12 July 2007

Media, be nice



‘Truth’ is to be understood as a system of ordered procedures for the production, regulation, distribution, circulation and operation of statements.
Michel Foucault

When you discover news which implies something is awry, should you (a) report it objectively (tick the truth box) or (b) soft-pedal it (tick the social stability box)? The Commission on Integration and Cohesion seems to think the latter, with an assessment of the British mainstream media which strikes me as seriously distorted, if not inverted. Indeed, the phrase "on another planet" springs to mind.

There is no doubt that more work needs to be done to counteract powerful, negative messages coming from the national media agencies. These messages are seen to reinforce misconceptions and aggravate community tensions locally and nationally. There is therefore a need for greater balance, both in reporting and in the composition of the reporting community, who are seen to be drawn disproportionately from advantaged groups.
"Negative messages"? From the television, and the broadsheets? Now if they were referring to messages about males, Tories, the bourgeoisie, or people running a business, I might understand what on earth they were talking about ...