JOURNALISM: When democracy bases start to vanish.
Dieter Wieczorek
Dieter Wieczorek
Wieczorek is a film critic and regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: May 22, 2020

Democracies essentially need access to information to be functional. However, we have observed in recent years a high degree of fake news and their success stories. While fake news has been creating its own realities, so-called professional journalism isn’t running well. Nowadays, a journalist’s work is valorised not by quality of content, but by the clicks articles receive. This has inevitably caused a commercial impact. Also, Facebook has started to allow the spreading out of messages on the basis of comments and icon inputs. The old English motto «If it bleeds, it leads» perfectly orchestrates this mechanism. Exaggeration of facts is only one of the harmless tendencies to get attention.

Context

As a circular reaction, journalism alone is losing the trust of the public. And even more dangerous, as a consequence, the valour of truth itself goes into crisis. The number of people who just want their beliefs confirmed is growing. The ones who want to be confronted with opposite opinions, as material for discussion and reflection, have increased problems in finding subjects matters that are treated in a profound way.

In times when research is less and less implicated in the publishing work, the quest for a solution seems urgent and this year’s online


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