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As an 80s kid, I bear witness to the phenomenon that telecommunications has brought in the area of news and media – an unprecedented proliferation which means thousands of 24/7 news channels. More than the people benefitting from the availability of information this has brought, I speculate it is the media groups that have had the real big advantage. Selling news after all, is a lucrative business. That’s a naïve statement, it’s not so much the news, not what is happening in the world that bothers me but a certain relativity of the subject – news being entertainment or a dice that global business need to play safe that has benefitted corporate and the media houses more than the intended audience – the common man.
I am a common man, I have the service of scores of international news channels to feed my curiosity or help me serve my moral duty best by empathizing with fellow-human beings around the world, a reason why the media world is convinced we need so many sources. This as a common can conveniently understand, is a massive business with billions, perhaps trillions of dollars – international media. Hundreds of journalists are paid to go to conflict areas, report on news that the world is waiting to hear, to credit news that governments put forth for the world to believe but which may or may not be true, most likely not true. He is a journalist who does everything humanly possible to make this information available to the common man. What the common man will do with this information, I am still figuring out but I can certainly tell that each story, local or international – each true story effects a human life in variety of ways. Why I, a common man should know the truth behind Egypt’s 120 dead protesters this morning is difficult to explain but the magnitude of this ‘need to know’ is massive.
I am waiting to know if the news released by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt of the death of 120 protesters is true or if it isn’t and if it is the military that is right in saying that only 26 people have merely been injured in the military-protesters confrontation at Nahda Square. The width of reality between these two statements is massive. On one hand are intrepid, or maybe not so intrepid but deeply committed or may be not intrepid, non committed but obliged protesters that are supporting ‘one man’ and on the other hand is a country’s military that is primarily in place to protect its civilians but history gives us many examples to believe that such an establishment can work exactly opposite of its function, thereby attacking civilians.
Here’s a nation, and its people. This truth is extremely important to know. 120 martyrs is an earth shattering massiveness – should such a thing happen in the world at this time – I, a 27 year old common man, more precisely a woman in a developing country, needs to know. If these protesters, or the group Muslim Brotherhood is lying to the world, I need to know that too because I must know whether or not to believe a protester group.
At least two dozen international journalists are deployed in this city to give me this news. Yet, not one can really tell me what’s going on. If I should guess, I think the future of journalism lies with satellites such as Google Earth that relay live stories without the aid of a cameraman or a journalist. But if these satellites are manipulated, owned by governments again, one would wonder where journalism heading to. Journalism, as has traditionally been, belongs to bloggers, journalists who understand why a random 27 year old in a rather peaceful country, seated at her work desk, should know about what’s happening thousands of kilometers away.
A more personal realization is that I am not entirely dead as a journalist. Here’s a reason why, a common man though I, should get out of home and still write stories.