segunda-feira, 21 de março de 2011

"Control room - Aljazeera" - Jornalismo ou Propaganda?

What is Your opinion about News Channel. Are they trustworthy source of information? Or they are the tools of national propaganda? (Documentário "Control room" em nove partes)

The first thing that came to my mind when I read this question was "What is a trustworthy source of information"? Is it an awfull death scenario that opens our eyes to a war that is happening, even if so far away? Is it the one that gives us a context and an explanation of a war so that we can judge ourselves? Is it the opinion of a specialist on war?
I really cannot decide, mainly because I think all of this is needed. We need images, we need context, we need someone that knows about what he's talking, as there is too much unracional contents thrown in the social sphere as it is.
Refering particularly to the "Control room - Aljazeera", I do not know how to answer as I cannot imagine how can a journalist be objective and neutral facing the death of so many of his people.
Maybe because we lived through out all of this years facing war scenarios and other extreme situations, we lost the capacity to be inpartial...
Nevertheless, there is no excuse for one single point of view in the media, but I do think that in Aljazeeras' case, even if against their will, they did try to get several opinions, from each side. We can see journalist Hussan, from Aljazeera network, spending so much of his time with the american press officer from the Coalition Media Center, we can observe the angry senior producer that didn't like the interviewed specialist because he was an extremist and so on.
If the duty of journalism is said, in the documentary, as being the capacity of "ruffling some feathers", Aljazeera can certainly do that, and they are known for it. To wich side they blow their wind, I cannot decide if towards the craving of showing the world what the americans were doing in Iraq,or to an anti-american sentiment. The question is: nacionalists or anti-americans?
Whatever their position is, we can see americans saying that this network is doing national propaganda, and we can see Iraqi soldiers asking Aljazeera to stop american propaganda. So where do they stand?

Generally speaking, I have the idea that in almost every democratic country, at least, we will find different types of news, allying with different types of ideologies. Of course the media should, in a perfect case, be unbias, but since it is formed by human beings, I don't think that would ever be achieved. I get this is the best solution to have pluralism of opinions and information, gathering a bit of news from different providers. That's the only way to protect our minds of propaganda or any mindwashing scheme.

As one extra security mesure against (dis)information, I guess that education towards the media should be applyed from the start. The news providers are a tool for the citizen, so he should know how to use it properly.

I have to end with an idea that has been stated on the previous comments: objectivity is an ilusion, a mirage. It has been debated for so long and nobody can truly achieve it because there is always a piece of information that is not announced, or a more important fact that subdues one that is though less important... We would go mad if we tried to cover it all.
But a compromise should be reached. We should bet on truth and do the bet we can to deliver accurate information to the public, letting themselves to judge.

Cristina Freitas

quarta-feira, 9 de março de 2011

What made the difference?

Origin and Evolution of the Means of Social Communication 

What made it possible?

In my opinion, we have to take in account every moment of the evolution of communication because I don't think that one evolution would be possible of the previous hadn't occured. For example, would it be enough to have printing systems if writing wasn't invented? I suppose not, at least not in what larger content is concerned. Looking back, i don't think we could dismiss any of the eras, nor any of the techniques or machinery that allowed us to get where we are today, in instant contact with every "courner" of the world.
Nevertheless, if I had to choose one specific moment in all this proccess that I consider to have changed our lives, I must go back to the Phoenicians, that invented the writing, and thank the Greeks for improving it. Without this moment in time, I couldn't be expressing myself here if I didn't have a common symbol language with other people, regardeless of all radio signals, Internet coverage or telephone cables in the world. There wouldn't be any common way between us all to express ourselves. 
Shure there are many different languages that suppose many different writings, but it's possible to learn them and know them because someone firstly set the rules, patterns and whatever composes our writing. So this is the moment I choose as the most important. But I must repeat that I don't think writing alone would be enough.
In a sort of a conclusion, we all have to appreciate Gutenberg's printing press, the abolishment in 1695 of the Licensing Act (censorship), Samuel Morse's telegraph and code, James Clerk's theoretical studies focused on radio waves, Marconi's antena (that allowed radio signal circulation), and so on. But let's think about what meant the end of time and space barriers that the invention of writing made possible.

Cristina Freitas

(Este texto foi elaborado por mim no âmbito de um trabalho proposto, na cadeira "Origin and Evolution of the Means of Social Communication", que pretende a eleição de um momento importante na evolução dos meios de comunicação)