societas Ltd 2009 All Rights Reserved
  10. 10. Several million bloggers… Technorati currently states it is tracking over 112.8 million blogs, a number which obviously does not include all the 72.82 million Chinese blogs as counted by The China Internet Network Information Center (Blog Herald, February 2008) About 175,000 new weblogs are created each day. There are more than 2 blogs created each second of each day about 1.6 Million postings per day, or about 18.6 posts per second (CyberJournalist 2006) Worldwide ordinary men, women and children are writing about issues that matter to them; local issues, national issues, global issues on which they have a view or some insight Increasingly academics, scientists and other highly informed and intelligent individuals use blogs to get coverage for subject matter blocked by the mainstream media © Societas Ltd 2009 All Rights Reserved
  11. 11. Blogging Pros • Independent viewpoints • Variety of content • Content less likely to be swayed by commercial factors (i.e. pressure from advertisers) Cons • Lack of visibility - competing in a crowded market • Variable quality of content • Blog content often un-edited and un-policed © Societas Ltd 2009 All Rights Reserved
  12. 12. Simultaneous Trends Emerging in Social Media o Community Policing of Content o Community Endorsement o Community Distribution o Aggregation of Content o Higher Spec Equipment o Contributors Increasing o Online Audience Growing © Societas Ltd 2009 All Rights Reserved
  13. 13. Low Tech Media Goes Mainstream In the past decade several Hollywood producers have created blockbuster movies using, or appearing to use, low tech filming equipment.
  14. 14. Why don’t bloggers make their own news channels? o Crowd Source Content o Crowd Police Content o Crowd Endorse Content o Crowd Distribute Content Take a local to global approach, sourcing local amateur reporters to covers stories. Feed content into an online aggregator, which uses cloud technology to rank stories. © Societas Ltd 2009 All Rights Reserved
  15. 15. Teenagers are already catching onto the idea…
  16. 16. Bloggers already have all the technology they need to create their own multi-national news networks. …it’s only a matter of time before they catch on. © Societas Ltd 2009 All Rights Reserved
  17. 17. GET IN TOUCH Skype: societas @societas_