For long time, people have been held suspicion of information of Television, Newspapers, and SNS run by government, corporations, and individuals. Where does the suspicion come from? It deprives from media’s wrong and manipulative broadcasts without social responsibility. Here, social responsibility denotes the responsibility of broadcasting accurate and fair information. The media do not explicitly violate this responsibility. What hinders their obligation of social responsibility? It is the rights of free expression.
Because of the unregulated rights of free expression, individuals, corporations, and even government announce silly lies, alluring advertisement, and manipulative declaration. That’s the reason why Venezuelan people faced the crisis of dictatorship from anti-Chavez party in 2002. That’s the reason why the curse of annihilation by nuclear contamination frightened people in Japan and all over the world in 2011.
Of course, there is no doubt that nothing can restrict anyone’s freedom of expression.
However, having the rights of free expression does not mean that people are welcomed to voice irrational information. Professor Mark Dinneen alerts that, “all [media] must assume responsibility for what they express, and cannot hide behind anonymity or convey messages that promote war, discrimination or religious intolerance” (38). Then, he continues that, “past experience highlights the need to regulate the conduct of the media more effectively, to improve the quality and accuracy of the information it disseminates, extend public access to and participation in the media and to encourage social responsibility on the part of its owners and employees” (38-39). As Dinneen declares, the right of free expression in media is only guaranteed when they conduct their own social responsibility.
In order to solve this mischief of the rights of free expression, any third party must establish an inspective organization and deploy the inspectors to all media groups. As people who desire getting rid of media suspicion, we need to move the society and to develop the trusting media.
January 2015, California, U.S.
Unbiased Media Manifesto, Nobuyuki Furuta
Don’t get deceived by mass media. Media are defined as something that mediates between people and this world. In reality, however, that’s not true because media are biased. They have complete power to decide what they broadcast and what citizens are able to know. They manipulate innocent citizens by giving only biased information. The relationship between media and us shouldn’t be one-directional. Media shouldn’t be biased. We, all citizens, have a right to know the truth. We have to change this society that is ruled by the huge influence of mass media.
So, we need something to control media. We demand that the government introduce new laws that guarantee that mass media include different voices in their broadcasts. Laws are the best tool to establish and maintain equality within media and people, since no one is allowed to defy and break them. Can we rely on the government for the role of controlling mass media, instead of introducing new laws? No, because, if the government could control media and decide broadcasts, mass media would be just the tool to convey the opinions of the government. We need absoluteness. Our right to know the reality has to be assured by laws.
Also, broadcasts must always include opinions from different perspectives in order to depict the reality as precisely as possible. Something that is unfavorable for media and the government could often happen in reality. Media have power to keep concealing these facts. However, they have to let all viewers know what is actually happening. Some people might suffer from the unknown facts that media don’t open. Media have to convey their voices as well because that is the role that media have to fill.
Join us and let’s make media unbiased. We have a right to know the truth.
Manifesto, Kaori Tsuji
Be an Active Participant, Freedom of Expression and Media Literacy
When I was in elementary school, I used to be obsessed with the TV because it showed me things that I have never known. When I was in middle school, I started using a cell phone. It taught me how to connect with other people. When I was in high school, I got a smartphone, which made me get used not to communicate face to face with other people. I am currently in the college and got a laptop. I am on online almost all day. Despite the fact that these devices are getting more and more complicated, they make my life so much more convenient. I do not need a newspaper or a magazine to know recent news or gossips. I do not have to go shopping at stores anymore. I can talk to multiple friends at the same time via the Internet. These devices provide us more free and useful world. I am sure many people feel the same. In the complexity, however, we are being trapped by the misunderstandings of freedom of the media. I would like to assert two fantasies that we are being led to believe.
First, we consider freedom as a state that we can do whatever we want. One of my classmates from my high school put a naked picture of his friend on Twitter without his friend’s permission. As a result, a lot of people who saw the picture felt uncomfortable and even were offended, and the friendship between him and his friend was destroyed. There was also an incident in Japan that a student committed suicide due to the bully on the Internet. The bullies took advantage of the anonymity of the Internet. On New Year’s Eve, a Japanese famous singer made fun of the honor medal that was from the Japanese emperor on TV, and many people found it as an insult to the emperor. Consequently, he had to apologize in public for his attitude. His reputation has been dragged down after that. How far can we have freedom of expression? I believe one’s freedom should be respected as long as it does not invade others’ rights or does not hurt others, and I believe we all should know that. However, the media can make us forget the common fact, because we tend to forget the small screen of a phone or a laptop is connected with millions of other people. These people that I listed above clearly do not know what they did on their screen could have such impact on others’ lives. Through the filter, we feel like we are free from any restriction, which is totally a lie.
Second, as we are witnessing the evolution of technology, we tend to feel that we are free to get any kind of information through the use of media. Although, we definitely have better accessibilities to a variety of information, and it is so much easier than before, just having those skills does not make you more notified. We all get to try to actively take advantage of it. Glen Greenwald criticizes people because they are just satisfied with a feeling of freedom, and not many people actually go access bunch of database and try to collect as much information as they can. Some people might say that it is fine just to have the option so that those who want to know more can gain more information. However, if people do not actively try to get information on the Internet, the authority would fool those people. It has been manipulating information people receive and the impression people receive from it in the history. Its propaganda system was less intricate in the past, but it takes advantage of the complexity of the media in the current society and shows people an illusion of freedom. For example, Greenwald states that the U.S government concealed information and its lies about the Iraq War to justify to go to the war. Greenwald also warns that there is a disparity of information that people receive depending on where they live because the government chooses what to disclose and what not to. Hence, the government of each country has its own subjective purpose underneath its media and tries to control people’s image of their own country or other countries. Due to the authority’s censorship, people could have hostility toward other countries, and it might end up fighting with them, just like the 9.11 attacks. These are the reasons that I want to emphasize the importance of spontaneity searching more information. We cannot allow the authority to deceive us anymore! It is not easy to transform it, so it is we who have to change to protect our freedom!
To prevent us from being trapped by the myths of freedom in the current society, I would like to declare that we all need a certain education about the use of media. I have taken a class about the use of computers. The class gave me knowledge about the history of technology and softwares or applications in the computers, but it never taught me the dangers of the media. The education in the current society must include not only how to use the media, but also ethics on the media so that people would use the Internet in accordance with the morality. Also, it has to be conducted according to universal curriculum so that a country can change to whatever beneficial for the government. In a way, the education can improve the inequality of access to the media, so it has to be mandatory for all students as well. On the top of that, it has to be done for the purpose of making students aware of the system of the media and its positive and negative sides, letting them have the skills to access the information by themselves, and growing them up as active participants of this digital world. As active participants, we all are required to follow ethics in order to protect others’ freedom and our own’s. If we see someone violating the ethics, we would be required to accuse of whoever the opponent. What if the government violates them like it has done so many times around the world in the history? Suppose only a few of us are active participants and accuse the government for hiding information that people should know and taking away people’s freedom to know, they would be marginalized because the government power is stronger. However, if all of us are active participants, we would be able to submerge the government’s corruption, just like a revolution. I believe being active participants means being free in a true sense. Before we lose our sight in the entanglement, it is the time!
By Stuart Adams
American news media is a parasite, infecting American political consciousness with sensationalist garbage meant to serve the interests of those in power, and leaving only the shell of journalist integrity for the American people. The average American who wants to learn about what is going on in the world around them cannot do so without constantly working to separate whether or not what they read is the truth, or a fabrication meant to serve the 6 media companies which control 90% of American media.
There is hope that as news media grows on the internet, journalistic plurality can return to American political consciousness. As a media landscape shaped by rules designed to create an equal and meritocratic space, it has opened up debates which have been largely avoided by corporate media and brought issues into the light which have been left in darkness by American news media.
Despite the admirable efforts of these internet journalists, most Americans do not know of them because their primary source of news media is not free from corporate media influence. Television, radio, and print media are primarily continue to control most of American political consciousness and propel our society towards an Orwellian nightmare, drowning out dissenting opinions with testimonials from experts whose only credentials are agreeable political positions, replacing investigation with sensationalism, and refusing to broadcast stories which cast their political allies in a negative light..
We who are aware of this information disparity can no longer sit idly by as millions are pacified by the media-political complex. We have seen what happens when the valiant efforts of numerous privacy groups are brought together in protest of draconian laws like SOPA and CISPA. However, if an increased effort is not made towards protecting free media and a dramatic shift is not made in the minds of concerned Americans, American politicians will continue to make attacks on free media until the march toward corporate censorship is complete.
The time has come for the fight for media access rights to go on the offensive. The orgy of deregulation which has continued since the Ronald Reagan administration must be reversed. The cross-medium conglomerates have become so large that they are now a destructive force facing American democracy. Had this system existed during early America, and foundational documents been passed under the scrutinizing eye of the British Empire, would widely know works of American political commentary like Common Sense have been widely circulated? Not likely.
The internet is a force which is frightening to those in power, a medium which by the virtue of its creator was made free and equal to all those which broadcast on it and because of that, it must be protected. The internet has elicited reactions from repressive governments all over the world, with Russia jailing bloggers, China maintaining nationwide internet censorship, and the United States persecuting those who use it to publish evidence of US crimes. However, the internet is of course consistently under attack, most recently by “regulators” who wanted to rewrite the rules of net neutrality which allowed the internet to be a free space in the first place. In order to protect the internet, we need to reclassify it as a common carrier, so that ISPs will never be able to give preference to certain kinds of internet traffic.
We know that the public would not willingly allow themselves to be fooled and have the integrity of their democracy pulled away from beneath their feet. To create a public of active agents in media representation, we have to educate the people in the methods by which media outlets set political agenda and stifle dissenting voices. The people must be shown that they have the power, both as a member of a democratic society and as a consumer, to make decisions which will put pressure on the media to be a check to government power, and not a collaborator with it. If the desire for reform is kept solely within the heart of the reformer, then those reforms will not outlive the reformer. But if the flame of reform is passed from person to person and shared widely, then we will constantly move towards a more equal society.
How Facebook Killed the Internet
International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs
Agencia Plurinacional de Comunicación
Official Website: http://www.ezln.org.mx/
Documentary, “A Place Called Chiapas”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TffwElt_UU
Navajos make their own films
Through Navajo Eyes, as well as seven short ﬁlms produced by Navajo ﬁlmmakers that garnered worldwide attention in their own right. In 2011, the ﬁlms were repaired and returned to the Navajo Nation for public screenings, the ﬁrst step in a process of repatriation and resigniﬁcation that mirrors the repatriation of other visual media to Navajo and indigenous communities. The return of the ﬁlms offersa unique opportunity to reexamine the meanings of the ﬁlms and the project itself, reframing the discussion around issues of visual sovereignty, community reengagements, and “reclaiming” Diné/Navajo histories.
The Kayapó (Disappearing World Series) Producer: Michael Beckham; Director: Michael Beckham; Camera: Michael Blakeley; Sound: David Woods; Editor: Paul Griffiths‐Davies; Consultant Anthropologist: Terence Turner; Distributor: Enquiries to Granada Television International, 1987, 52 min.
Diez, C. (2015, January 20). Venimos de una hegemonia de la imagen. Retrieved January 20, 2015, from http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/suplementos/espectaculos/17-34518-2015-01-20.html
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Fox, E. (1988). La Reforma de la television chilena. In Dias de Bail: El fracaso ded la Reforma en la Television de America Latin (pp. 103-121). Paris: Felefacs.
Fox, E. (1988). Antecedentes de la reforma. In Dias de Bail: El fracaso ded la Reforma en la Television de America Latin (pp. 17-53). Paris: Felefacs.
Gonzalez-Rodriguez, G., & Lugo-Ocando, J. (2008). The Media in Chile: The Restoration of Democracy and the Subsequent Concentration of Media Ownership. In The Media in Latin America (pp. 61-77). Open University Press.
Wroe, A. (2014, November 18). Farewell to escapism (J. Micklethwait, Ed.). The Economist, 158-158.