Thursday, 22 November 2007

News for you

Information is the basis of democracy. The correct information, independent and disinterested from any political influence and affair. This is surely one of the trademarks that distinguish the democratic information in democracies with parliamentary representations.

Unfortunately this cannot be seen in practice, though not due to a lack of laws to guarantee free information, free speech and circulation of ideas in democracies. Quite the contrary; such laws do exists and are in place. The problem is instead in the way information is accessed and broadcast by the news-makers.

News is increasingly becoming more and more packaged and proposed to the readership in timeframes. The politician does not need to be worried anymore about this and that error. There is no need anymore to cover up the lies and broken promises espoused during the election campaign. There are no problems for the union leaders who cannot take the lead for an action campaign against government policies. There are no worries that the press is waiting; ready and prepared to mask, cover and reinterpret on the basis that perception is all that matters.

The perception desired by this collective of power is that everything is done in the public interest and if something goes wrong - when the stink cannot be trapped in a jar - anything is moved and reinterpreted in order to learn the traditional lesson.

We, ignorant, stupid, are unable to see that information is so meticulously and strategically packaged and marketed to us that the information we know is really there, is in truth missing from the news broadcast and as such does not actually exist. But more perversely, it is as though it never existed and as such, was just invention of the mind. The thing becomes worrying when one, two, three.....hundreds of people discover that what they thought to be true, is, in actual fact, not a mere invention of mind, but the real truth.

It is exactly this process that makes the truth: the sharing of thoughts about a particular thing. But you need to be more than one. It is like I would declare myself a communist whilst I know that nobody else in the world knows the meaning of such a word. I could not even label myself a communist if I knew that I would be the only person in the world being a communist. I could use only my own name and surname.

Journalists no longer share such thoughts with readers. The truth is already written in the headline. The rest is only marginal and if your thoughts happen to be engaged, statements of eminent and illustrious union leaders are already lurking behind the next full stop. The elite caste of union leaders speaks through the events and the happenings. They are always there to tell you what to do, what to think, how to make the next step, what should be good for the whole world and the universe. Their voices echo from article to article.

The reading of the educational news has become somewhat of an experience in which everything is already framed within a particular timeline and within a particular line of discussion that is invariably comfortable for the elite caste of union leaders. If journalism is able to bring together union leaders and Vice Chancellors, it is more of a packaging skill than the real and proper skill of making information. If such journalism is unable to raise uncomfortable questions to the elite caste of union leaders than it is a journalism that is the servant of a system in which the elite caste speaks through the headlines. It is journalism at the service of the government and its representation in the educational institutions on one side. On the other side, are servants of union leaderships, who are always ready to release hundreds of statements about events without knowing the details of a case or its circumstances. It is a journalism of truth-making between the parts. It is in the sharing of ideas and possibilities between the parts that the educational press certifies the truth. Convenient truth for both parts.

When the real truth highlights such makings, that same truth is punctually discarded as nonsense. It is ignored as something irrelevant. The past cannot be revisited; the timeline is unidirectional. The lack of uncomfortable questions with regard to the collusion of unions with university and school management can evidence this. Such questions are never posed to the unions by the educational press. Such things are never investigated.

The worrying aspect of all this is that there exist web-sites where evidence of such collusion is provided. Online forums are replete with messages from dissatisfied union members. Isn’t academic freedom also about being able to criticize your own union and to take steps to defend your rights and the rights of other people who are in the same condition and share the same cause.

If, in the last attempt to still trust the union leadership, members cannot take steps and implement measures to publish such evidence, the truth is nonetheless already there written online. The problem is that such truth does not speak through the headlines. Instead, the educational press is asked to perform acrobatic displays to hide and to reinterpret, while the readership is complicit in the show; accepting every word with predictably orchestrated responses.

On a long term, the timeline of incompetence and the servitude become evident. The truth must be consistent and coherent over a certain span of time. Unfortunately, the news on the educational press has become real-time; the individuals who are constantly speaking through their headlines are virtualised and the events are reported looking always forwards. They are a convenient underbelly for government, UCU and Vice Chancellors. The rest is history.

It is for precisely this reason that we should learn not to trust UCU leadership and certain journalism from the educational press, anymore. We should denounce the collusion and highlight the incompetence of a union leadership caught within its own hypocritical actions and not able to speak freely because it is too entangled within the webs of its own skeleton.

No comments: