Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Challenging the Media from a Compassionate Perspective

Media Lens is a UK-based media-watch project, which offers authoritative criticism of mainstream media bias and censorship. It does this especially through its "media alerts".

As they say in their FAQ : "Fundamentally, we wish to reduce suffering wherever it occurs." (...) "We are convinced that the increasingly centralised, corporate nature of the media means that it acts as a de facto propaganda system for corporate and other establishment interests. The costs incurred as a result of this propaganda, in terms of human suffering and environmental degradation, are incalculable." (...) "Media Lens has grown out of our perception of the unwillingness, indeed inability, of the mainstream media to tell the truth about the real causes and extent of many of the problems facing humanity, such as poverty, human rights abuses, war, pollution and climate change. Because much modern suffering is rooted in the unlimited greed of corporate profit-maximising - in the subordination of people and planet to profit - it seems to us to be a genuine tragedy that society has for so long been forced to rely on the corporate media for 'accurate' information." (...) "Our focus is on encouraging the public to look beyond the mainstream to honest, non-corporate media rooted in compassion for suffering rather than greed for profits."

May they be successful.

N.B. : One of Medialens member, David Edwards, has written The Compassionate revolution - Radical Politics and Buddhism.

3 Comments:

Anonymous E. I. Sanchez said...

Lately, I've been paying close attention to the U.S. News Media and their love for the sensational.

While remember 9/11 for example, TV news kept on showing pictures of the burning towers, and people's terrified faces as they ran from the debris. Sure, it was a tragedy. But what are we to make of the footage? Does the Headline correspond to the footage? And how does this help us deal with it (e.g. anxiety)? How do these TV specials advance our knowledge of the events?

Just tonight, ABC's 20/20 had an Exclusive called the "Crocodile Hunter" about Steve Irwin. How does this help the poor, the sick or society? I guess it keeps us glued to the TV and that's good economics.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Robert Daoust said...

In a 2004 article by Ray Angelini a reader asks: "What would you recommend I tell my children when they ask me about how to respond to the tremendous suffering they witness through the media?"
Ray's answer includes the following:
"...the first step to spiritual enlightenment and social change requires that we bear a compassionate witness to human suffering."
"We must strive as a nation and a world to make love and compassion the center of all of our personal, social, political and economic enterprises."
(Angelini)

The famous journalist George Monbiot also wrote in The Guardian : "It seems to me that the only higher purpose we could possibly possess is to seek to relieve suffering: our own and that of other people and other animals. This is surely sufficient cause for any project we might attempt. It is sufficient cause for the protection of fine art or rare books. It is sufficient cause for the protection of rare wildlife." (Monbiot)

1:27 PM  
Anonymous E. I. Sanchez said...

Robert,

Check out this video of Ellen ellen Degeneres. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBl9HixeWf4

She makes a wonderful observation of the Media which ties well w/ my comments.

12:29 AM  

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