David Puttnam: What happens when the media’s priority is profit?
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David Puttnam: What happens when the media’s priority is profit?


I’d like to start, if I may, with the story of the Paisley snail. On the evening of the 26th of August, 1928, May Donoghue took a train from Glasgow to the town of Paisley, seven miles east of the city, and there at the Wellmeadow Café, she had a Scots ice cream float, a mix of ice cream and ginger beer bought for her by a friend. The ginger beer came in a brown, opaque bottle labeled “D. Stevenson, Glen Lane, Paisley.” She drank some of the ice cream float, but as the remaining ginger beer was poured into her tumbler, a decomposed snail floated to the surface of her glass. Three days later, she was admitted to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and diagnosed with severe gastroenteritis and shock. The case of Donoghue vs. Stevenson that followed set a very important legal precedent: Stevenson, the manufacturer of the ginger beer, was held to have a clear duty of care towards May Donoghue, even though there was no contract between them, and, indeed, she hadn’t even bought the drink. One of the judges, Lord Atkin, described it like this: You must take care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbor. Indeed, one wonders that without a duty of care, how many people would have had to suffer from gastroenteritis before Stevenson
eventually went out of business. Now please hang on to that Paisley snail story, because it’s an important principle. Last year, the Hansard Society,
a nonpartisan charity which seeks to strengthen parliamentary democracy and encourage greater public involvement in politics published, alongside their annual audit of political engagement, an additional section devoted entirely to politics and the media. Here are a couple of rather depressing observations from that survey. Tabloid newspapers do not appear to advance the political citizenship of their readers, relative even to those who read no newspapers whatsoever. Tabloid-only readers are twice as likely to agree with a negative view of politics than readers of no newspapers. They’re not just less politically engaged. They are consuming media that reinforces their negative evaluation of politics, thereby contributing to a fatalistic and cynical attitude to democracy and their own role within it. Little wonder that the report concluded that in this respect, the press, particularly the tabloids, appear not to be living up to the importance of their role in our democracy. Now I doubt if anyone in this room would seriously challenge that view. But if Hansard are right, and they usually are, then we’ve got a very serious problem on our hands, and it’s one that I’d like to spend the next 10 minutes focusing upon. Since the Paisley snail, and especially over the past decade or so, a great deal of thinking has been developed around the notion of a duty of care as it relates to a number of aspects of civil society. Generally a duty of care arises when one individual or a group of individuals undertakes an activity which has the potential to cause harm to another, either physically, mentally or economically. This is principally focused on obvious areas, such as our empathetic response
to children and young people, to our service personnel, and
to the elderly and infirm. It is seldom, if ever, extended
to equally important arguments around the fragility of our
present system of government, to the notion that honesty, accuracy and impartiality are fundamental to the process of building and embedding an informed, participatory democracy. And the more you think about it, the stranger that is. A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of opening a brand new school in the northeast of England. It had been renamed by its pupils as Academy 360. As I walked through their impressive, glass-covered atrium, in front of me, emblazoned on the wall in letters of fire was Marcus Aurelius’s famous injunction: If it’s not true, don’t say it; if it’s not right, don’t do it. The head teacher saw me staring at it, and he said, “Oh, that’s our school motto.” On the train back to London, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I kept thinking, can it really have taken us over 2,000 years to come to terms with that simple notion as being our minimum expectation of each other? Isn’t it time that we develop this concept of a duty of care and extended it to include a care for our shared but increasingly
endangered democratic values? After all, the absence of a duty of care within many professions can all too easily amount to
accusations of negligence, and that being the case, can we be
really comfortable with the thought that we’re in effect being negligent in respect of the health of our own societies and the values that necessarily underpin them? Could anyone honestly suggest, on the evidence, that the same media which
Hansard so roundly condemned have taken sufficient care to avoid behaving in ways which they could reasonably have foreseen would be likely to undermine or even damage our inherently fragile democratic settlement. Now there will be those who will argue that this could all too easily drift into a form of censorship, albeit self-censorship, but I don’t buy that argument. It has to be possible to balance freedom of expression with wider moral and social responsibilities. Let me explain why by taking the example from my own career as a filmmaker. Throughout that career, I never accepted that a filmmaker should set about putting their own work outside or above what he or she believed to be a decent set of values for their own life, their own family, and the future of the society in which we all live. I’d go further. A responsible filmmaker should
never devalue their work to a point at which it becomes less than true to the world they themselves wish to inhabit. As I see it, filmmakers, journalists, even bloggers are all required to face up to the social expectations that come with combining the
intrinsic power of their medium with their well-honed professional skills. Obviously this is not a mandated duty, but for the gifted filmmaker
and the responsible journalist or even blogger, it strikes me
as being utterly inescapable. We should always remember that our notion of individual freedom and
its partner, creative freedom, is comparatively new in the history of Western ideas, and for that reason, it’s often undervalued and can be very quickly undermined. It’s a prize easily lost, and once lost, once surrendered, it can prove very, very hard to reclaim. And its first line of defense has to be our own standards, not those enforced on us by a censor or legislation, our own standards and our own integrity. Our integrity as we deal with those with whom we work and our own standards as we operate within society. And these standards of ours need to be all of a piece with
a sustainable social agenda. They’re part of a collective responsibility, the responsibility of the artist or the journalist to deal with the world as it really is, and this, in turn, must go hand in hand with the responsibility of those governing society to also face up to that world, and not to be tempted to misappropriate the causes of its ills. Yet, as has become strikingly clear over the last couple of years, such responsibility has to a very great extent been abrogated by large sections of the media. And as a consequence, across the Western world, the over-simplistic policies of the parties of protest and their appeal to a largely disillusioned, older demographic, along with the apathy and obsession with the trivial that typifies at least some of the young, taken together, these and other similarly contemporary aberrations are threatening to squeeze the life out of active, informed debate and engagement, and I stress active. The most ardent of libertarians might argue that Donoghue v. Stevenson should
have been thrown out of court and that Stevenson would eventually
have gone out of business if he’d continued to sell ginger beer with snails in it. But most of us, I think, accept some small role for the state to enforce a duty of care, and the key word here is reasonable. Judges must ask, did they take reasonable care and could they have reasonably foreseen the consequences of their actions? Far from signifying overbearing state power, it’s that small common sense test of reasonableness that I’d like us to apply to those in the media who, after all, set the tone and the content for much of our democratic discourse. Democracy, in order to work, requires that reasonable men and women take
the time to understand and debate difficult, sometimes complex issues, and they do so in an atmosphere which strives for the type of understanding that leads to, if not agreement, then at least a productive and workable compromise. Politics is about choices, and within those choices, politics is about priorities. It’s about reconciling conflicting preferences wherever and whenever possibly based on fact. But if the facts themselves are distorted, the resolutions are likely only
to create further conflict, with all the stresses and strains on society that inevitably follow. The media have to decide: Do they see their role as being to inflame or to inform? Because in the end, it comes down to a combination of trust and leadership. Fifty years ago this week,
President John F. Kennedy made two epoch-making speeches, the first on disarmament
and the second on civil rights. The first led almost immediately to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and the second led to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, both of which represented giant leaps forward. Democracy, well-led and well-informed, can achieve very great things, but there’s a precondition. We have to trust that those making those decisions are acting in the best interest not of themselves but of the whole of the people. We need factually-based options, clearly laid out, not those of a few powerful and potentially manipulative corporations pursuing their own frequently narrow agendas, but accurate, unprejudiced information with which to make our own judgments. If we want to provide decent, fulfilling lives for our children and our children’s children, we need to exercise to the
very greatest degree possible that duty of care for a vibrant, and hopefully a lasting, democracy. Thank you very much for listening to me. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “David Puttnam: What happens when the media’s priority is profit?

  1. amazing that the English language has words as likely, possibly, plausibly. I think it is this potential in language that also, partly determines the possibility of viewing things more subtly.

  2. The reasonable duty of care in his snail example was used to apply government-imposed penalties on the company.  Should we then fine or imprison leaders of our media outlets for the harm they do to our Democracy?

    It's an effective method to impress the importance of the issue, but it's very easy to run afoul of free speech in this arena.  Even worse is the fact that no one is obviously sitting on the sideline with a better method of conducting reporting.  Cynicism isn't necessarily a bad thing.  It's often necessary.  Like depression, it's a motivator for someone to make radical movements out of the situation they're in.

    Better informed reporting would seem to be obvious and emotionless, but news doesn't invest in this because there's no money in it.  I see nothing that can reconcile that.

  3. When the medias priority is profit you get nonsense like Duck Dynasty, Bigfoot Hunters, Swamp People, Ax Men, Storage Wars, Ghost Hunters  etc. etc.

  4. Not sure where he's going with this. Clearly in the UK and the US, the larger media companies tell us what the two-party political overlords want us to hear. Is he pointing the finger at them saying they need to be more independent and if not we should prosecute them?

  5. So after astonishing 5 Minutes of research about this guy, I found out, that he is a big investor in the Brit. Labour Party, so a socialist. When a socialist is talking about "Balancing Freedom of speech and public interest" I know, that public interest means socialist interest means his interest. Dont get fooled by him.

    This guy is trying to redefine what is legit political information and also what a debate is and is suggesting fines for publishing "unlegit" information. This is reeducation.

    This is like putting a kilo of vaseline all around your asshole before getting a fire extinguisher shoved in it. Its maybe nice to to lube it up, but getting assfucked is still getting assfucked, even if you do it more gently.

  6. Renowned Film-maker David Puttnam talks about the priority of the media and what happens when it's priority is focusing only profit. Good and neat speech. 

  7. This guy sounds so boring, he could make having sex with a thousand dollar hooker on a roller coaster sound unappealing. I can't even remember what it was he was trying to say.

  8. Yea …just turn on the TV bro and watch 20 mins of any of the garbage on the mainstream media networks.  It isn't a question anymore it's all propaganda by brainwashed anchors who believe there own shit.

  9. I went to a speech given by him when I was seventeen at the House of Lords (with other students from schools in my area about how to inspire trust and communication between young people and parliament) and the whole time he was painting the media out to be this money obsessed evil machine out to get politicians- and oh if only politicians were left alone by the press, they could do their jobs properly. This was right after the expenses scandal too. Every kid was lapping it up and all I could think was 'Wow this is literaly propaganda'. I was getting so angry at his complete demonising of the media that I got up to ask a question, something like 'In light of certain scandals don't you think the scrutiny politicians are put under is justified? Surely an honest politician should not, and would not fear the scrutiny of the press if they had nothing to hide-and if nothing else it could help to keep them in check and act as a deterrent.' (The only shame these posh twats seem to register is public shame anyway)… And do you know what he said? It's been three years and I'll never forget it, my jaw dropped. He said the expenses scandal only happened because politicians weren't getting paid enough. LOLL! Bear in mind that most politicians usually have a very successful first career before getting into politics. He followed that up with Prime Ministers turned into great leaders because of the press eg. Churchill and that we should all have a little more faith. And then this female MP with a severe blonde bob took the mike, gave me a dirty cut eye and said 'We are NOT here to talk about that and anyway I was pointing the the person BEHIND you to ask a question.' Annnnddddddd then I went bright red (which is hard to do when you're of East African decent), and lost respect for every member of parliament…. hilariously ironic considering the whole point of me being there.

  10. Totally agree with these views on media/journalist and government and the responsibility that comes with it. 

    Do no harm.
    If it ain't right, don't do it
    A duty of care is what we need to make society work (in the long run) 

    In a way the collective responsibility is lost due to the over-emphasizing of individualism and people behaving like egotistical hedonistic individuals not capable of empathy. 

  11. I don't like this talk. It "preaches" stuff. Too much "we should" sentences in it. Also I'm in 20ties, I try to be active and reasonable, I do not read any tabloid news and yet I doubt democracy. Mr. Puttnam is right, there is huge lack of understanding and respect in politics, total absence of discussion and compromising, but I can guarantee you media aren't causing it. They magnify everything, but there is enough corrupted behaviour of leading individuals to destroy democracy even without media. Especially on local levels. (Which I guess is exactly where mr. Puttnam has no insight at all, having successful career which he also willingly mentioned.) TED is about wonder, discovery, not preaching, not lecturing.

  12. 'Because the media's priority is profit what happens?' is a more accurate question. Or, 'Because people are addicted to media devices and Information(not Knowledge, but Information), what happens to a society?'

  13. The BBC doesn't have to make a profit but it covers up paedophiles & only broadcasts news that goes along with its bias anything that runs contrary to the BBCs agenda gets ignored by the BBC, yet it is supposed to be impartial.

  14. "I doubt that anyone in this room would seriously challenge that view". This being broadcast to me, in my room, I'm afraid I disagree with the very premise that our current brand of democracy should be supported by everyone.

  15. The best word I have heard to describe what the media does is "info-tainment."  Instead of informing the populace as to what is really happening and what it means, the media blows events out of proportion to get more viewers and thus make more money.  I have found profit to be a terrible motive for truth or quality.

  16. This is such an excellent talk. Democracy can only work with a well informed public – right now we have an uninformed and apathetic populace that don't bother to rein in the government.

  17. Right On! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!! God bless you! .. So to answer the question based on my observations: Then you have media printing only what their shareholders approve of for there is conflict of interest in reporting, which leads to corruption and ultimately crimes Against Humanity! Google I
    CNNireport MartinFeldman Injustice in the Justice Department!

  18. I wish he'd gone more into what the media are actually doing to undermine civic engagement. He spoke a great deal – and very convincingly, I thought – about the duty to avoid harm, the fragility of the democratic system, and the inescapable necessity of personal and corporate civic duty, but sort of left it as read what actions he was specifically warning against.

  19. I wish he'd gone more into what the media are actually doing to undermine civic engagement. He spoke a great deal – and very convincingly, I thought – about the duty to avoid harm, the fragility of the democratic system, and the inescapable necessity of personal and corporate civic duty, but sort of left it as read what actions he was specifically warning against.

  20. 99% of the journalists are pretending to be journalists, rather they are paid prostitute. The remaining 1% are either death, hiding, or do not get any air time due to 99% of the whores pretending to be journalist. 

    Hard to believe such a noble profession has been turned into prostitution by these whores. 

  21. Politicians do not need media to damage their reputation. They are vile creatures that is fully capabable to do that themselves by their greedy and malicious behavior and intents.

  22. Some older folks help me with this. I don't know what I don't know. But I have a vague notion that back in the day there was some kind of journalism standard. I don't know if it was regulated or self regulated by the media. But there was some kind responsibility clause that was adhered to. can anyone shed some light on what I'm talking about? ( pre-cable pre-internet)

  23. reminded me of capitol one rip off, by stonewalling customers that qualified for the insurance they sold/slapped on them, and quickly sold off to collection agencies , not a peep from media

  24.      Our modern day shift in paradigm… internet bloggers, YT video`s, face book comments, the long list of alternative media sources on the internet etc thus our modern global communication network has become a very dangerous tool & a very helpful tool as well..AND so the question is!  Dangerous to who & why? AND very helpful to who & why? 
         Yes as he has pointed out the internet it a new experience for modern man and if I might add; that just might get him hurt or even killed..Yet it is a 1,000 times better than having the information controlled by the people that want to stay rich and keep the rest of the world poor blind and slaving for them & their personal agenda`s.

        The flood gate of heaven have now been opened  BUT don`t forget to look out for the toxic sewage waste that will come flooding down threw heavenly flood gates! 

  25. What's with the terrible audio quality? Makes his voice sound monotonous (which directly hinders the talk itself of course).

  26. This is speech is full of condescending assertions of what is right & wrong, and anti-business rhetoric. Getting more people like David Puttnam telling us what we should / shouldn't be listening to is exactly the OPPOSITE of what is needed.
    The phrases "reasonable", "best interest", "unprejudiced" which this guy keeps repeating, are open to a wide interpretation & is extremely subjective.
    There is no consensus on what is right & wrong, and "we" should not be having more conversations about further restrictions & political pressure on the media to ignore / promote certain opinions or views.

  27. this is a good warning in an era where social media is being used to shape opinions. An individual responsibility to blog, comment, or post that which is true and right goes with the freedom and ability to use media as an outlet for self expression.

  28. Democracy? We are so full of ourselves in the West. Whose democracy?
    "You say potato, I say potato
    I say tomato, you say tomato
    Democracy/Diluted Fascism
    Diluted Fascism/Democracy
    Let's call the whole thing off!"

  29. @writersconsidered Prior to the 90's, journalists had a self regulated sense of responsibility to report the facts. Breaking News was really indeed something of significant importance. Today, it's about appealing to the demographic that will generate the most ad revenue.

  30. I completely agree, but I always have this terrible internal struggle between what's the lesser of two evils: 1. Having a completely paternalistic, controlling near "censorship" of the media or 2. Letting the slanted, bias, deregulated media corrupt and misinform the masses. I wish there was a way to gather more people like him and come up with some solutions to the world's ethical dilemmas. 

  31. wow…this what i was trying to understand!! whats wrong with our societies!!!
    its misinformation and the role of media in inflaming unnecessary & most of time ridiculous debates!! thank you sooo much David Puttnam.

  32. A broad majority of the media in the US has become predominantly opinion shows/articles mislabeled as news. Personally, I like PBS and BBC for news. 

    Opinion pieces aren't "evil" but they really dominate most of what is on the "news" channels these days. News used to be fact based and if a news program got a story wrong it was a HUGE deal. In the world of 24 hr news channels something is reported wrong often enough that people just start to expect it and disengage from the news with an expectation of "this might not be accurate" especially if it's something they don't want to hear. Before 24 hr news, the expectation was "if the news said it's true, it's true" and that expectation was met 99% of the time. 

    The Opinion Shows became popular in the early 90's, I think. As I remember it, things started to get bad for news with the extreme popularity of shows like; The Dennis Miller Show (92), Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher (93) and I know there are others but it's like 20 years ago. Those shows weren't required to live by the rules that "News" operated by and they were pretty popular. 

    CNN launched in 1980. CNN was News as the News should be for a long time and only really changed in order to get ratings they had lost to the biased channels.

    1996 was an election year.
    MSNBC launched in 1996. 
    Fox News Launched in 1996.  

  33. Since day one media's only purpose was to brainwash the masses. Propaganda bonanza. Most of everything on national news broadcast is staged or created news events. You've been mentally molded by your tv. Everything you think you know is a lie.

  34. As far as solutions were concerned, all I heard was "have more integrity, be more reasonable". All well and good, but yeah.

  35. His voice through the microphone is that perfect old timey radio feel like when you listen to FDR or Eisenhower it's hauntingly wise to the point that you hang on every word

  36. I think this is really naive.  What's true?  The best way to find it is to allow competition of various biased sources, as opposed to simply enforcing a 'truth squad', because who guards the guardians?  In any big debate there are hucksters and solemn truth seekers on both sides; if one side was pure chicanery it wouldn't exist very long.

  37. very interesting, but who is qualified to set the standard, because social norms and morals are widely observed as relative.

  38. "What happens when the media's priority is profit?". They print a story warning against immunisation. And children die.

  39. Did he, in any point of that speech, propose any specific action? All I got out of it was that he said businesses play to the demand of the market, and he wishes they didn't. 

  40. We should actively consume media that shows this standard of care.  Its not easy to find, but by consuming lying media, we reward the poor behavior.  

  41. An important talk, particularly relevant in an election year here. though I dont see the media raising its standards. only some sort of regulation might help.   

  42. There's corruption everywhere, encouraged i think by entrenched and self-fulfilling popular ideas based on natural selection and game theory. These are assumptions from our biological inheritance and ought to have less and less significance for a human intelligence which has so obviously made a leap out of unconscious survival-based selection into its own conscious intentional mechanisms. They are only relevant if we continue to wallow in our semi-conscious reactive animal roots. But nature has afforded us the possibility of a new order where openness, clarity and cooperation are the real dynamics. We only need to persist with this insight, to explore it ourselves and to see that the consequences flow in our behaviour with others. Here endeth the lesson.

  43. No, Libertarianism (ardent or otherwise) would have been behind the person consuming the dead snail contaminated ginger beer having claim against the business that made it. Puttman might start taking his principle of a moral imperative to create informed citizen seriously enough to not misrepresent Libertarianism.

  44. Democracy is dead and as it is mob rule that's how it should be. The ONLY path to a peaceful and free society is one in which all human interactions are voluntary. Taxation is theft, laws are an opinion with a gun, and war is murder. Democracy and the state must go if we are to be free.

  45. Media sensationalism hides facts and stirs people to neglect their ability to play a defining a role in a democratic society. If anything, corporate elites are succeeding in dominating politics by preventing the disillusioned disgruntled populace from ever bothering to participate in politics, whilst feeding out empty broken promises to old people with entitlements the state can't even sustain.

  46. Lamestream media is chit and has underlying agendas that serve their providers interests and if it doesn't serve their interests they just don't report on it or report about it. If the lamestrem media reports on an issue they'll report on it once, when people are not awake or are doing other events like holidays. If people get their information from only one media, expect to only get half of the story, if any of it.

  47. NO! Freedom of speech is freedom of speach. It is not about being responsible to somone elses values, to the greater good, to reality or to anything – regardless of the consequences. I hold it to be self-evident that absolute freedom of speech serves a greater good than any misguided attempts to curtail speech for any hypthotical benefit. Freedom of speech is the basis of a free society. Explore ideas. Think. Let the reader beware – not the writer.

  48. I don't know how they do things across the pond – but here is the good ole U.S. of A. we already have fair and balanced news-media.  Thank goodness for FOX NEWS.  No agenda – just the straight dope on how that Communist, Muslim Obama wants to take our muskets and give all of our food to illegal immigrants.
     

  49. Mr Puttnam you are a hope to those who have lost believe to the society can you make this a vaccine injection or spread it on the air so everyone can breathe it. Specially them who have influence on media. Great talk man.

  50. Its very dangerous to have media play the profit role.. "truth" is not enough for them anymore, and then twisting a story to benefit a sponsor's wishes, might be a common scenario nowdays.. 
    Example: 
    Sponsor = Cigarette manufacturing company.
    The story might originally be that 10 people were found dead, in an appartement, where all air was replaced with smoke, and they choked to death.. (insane but for the example).
    But then the sponsor wishes to change the story to say that they died of a drug overdose. Media changes the story, and noone will ever know the truth, and cigartettes will continue killing people..

    Is this the way we want media to lie to us? imagine politicians / nsa / cia / fbi etc twisting the media daily to suit their profitable ways!! Think b4 you believe a story imo.

  51. Better question, particularly in the US, the system I know: "What happens when a politician's allegiance is to those who provide campaign donations?" From that, the next question: "Why shouldn't truly informed individuals be completely cynical about their totally suborned and broken political process." I bring up to second question because of your mention of cynical, fatalistic individuals mentioned in that study. They should be both cynical and fatalistic because it is they who are informed while the majority continue to believe that their government actually represents them and continue to participate in the farce of elections rather than withdrawing consent by not participating. 

  52. American Supreme Court ruled that media can lie!!! Rupert Murdoch strikes again with his wallet.
    Canada does not allow this, by law.

  53. When I was growing up there were more that one newspaper in almost every city in this country. Many of these were small papers whose owners and publishers believed that their function was to state the facts of a situation so that anyone could read and decide for themselves what to do or not to do about any given event or cause. These papers were systematically run out of business and the remaining conglomerates are now functioning as propaganda sheets controlled by the 1%. This is one reason that print sales have declined dramatically in the past decade or so. People in general can see what is happening. Why would we pay for propaganda?

  54. I wish I had more hope for humanity. I am constantly let down by the selfishness of the common man and by our Government failing to make and enforce the hard decisions our society desperately need. When I have let go of my anger for it all, I dont know how to help anyway…

  55. How much must this man be looking down upon the broad mass of tabloid readers if he doesn't even consider the possibility that he does not know better what they should be reading than they themselves do?

  56. It was worth saying even if most don't. Everyone is waking up, but slowly.

    Words such as his and people alike are what helps the cause; little by little.

  57. While the notion of honesty is good, I generally don't agree with this guy on what he's saying. I believe the world to be heading to a better place because 5 billion of us potentially has the ability to tell our stories on the internet without regard to the consequences of our respective, and often corrupt, goverments. His idea of selfcensoring sounds very much inspired by how china is run. I don't recognize anything in the speech that actually could improve democracy. If you want to improve democracy, you need free speech that isn't hindered by moral. You cannot make an informed decision if only one side is allowed to speak. And at the end of the day, a democracy is for countries, and I believe the age of countries fighting each other is ancient and should be shelved. 

  58. This is an extremely vague and difficult to follow argument. He jumps all over the place and doesn't lay out a concrete argument or set of clear goals.

    First he condemns the media for giving people a negative view of politics, then inserts the caveat that he's not calling for censorship, only to hint later that there should be some sort of government intervention or regulatory scheme.

    He doesn't even give us clear criticisms of the media, aside from the murky aforementioned one. (1/2)

  59. I couldn't tell if he was creating flak–and saying that the media is too extreme and critical of the government–or saying that they're not critical enough. The only solid argument I heard was the glossed over criticism that the corporations that own the media outlets pursue their own agenda, and that they ought to strive to provide good information to the populace. This seemed to me to be a semi-coherent, disjointed collection of arguments. (2/2)

  60. Read "Manufacturing Consent" by Noam Chomsky for an intelligible, hard-hitting critique of the mass media.

  61. i believe that at least part of the problem is that many in the media honestly believe the bias they present. they live and work surrounded by people who believe the same philosophy. some call it an echo chamber. whatever you want to call it they rarely encounter alternative view points and since their bosses share the same views as well it's not in their interest to pursue anything that seems contrary. they aren't doing it out of malice, they believe they are providing relevant facts and reasoned debate (while filtering out the useless or disruptive).

  62. The majority of the national newspapers in the UK are owned by the very wealthy, like the billionaire Barclay brothers for example.
    They tend to be self serving and underhanded, anti individual human rights, pro big business and pro Tory.
    Don't believe anything you see, hear or read. Make an effort to research various sources of information.

  63. He makes a great argument for setting "reasonable" standards for duty to care, and I agree 100% with his premise ("If it's not true, don't say it. If it's not right, don't do it."), but defining "reasonableness" is where the hang up is, almost always.

    The paisley snail case is one I am not familiar with, but the presenter here, in his argument, didn't even attempt to make the case that the company acted "unreasonably". He just stated it outright as if it's a fact (and maybe it is), but the problem, I suspect, with this case and most others, is that one person will define "reasonable" in one way, and another will not. So who ultimately gets to make the decision? A judge? Of whom there are many, and who usually disagree themselves?

    There is no "reasonable" and "unbiased" view when everyone, at all levels, has different life experiences that give them different perspectives. I believe my views are reasonable, and you probably believe your views are reasonable. But if our views differ, then the decision shoots over to some other person. Then it's luck of the draw which perspective that person happens to have, and who will ultimately prevail. The whole structure of authority is, I believe, in free fall. There is no longer a person or group of people who has almost unquestioned authority. Not even the Supreme Court, anymore. It's just a big power struggle between people with competing interests, and the best anyone can do, I believe, is have as little interaction with those whose interests differ from your own as possible, if that person is unable to view you as an equal and to negotiate perspectives with you.

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