The Oxford Media Convention is going on right now, and it is chilling on many levels.
I am reading articles from a speech given by UK Culture Secretary Matt Hancock , and it is not something one would expect a government official would give to the UK press who is also facing huge problems, but is still in healthier state than the North American press — by far.
Just read the headlines:
Don’t be afraid to tell the truth, Hancock urges broadcasters
Culture Secretary reveals he ‘trembles at the thought’ of regulating the press as he launches a new review into protecting the journalism industry
I deliberately took two very different newspapers to underline my point — the Independent and the Daily Mail. But it doesn’t actually matter: when you have a government official having pep talks and pressing the news media not tone afraid to pushing boundaries, you know you have a profession with a broken mindset.
Journalists have absolutely no clue what happened to them. They have no clue what it is they are supposed to be doing. You do are not supposed to be looking to authority is has the idea of regulating you and then defining your role for you.
Canadian journalism is begging their government to save them, making their entire federal government coverage suspect and tainted to the point of being untrustworthy.
If you want to hold a media convention in the world’s greatest university, then don’t do it like this. I have nothing against Mr. Hancock, but this isn’t what journalists should be looking for. Scouring the speakers’ list is extremely disheartening: not a single person on this list is an actual innovator. This is predictable by-the-numbers playing it safe scripts that won’t help the profession. It’s soft, and soft never brings you progress or finds you answers.
You need a radical new approach to deal with the serious problems with the global information stream. You need a revolution, not something that doesn’t begin to touch the heart of these problems.
But the broken logic of journalism prevents the obvious solutions to appeal to those who still think their ways are functional, even when reality presents evidence otherwise.