Media ONE, Snark NIL

Media ONE, Snark NIL

The media can be ruthless. A recent telecast video of a bear killing its handler was a shock too far and shame on Nat Geo Wild for showing it. And I don’t care whose permission was given. Media have a responsibility just like the rest of us. That includes informing us of nasty and dangerous situations that we may need to be wary of, or take some action to correct. Bear handlers do not need a universally broadcast death to be told to take care.

The media do a great job of educating and informing us remarkably well most of the time. The law prevents them from the rudest prurience and voyeurism but there is still a lot of discretion for editors to choose between the worst viewers’ appetites and societal decency. Mostly they do this with sensitivity and thought. Some prefer the gutter to the guidelines but the majority realise that demand is not of itself a valid reason to supply.

The media are powerful. Their presentation of information can sway mob emotions, influence the outcome of elections, destroy – sometimes innocent – people overnight. They are made up of people themselves with the same propensity as the rest of us to cheat, lie and steal. With their privileged position they have great personal responsibility. Most exercise it.

So why has the President of the United States apparently declared some sort of war on the media? Clearly he doesn’t like them but he needs them to communicate with the citizens of USA and the world. You cannot do that only through one branch of the social media. Not everyone is a Twit. President Trump isn’t one either, I don’t imagine. So why blow up the best means of making your term of office a success on Day 1? It seems madness.

Not everything that President Trump has said and done to get elected has been decent. The protests across the world confirm that. He has driven wedges between groups that must live together, even between many voters and himself. As The Boss he now needs to build some team spirit. He must engage the media to help him do that. His initial grapple with them is not promising. In fact, it looks as though it is a distraction but from what is not clear.

We all hope it isn’t simply a distraction and that he does know what he is doing.

The world needs a Boss, not an Apprentice.