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Switch Off TV

Yesterday Alan Rusbridger, former editor of the Guardian from 1995 to 2015, wrote a column: “This is a key moment in the public’s view of mainstream news” . There is no doubt that good journalism is and always will be necessary.

One of the things that Alan Rusbridger point out was that during the early days of the Second World War, it became alarmingly apparent how much the British people relied on newspaper soothsayers, and took their daily decision according to what those soothsayers recommended.

The situation got so alarming that The Home Office (Intelligence Branch) decided to run a research, and the results found out that 40% of the population were believers in astrology enough to change their behaviour during air raids. At the end The financial secretary to the Treasury called for “strong action to put a stop to this form of journalism”. And guys, Yes … We are talking about an event that happened 80 years ago.

However, the question is… 80 years later we have managed to improve something … the freedom of the press that we are so proud is free or is just press?

It seems like there is absolutely no good news on the horizon.

Because during all this coronavirus crisis, many things had happend. In Spain, for instance, during the early days of the locked down, the government made a 15 million euros grant of complementary economic measures to mainstream media in order to mitigate the effects of the crisis economic due to coronavirus in the media sector. This grant was possible to do though Royal Decree-Law, because “The Alarm State” allowed to do it without debate.

And the question is… how we can relay on media and press free information when they depend on government economic support. It is possible that any of them, can offer independent information to us the citizens?

I believe not.

The current situation, here in Spain, is that in terms of Covid19 Crisis Media coverage… is all content. We have made everything so fine that we can be proud, no one is questioning the data and the only criticism is on twitter where far right and far left groups with hordes of bots are jellying and seeding anger all around.

In the other hand, we are going out (you know what I mean …) and clap at 8pm while our sanitary are exhausted and look at what happens with an incredulous face, but hey … the thing is already almost controlled right? That’s what they tell us.

And I wonder, If media doesn´t do their independent function. Why do we need them?

What is the coverage quality they are performing and why if they are not acting like gatekeepers face consequences?

We have to require them to assume the responsibilities and consequences of their actions. In USA for instance, Fox News Faces Lawsuit For Calling COVID-19 A ‘Hoax’. The lawsuit filed by a nonprofit group, Washington League for Increased Transparency and Ethics (WASHLITE), Fox News has been accused of violating Washington State’s Consumer Protection Act by falsely stating in February and March broadcasts that the novel coronavirus was a hoax, downplaying the crisis in a way that potentially undermined efforts to slow the spread of the disease.

The lawsuit closely followed the publication of an open letter to Fox News signed by 74 journalism professors saying its coverage was “a danger to public health,” and urged the networks to “help protect the lives of all Americans—including your elderly viewers—by ensuring that the information you deliver is based on scientific facts.” Here the full Washington Superior Court Washlite v. Fox News

The case is on the King County Superior Court calendar with a trial date set for March 29, 2021. We will see what happends but the fight is going to be hard…Fox already hire Donald Trump’s favorite law firm, Jones Day. 

Meanwhile I decided to switch off TV….

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