- Date published:
6:30 pm, September 29th, 2010 - 62 comments
Categories: broadcasting, democratic participation, local government, Media, news, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: authority, CERRA, Media, national radio, propaganda
I put on the radio this morning to hear emails expressing concern about the CERRA being read out. Since I haven’t heard any such concerns being echoed back to me by any media, I briefly thought that maybe some abuse had flowed from ‘the Act’ in the past 24 hours or so.
Apparently, whereas Labour and Green party members slamming their respective politicians over support for the CERRA goes unreported; and whereas the widespread expressions of anger, condemnation, disgust and thoughtful analyses all over the NZ blogosphere is as a deafening silence to media outlets, that’s not the case when a few of ‘the right’ people speak up.
According to even our most liberal media then, when thousands of citizens find themselves in what might be described as spontaneous concurrence, as happened over the CERRA, it’s just not important enough to warrant much of a mention.
But somewhat revealingly and quite simply, when 27 academics ,who media types perceive as being ‘authoritative’ and therefore ‘acceptable’, seek to deliver the exact same message that everyone else had been seeking to deliver these past weeks, the message quite suddenly and mysteriously gains admittance to the mainstream media’s echo chamber, where it can potentially (hopefully) gain some efficacious momentum.
Which is a problem. Because any tendency of media to pre- judge the relative importance of a matter based on whether suitably authoritative members of society have deemed it worthy of mention is a very bad thing. It’s bad because it reinforces the idea of citizens as an inconsequential spectators. And inconsequential spectators can have nothing invested in defending any level of democracy.
It’s a habit of media that belies an idea that’s already developed far too far in my opinion. The failure to report our concerns over such a crucial matter as the CERRA surely indicates just how acceptable our elites and media find it to dismiss us and our concerns. We and our concerns are not news because worthwhile concerns do not emanate from us. If we think otherwise, then we need to be taught to understand that we are consumers first and foremost. And that second and last we can be sounding boards for the worthy concerns that emanate from our elites.
Of course, there are others who might claim that being a slow learner is no bad thing. But they are by their own admission, no experts on such matters and so should be ignored.