Media ethics and the frenzy of stereotype

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					                     Media ethics and the
                     frenzy of stereotype

      A view from the Indian sub-continent
Rashmi Vasudeva, Erasmus Mundus Masters in Media Within Globalization
      Security and Ethics of Technology-Enabled Communication
        EMA Thematic Conference, Bordeaux, 29-30 March 2010
An overview
   Why media ethics in this age
    of convergence

   Media – lifeblood of
    democracy or a demagogue?

   US-Pak media: A case study
    of tech-enabled

   India-Aus racism row:
    Mediatized crisis

   The frenzy of „easy hate‟

   Conclusion: Get into the big
    tent but give and take!
   Media impacts an electronic

   A climate of fear, terrorism
    and regional conflict – media
    must remember Spiderman‟s
    words – with great power
    comes great responsibility

   Technology throws up vital
    questions about ethics,
    security and media‟s role in
    conflict creation and cultural

   Internet is a wayward
    river…how information flows
    and to whom and to what
    consequence is anybody‟s
     US-Pak media: „This is not us‟
   The real war in
    Pakistan is about

   International migraine
    versus the Evil West

   Pak is not Iraq; nor
    is it Afghanistan

   Pak media fostering      watch video
   “Pluralism represents one of the greatest
    challenges of our age. Our world is connected
    technologically like never before but this grid of
    connections co-exists with a collision of cultures,
    values, customs, religions, social structures and

   To compound matters, this pluralism is refracted
    through the prism of an instantly-accessible
    news media of striking images of angry
    conflicting voices and of powerful manipulative
                                      Stephen Ward, Media Scholar
India-Aus row: Mediated crisis
    A wired wildfire of stereotyping
   Increasing globalization and
    instant online access has altered
    how countries like India and
    Australia view their identity and
    role in world politics

   Globalized media's encounters
    with each other fosters deeply
    divisive racial/polarized debates    In times of insecurity, the media
                                        thanks to technology, can amplify the
                                        view of fear mongerers.

                                         Internet's ability to provide layers of
                                        information should result in a more
                                        'contextualised' journalism for a
                                        pluralistic public sphere.

                                         But does that really       happen?
The frenzy of hate: An online drama?
   The role of technology in
    media is crucial; for it ensures
    efficient distribution of fear,
    anxiety and outrage with
    minimal effort.

   “24x7 media, both online and
    offline, converts a kernel of an
    issue into a forest fire with
    effortless and almost inevitable
    ease. It specializes in
    recasting questions in martial
    terms - everything becomes
    war when it is mediatized –
    either for gain or in ignorance.”
       Santosh Desai, Times of India columnist
The symbolism of hate
                                       The use of random violence staged
                                        spectacularly is a particularly efficient
                                        device in today's times

                                       The ease with which symbolic
                                        violence can be widely distributed is
                                        creating a surfeit of such issues, but
                                        the real damage inflicted is to the
                                        ideals modern societies are built on

 Today, hate and violence is a stage performance enacted for an audience.
Now it is so much easier for hate to be expressed without putting anything at

 We can froth, foam, rave and rant without restraint in the alternative universe
called media. The internet is full of the vilest form of hate since it gives us the
maximum protection from the consequences of our words.
   Technology has made the journalist an initiator of
    conversation rather than a transmitter of information.
    This new environment changes how journalists see
    themselves and how they regard public deliberation.
    Obviously these have great implications for ethics,
    security and democracy.

   Global information = higher stakes

   Thus, ethical standards must be broader, more
    profound and more defined to realize a democratic
    and empowering technology rather than an
    enslaving or debilitating one,

   Journalists must deal with the stubborn complexity
    and plurality of the world, not shrink it down to
    digestible sound bites or clever tweets; only then can
    ethically responsible or peace journalism can work.

   Only a true collaboration between the traditional and
    the new media will sustain journalism’s credibility
    and relevance and thus help it exercise its enormous
    power responsibly.
   It might be a Dickensian „worst of times‟
    for media in many ways and the
    profession might be facing its greatest
    challenges from all quarters but it is
    also its „best of times‟ with so much
    global potential and power in its
    reach – technologically as well as
    socio-culturally. It is up to journalists to
    reach out…

   For, it is Journalism and
    Journalism alone that has the
    capacity to be the most potent
    force for humanity, for
    intercultural understanding,
    for peace and for democracy.

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