TED Conversations

Corvida Raven

Community Catalyst, TED Conferences


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Why don't "the people" tell the news? Why do we make media companies responsible for reporting our news?

After an amazing Live Conversation with Julia Bacha today on encouraging the media to cover nonviolence leaders, I couldn't help wondering why don't people make the news?

Why do we let media companies tell us what the news is, as if we have no idea what's going on in our own backyards? We ARE the news. We make the news what is it, and yet it's not even decided by us. Why is this?

Why do we feel it's the responsibility of media companies to report on us instead of the other way around?

Topics: media news people

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    Sep 20 2011: Hi Corvida! Great question. I think it is an issue of dissemination and perhaps of teaching old dogs new tricks. This is where we need our young adults to lead us. Tell us older adults how to do it. I will then do it. All of my life I got the news from traditional sources and other sources were sort of considered incredible or gossip.Remember we did not grow up with the hope or the reality of TED. Now we have it we have to retrain our minds and we need the young to tell us what their fresh, untainted, unprogramed eyes see.
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      Sep 20 2011: Debra, I've always gotten my news from close relatives and friends on a regular basis and sometimes from my colleagues at TED also. This is very localized news though and I feel I get more information from the people on the ground rather than the media empires across the globe.

      I think the tools are certainly in place now to start utilizing platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs to start creating our own local community news platforms that are then filtered and solicited to major news companies.

      This is just 1 of many idea/concepts I have about this.

      I personally run into the problem of wondering which news sites to trust as sources of information and that's is almost completely dependent upon the topic of discussion. That's a nightmare for me at 23. I don't have the patience, motivation, or time to fact check every source. I'm way more trusting of my community though because they're on the ground experiencing first hand the things that I'd like to hear more about.
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        Sep 20 2011: Lindsay, Andrea and I have been working on three separate questions here on TED individually and together. We have all become deeply concerned about the media, credibility, access to information and I am wondering what would make us all alarmed at the same time. In our lifetime there has never been an opportunity like TED conversations represents. It is an amazing world changing hope.
        There have always been special interests that worked to spin the news. Access has not always been easy. Watergate, things about Vietnam, things about all wars were hidden from the public but somehow with a credible source like TED teaching us the truth of things maybe what we are feeling is the dark before the dawn. Let's hope so.
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          Sep 21 2011: Yes, and it just clicked for me in responding to a comment by Ajeet at his talk on oil, that without information we dont' even know what most affects our lives and determines our futures.

          In that sense I would have to take issue with the proposition of this question..The long information gap in news, and the growing complexity of our world today has created a great distance between "we the people" and what we need to know to keep our governement responsive to us at the national leel and to insure that our place in the wolrd of nations is responsive to "we the citizens of the world" How can we drive the news if aren't even in possession of critical information..can't even pose rhe right questions?

          Special interests as you say Debra, have always tried to spin the news..that seems much easier today..news outlet are all partioned by ideology and political orintation ( I wouldn't dream of watching Fox news and those wtachers prbably wouldn't dream of wtaching Rachel Maddow or Charlie Rose or tune in to Democracy Now or NPR. There is nothing to defelect spin and distortion because as you are exploring in your loss of balanced journalism conversation, we don't have any sources of balalnced unbiased reporting anymore.

          I think if "we the people" can learn to think and seek information beyond political affilitation and ideology we can begin to rebuild the 4th estate to be what it needs to be to support democracy and freedom wolrd wide.
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        Sep 21 2011: This is the crux of the issue. So much spin, so much propaganda, so many special interest groups saying that pink is red, blue is black, white is black, tobacco is good to kids in third world countries after first world countries proved that they were liars. Marketing baby formula in areas of the world with no clean water without conscience. How does the average person discern? How do we gather and disseminate the information we do find.
        Whistle blowers who tell the truth are against well paid PR specialists who have market survey data charting just what arguments are working when they lie to the public. PR specialists are expert in making the white knight look like a crazy, a criminal or a liar.
        That is an additional part of the story, so many truth tellers are spun as crazy conspiracy theorists that we no longer believe in them at all. I find myself very critical of conspiracy theories and for years I just dismissed all of this information on the premise that society worked better than that and it would be impossible to get so many people to participate in a major cover up. After an MBA, I no longer believe that. Isn't that weird? I go into the education reserved for those who put all of their weight behind corporations and the material they give me to study convinces me of how bad the problem really is. I went from a sleep walker to fully awake when I realized the tactics were being used against our kids, our families, our pocketbooks.
      • Sep 23 2011: I'm doing this as well. I've stopped watching and reading mainstream news on a regular basis for almost two years now.

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