I am of the firm belief that access to information is essential to the health of democracy.
I recall when I started in this career there were journalists that I knew could smell ‘PR speak’ a mile away and would not touch your ‘PR’. These journalists revolutionised our industry and the way organisation’s communicated. Any organisation that envisioned an existence past its current financial year sought out communications agencies that would help ‘tell its story’- and it is those agencies and organisations that continue to thrive even in these challenging economic conditions.
So, I spend every waking moment sourcing opportunities to tell credible and authentic stories to journalists. Without credible sources and mediums the effort is futile and failure guaranteed.
Yet, my pool of these credible sources and mediums is shrinking. And this has resulted in my viewing every news bulletin with a bit of skepticism. It is indeed a sorry state of affairs – when a communications consultant such as myself starts questioning the credibility of the channels she uses to communicate her clients’ stories.
Hearing news of declining news consumption – which is reflected by the decline of news publications leaves me cold. Imagine if our ‘news’ were limited to 140 characters by an unnamed source!
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” ― Dr. Seuss.
Media to my mind remain a critical part of the survival of the human race. Watch Idiocracy and you see that I am not being dramatic. And, with more dancing and singing programmes than educational programmes on TV, the consumers of media also need to start playing a role in demanding more from their mediums.
We need to get back to the point where media goes back to being the ‘Fourth Estate’, where every communicator sees their job as a calling and where we are all custodians of the truth.
We need to reposition the consumption of news as a critical element to the survial of our democracy and human race. The decreasing circulation of newspapers and magazines and the infiltration of dumbed down television programmes is a reflection of how our society ‘does not care an awful lot’ and if Dr Seuss is right then ‘Nothing is going to get better’.