Journalism lecturer urges journalistic courage – democracy is in danger
There is a war on media, and it’s time for journalism teachers to suit up, Crikey, 8 Mar 17, The biggest change for journalism lecturers this semester will be a darkly positive one, writes journalism lecturer at Curtin University Glynn Greensmith. “…….Trust in both politicians and the media is not high. This on-the-nosedness is apparently contributing to the rise of parties like One Nation (their unofficial slogan for the upcoming WA election, “Think Polio & Putin, think Pauline”, needs a little work, to be honest), other minor parties, and a polarising and divisive national discourse. Or, as former chief justice of the Australian High Court Robert French said last month:
“The spaces left by lack of awareness and misunderstanding are all too readily filled by snake oil salesmen coming in from the hinterland of our civil and political discourses.”……..
The one word we may be adding or emphasising in our teaching repertoire in 2017 is courage. The challenge against the means and modus of journalism is now more direct and deliberate than at any time in recent history. Fake news is simply the generation and distribution of knowingly untrue stories in order to garner a sense of misunderstanding and/or money. The co-opted Trump version means ‘If your truth conflicts with my politics, you’re a liar’.
Truth, and how to tell it, are the elements of journalism that media educators have long taken for granted, and taught. The real positive now is that audiences may once again be joining us at this base point for our relationship between journalism and democracy.
To start there is to expect — not hope — that better politicians and politics must follow. To start there is to expect — not hope — that journalism teachers across Australia can talk truth once again this semester, without having to duck to avoid flying lumps of coal. https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/03/08/there-is-a-war-on-media-and-its-time-for-journalism-teachers-to-suit-up/
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