Posted by: nigelashtonuk | January 16, 2015

16 January, 2015 13:02

“A politician complaining about the media is like a sea captain complaining about the weather”. An old saying that I think most would still agree with and include anyone in the public eye not just politicians, but it is changing. It is part of our democratic process that Press, TV and Radio can hold anyone in public office to account on behalf of the general public. Sometimes it could seem too biased or too personal but it was accepted as the price paid and the best way to make sure that those in any position of influence were held to account. It also came with the understanding that the media would ensure that what they reported was factual. There have been a number of issues exposed by journalists over recent years, whether it was House of Lords , MPs, Councils, Police, Care homes or Big Business, even parts of the Press themselves and we are better off as a nation to have this constant examination and reassurance.

However, I am getting concerned with the direction we seem to be heading in the era of so called social media and celebrity culture. Modern technology of Smart Phones, Tablets, variations on Facebook and Twitter type sites and the International web, has provided easy access to instant news and information for millions around the world, but there is no control or correction. We now live in a world where anyone can anonymously publish outrageous lies without ever having to justify themselves, it destroys careers, families and worst of all, on occasion has driven individuals including children, to take their own lives. The public are often being deliberately misled and it is often impossible to know what to believe. Instant access to information has led to the reduction in professional and responsible reporting as media companies need to either sensationalise stories or put an interpretation on it whilst still presenting it as fact. Some radio and TV interviewers seem to regard themselves as more important than the guests, not allowing them to answer, constant interruption and innuendo, they are using sarcasm and badgering because of a lack of ability to get the best out of the interviewee, surely it is possible to be tough and still respectful. We constantly hear complaints about some young people not having self discipline or respect, where do they learn that from. Greater access to information is fine but we need to know that those who provide it are trustworthy and have just as high standards as those they demand of others. Freedom of speech , absolutely, but a measure of responsibility as well.

………………………..

Cllr Nigel C Ashton

Leader of North Somerset Council

A Unitary Authority

Twitter @NigelCAshton

Website nigelashton.co.uk

Advertisements

Categories