The democratic, open nature of the internet and the communication it allows is critical for sharing knowledge and information. This sharing increases people’s understanding of the world and each other, making the wisdom of pursuing fulfilment without harm clear.
On the internet people feel free of censure. It is liberating. People are free to express themselves and be themselves. It is a place where even the most introverted can share. But there is a risk of censure and, more covertly, a risk that the information revealed will be used to harm. It is a freedom that must be protected.
People are all media through the medium of the internet. But the mainstream, traditionally organised news media broadcasts on all channels, as well as the internet, giving it a powerful influence.
Unfortunately the culture of the mainstream media is driven by the profit it makes interpreting events as scandals, reporting selectively, and commenting cynically. This media amplifies discord, ignores agreement, and encourages damaging behaviour.
Media journalists have become more like the mob demanding blood, while the public has grown wiser. Ultimately there must be a correction as the mainstream media loses its connection with the interests of a better informed, more independent public.
A symptom of the media’s cynicism and demand for strong political leadership, is the large portion that discounts the importance of a positive political vision. It is ironic that journalists writing news stories do not see the importance of changing the story to changing reality. Changing the story is what true political leaders do. No leader can change reality from the bottom up except by changing the story.
Positive change was not possible under Bush junior because he chose the negative story of fear and confrontation. Obama brought a positive story, and this drove a ground swell of positive change. His greatest struggle will be maintaining this in an ocean of media cynicism.
Access to full coverage of live events is needed to be fully informed. Media summaries alter the narrative of what actually happens and what is actually meant. Trials, for instance, should be public and broadcast on the internet.
Concerned persons need to judge based on what participants say and do. They cannot have sympathy or understanding of, for instance, an offender’s contrition if they never see or hear it.
[Excerpt from The Common Purpose Manifesto]