By: Laura Jiménez
The lack of a professional ethic within Colombian journalism has resulted in the lack of impartiality and objectivity within the media, this being the so-called “fourth power”. In this way, the hegemony of state power, which seeks to maintain the influence of this domination on the citizen’s mind, continues to be addressed. So the news, within some television media, seeks to create information about the social protests that are generated against the different institutions, with the respective language, images, statistics, among other resources, which suggest a manipulated and fragmented point of view in favor of that institutional power. How have the different Colombian media covered the social protests?
The media helps the state institution (The Government). Louis Althusser always pointed out the capacity of the media to influence people’s ideology, as they were part of the institutions he named. They have the power of information, and in the face of social protests they have handled everything the hegemony has wanted on a daily basis; this is how in the past protests of November 21 by students and even workers, who came out to defend their rights, there were reports that these people were “vandals” trying to destroy everything, and in this way have degraded democracy many times.
THE MURDERING POLICE
At the time of the murder of the American citizen George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police, Caracol News exposed a headline in which he said: “Floyd, murdered by policemen”; however, faced with the same situation, this time with Javier Ordoñez, The headline was “A man died in the middle of a police procedure with ‘taser’”, according to the El Tiempo newspaper. Thus, the way in which the media expose information in a different way to both cases is clearly expressed. In addition to this, in the face of the protests that were made to the police in the United States, they were always very attentive to everything, the headlines were: “Without justice, there is no peace: new Day of Marches in the U.S. by George Floyd”, presented by Caracol TV on June 6, 2020. While the protests sparked by the murder of Ordoñez were stigmatized by the media; news anchor Caracol, Alejandra Giraldo, opened the story on television saying: “Violent are attacking and burning the CAI, attacking uniformed personnel and vandalizing public transport,” and then points out that “the violent committed outrages that overshadowed peaceful protests in several cities in the country”.
In this way, the media have often degraded democracy by clouding people’s views, forming a war in which the dominant state wins, this war no longer only takes place in the streets, but within that power that should be purely informative with objectivity.
WE’RE THE FLOCK
Noam Chomsky, in his book “How the Bike Is Sold,” said that the media in politics really forces us to question the type of society we want to live in and the model of democracy in it. When he speaks of the concept of democracy, he refers to two types, one in which the viewer takes charge of his affairs, so he has participation; and another in which the media are free. However, he affirms that for this power he is not interested in the first option, because information must be tightly controlled because the masses must be led to a world in which they are unable to understand anything by themselves, they wish then to be the guides of society. For this reason, it doesn’t work for the media for the masses to start thinking and criticizing, getting up and protesting, because when this happens they damage a whole process of control, so they need a new way of manipulation, so they disguise the institutions as heroes and enemies to the citizens they claim.
“The picture of the world that is presented to people has not the slightest relation to reality since the truth about every matter is buried under mountains of lies” (Chomsky, Cómo nos venden la moto, 1995). In this way, those who live believing that reality is those lies, become part of the manipulated flock that power wants to maintain hegemony.
Both technical and ethical principles must be prepared for the responsible exercise of this profession; “a press-fit, disinterested, generous, with intelligence trained to know the good and with the courage to do so, can preserve the public virtue without which a popular government is a farce and a mockery. A cynical, mercenary, and demagogic press will end up giving shape to a people as vulgar as herself” (Borgues, 2020), here, then, social responsibility is implemented from the media, built by journalists towards the community. The journalist must have truthfulness in his data, sources, verify that there is no information manipulated or manipulate it, less resort to rumors because there must be a critical analysis.Ethical journalism must have a balance between freedom, responsibility, independence, justice; however, the journalist is pushed along different paths that lead to the loss of responsibility for journalistic work, ethics must prevail, looking for ways to maintain those professional commitments. As Lombardi (1927), puts it when addressing Gramsci’s thought, education must be approached from humanism, the latter saw as the formation of human values that can well meet the demands of modern industrialization, but not with a unilateral character of a privileged few, but to achieve the participation of all.”
Borgues, R. (2020).
Chomsky, N. (1995). Cómo nos venden la moto. Lombardi, F. (1927). Gramsci, ideas pedagógicas.
Nota de Spot: en el tercer párrafo se encontró un error debido a la falsa atribución del titular al noticiero del Canal Caracol. https://colombiacheck.com/chequeos/el-falso-titular-que-le-atribuyeron-caracol-noticias-por-los-casos-de-ordonez-y-floyd