It’s not as if there aren’t any good journalist, there are many. However the media does not support them. The saying “if it bleeds it reads” is often what makes some journalist no more than ambulance chasers, looking for the next great tragedy to occur and report on it. The irony of the current conflicts in MENA is that international professional journalism has had little impact in how the story is told. Social Media took the lead. The big stories delivered by Christiane Amanpours interviews with Mubarak or Gaddafi’s sons have only solidified what the people on the ground already knew. Rather than been insightful, in a way they were using ABC news to further perpetuate their propaganda. Since there are not many oppurtunities for these types of BREAKING NEWS… many journalists are left to find stories in the background of the BIG story. If there is to be any growth in the field it is imperative that more space is made.
Encouraging journalists to be “Peace Journalists”, to report on conflicts from a peaceful perspective- to not always inflame tempers or perpetuate stereotypes, will be difficult if the only things that sells are the blood and guts of war. Further the competition for the most “compelling” story is made worse with news outlets closing shop or consolidating. If journalists want to work and make money (we all need to eat right?) than perhaps social media is their key to the castle. Even so mainstream media is capitalizing on this new platform of communicating… you can follow Kris Kristoff, Anderson Cooper etc. on twitter and be part of the never ending media cycle. Without tech savvy skills – the future of “citizen media” or “amateur – free-lance- journalist” may be bleak.
Watch Christiane Amanpour interview Saif and Al-Saadi (their delusion is very entertaining)