Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Rethinking the Media and Its Role in a Democracy


As someone closely involved in the media sphere in Armenia, I perhaps pay too much interest to the role of media in democracy. However every single day comes to prove, that the issue of the media in Armenia (and throughout the world for all that it) is only serving one function: enslave the people, brainwash the people, take away the freedom of people from them. And the worst thing is - no-one in the media sphere gives a damn! I mean - just look at our "wonderfully irresponsible media!" - it is just horrendous!

PS: And there you have again: http://yerkirtv.org/?lang=arm&page=1&id=1409

2 comments:

  1. quite frankly, I don't think you pay too too much attantion to media. Media has a monopoly over the interpretation of information to an extent that it becomes dis-information.

    And media constitutes subjectivities. The western/capitalist culture, and Armenian culture as part of it, is a very nacisistic. I mean we all want to believe that we think for ourselves. right? ("I think therefore I am".) I mean our Egos and understanding of the self is made innert on the beliefe that we are autonomous subjects. But then there is Media: the aestheticized, glorified interprettion of one side of information, and a refutation or just total silencing of all other sides.

    So media frames the political imagination of the public within very narrowly defined margins. They monopolise the spectrum of what is possible and what is not possible. And so public mentality ends up operating within these narrowly defined margins of what they call "Normal". And the moment someone comes in a says "The King is naked" - people look at him and say "he must be crazy, or an extremis or a terrorist".

    Ultimately Media makes the decisions for you: they give slightly better light to ne side then to the other, they paint the news in a way that conforms to the ideological requirement of the rulling class (this notion is as old as Marx and Gramschi)... and then they invite everybody to the Votting Ballot or to the shopping mall. It's like teaching the Pavlov dog to jump the hoops, and then testing that dog on how well it learned it's lesson.

    It's a monotoneously boring and repetitive spectacle.

    PS: I have thown away my TV quite a long time ago. The first days it was difficult -- LOMKA -- it's like quitting smoking. But after that I opened my eyes again and returned to Indymedia and good newspapers and journals and anarchist and philosophical books. Without TV you start feeling even healthier and even free.
    I don't think that banning TV or it's channels will lead anywhere. There must grow a culture of communication that would compell people to search for alternative news sources.
    It would be great if Indymedia or other news sources had an internet based TV channel. It would be even better if there were such alternative news channels in Armenian language. Nevertheless, Armenian people are still a LOT more politicised thaen in the west, and proportionally they read a lot more newspapers, which contain minimal rubbish.

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  2. good move about the media... i would do that if not my work, which just forces me to watch Armenian TV and especially news in the last 3-4 years... when i just came into the Armenian media work the people around me were amazed at how little i knew about Armenian TV journalists (I mean, I was always more into radio and internet-newspapers since the late 90').

    So anyway - I've had to learn all and everything in the Armenian media from 0, which was in a way good, because I didn't have the background and biased view that most other people working in the media NGOs have.

    As to the amount of attention I'm paying to the media - check these out:

    http://ditord.blogspot.com/2007/01/armenian-media-shape-up-for-election.html
    http://ditord.blogspot.com/2007/01/issues-in-democracy.html
    http://ditord.blogspot.com/2007/01/parliamentary-elections-2007-another.html
    http://ditord.blogspot.com/2007/01/will-armenians-ever-vote-for-political.html
    http://ditord.blogspot.com/2007/01/whip-and-carrot-policy-for-armenia-can.html
    http://ditord.blogspot.com/2007/02/armenian-media-landscape-in-pretext-of.html
    http://ditord.blogspot.com/2007/02/statement-of-yerevan-press-club-on.html
    http://ditord.blogspot.com/2007/03/yerevan-press-club-presented-ffindings.html

    8 out of 38 posts total on this blog have been about the Armenian media (and I have done a lot of media posts on the blogrel.com too), there are more that are even more on media in general - so 25% or more of the posts on this blog are about the media - but I can't help it... the problem is - media occupies such a great portion of everybody's lives these days, that no matter how much we write about it - we will still need to do more!

    Again compliments on this:"I have thown away my TV quite a long time ago", I would follow if only I could :)

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