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By anasawad
#15059098
A little something I've been noticing in the past few days, especially with the media coverage here and around the region, or, more accurately, the lack thereof; The result I've been noticing is that around the country here, as well as in Iraq and Iran, instead of traditional media holding live coverage and so on, we're seeing that every protest or roadblock has a few people broadcasting live coverage with commentary and all, all while regular media at best gives a few minutes of coverage and turns off.

To cut it short to the question in mind;
In your view, with an explanation, if available, do you think that with the politicization of traditional news media and the increasing clientelism going on in the journalistic circle:
1- The role of everyday people in providing direct live coverage and reporting of news and events on the ground is growing in importance and potentially replacing traditional media?
2- The direct coverage by ordinary people is more, or less, trustworthy than traditional media by providing unfiltered live coverage?
3- The noticeable growth in such coverage, playing a role in the decentralization and distribution of news media, is a good or bad thing?
4- That the unfiltered nature of this coverage, being limited in nature, plays a role in limiting the spreading of news outside specific geographic regions due to various barriers, primarily language barriers?


Notes:
1- I am referring specifically to people providing live video coverage of events, or recording events and publishing them, not providing commentary, opinion, or ideological propaganda.
2- I had a second point in mind, but it skipped when writing this, so when I remember what I wanted to say. :lol:



Poorly written and worded OP, I know, I wrote it in 2 minutes right of my mind, so..Deal.
:p
By Atlantis
#15059106
Now it seems like ages ago, but only a few years ago new political parties like the Pirates actually believed that the digital age would lead to a new age of participation, grass root democracy and reliable information at the tip of our fingers for everybody. Every citizen would be able to make his/her voice heard and we would live in a wonderful world with a degree of democratic participation hitherto unknown.

Such utter folly!

Today we witness that the voices of reason are drowned in an ocean of fake news. We see that every argument is immediately destroyed by armies of corporate bots and trolls or the agents provocateurs of national intelligence agencies by fabricating elaborate counter-arguments repeated ad infinitum.

A whole new industries has sprung up to spin an impenetrable cordon of lies around each and every fact. The intelligence agencies, which always played the role of state within the state, are now preparing the algorithms and AI to control and manipulate the thinking of each and every individual. The net of lies has become so dense that it is impossible for most citizens to see through it.

In the West, America is giving free reign to the corporations to exploit and abuse its citizens, while in the East, China is laying the foundations for a totalitarian digital regime that controls the mind of each individual by a central party organ. In between, only the European Union is attempting to stem the tsunami of the digital barbarians by regulating cyberspace so that the citizens stay in control of their individual and democratic rights.

Initially, the Internet allowed individuals and groups to organize protests against their government. However, we are entering the second phase, in which governments will either use the Internet to manipulate the populace, or switch off the Internet altogether (as in Kashmir) to prevent groups from spreading anti-regime propaganda.
By anasawad
#15059112
@Atlantis
Besides censorship and state propoganda; As I noted earlier, I'm refering primarily to live coverage (live streams on the ground) by regular people, not opinion pieces and tweets, nor analysis of any events, but rather unfiltered and direct streaming and coverage in general of any given events.

e.g. someone streaming from a protest or an event in progress.
By Rich
#15059116
Atlantis wrote:Now it seems like ages ago, but only a few years ago new political parties like the Pirates actually believed that the digital age would lead to a new age of participation, grass root democracy and reliable information at the tip of our fingers for everybody.

The problem is think of the greatest heroes of our time, those people making the greatest sacrifices for others. I'm thinking of people like Megan Markle, Emma Thompson and Robert DeNiro. Its our copyright laws, which the Piratebay tried to undermine, which finance these eco warriors that allow them to carry on their great works. Next time before someone selfishly illegally downloads a copy of "Love Actually", try thinking of the money Emma needs to be able to fly in to London at the last minute for a climate protest in the middle of a busy filming schedule. It makes people so angry. Do these people think that these Liberal celebrities fly out to California, just for the money, the fame or even the weather. No they are going out their to make films that speak truth to power.
Last edited by Rich on 12 Jan 2020 16:25, edited 1 time in total.
#15059117
Rich wrote:The problem is think of the greatest heroes of our time, those people making the greatest sacrifices for others. I'm thinking of people like Megan Markle, Emma Thompson and Robert DeNiro. Its our copyright laws, which the Piratebay tried to undermine, which finance these eco warriors that allow them to carry on their great works. Next time before someone selfishly illegally downloads a copy of "Love Actually", try thinking of the money needs to be able to fly in to London at the last minute for a climate protest in the middle of a busy filming schedule. It makes people so angry. Do these people think that these Liberal celebrities fly out to California, just for the money, the fame or even the weather. No they are going out their to make films that speak truth to power.


I didn't realize I was on a comedy forum. I thought this was a politics forum...
By Atlantis
#15059146
anasawad wrote:@Atlantis
Besides censorship and state propoganda; As I noted earlier, I'm refering primarily to live coverage (live streams on the ground) by regular people, not opinion pieces and tweets, nor analysis of any events, but rather unfiltered and direct streaming and coverage in general of any given events.

e.g. someone streaming from a protest or an event in progress.


I addressed that point. If a regime lacks the technical means to actually filter and/or manipulate Internet contents (including streaming), then it'll just switch it off as in Kashmir. Even the dumbest dictator can still pull the plug. If it hasn't happened in your place, then you know what's to come.

Thinking that posting smart ass comments or your favorite video will make any difference is nothing more than the illusion of a wonderful digital grass root democracy dreamed up by the Pirates a couple of years ago.

"The media is the message." Nothing has changed about that since McLuhan first pronounced this sentence. And the media is controlled by the corporations and/or intelligence agencies and firms. The posters and streamers are just puppets in a game they don't even know the puppet masters of.

Even if you manage to get your streams out, it's just one little stream that will be buried as soon as our master decide it's got to go. And the viewer has no means of knowing what's true and what isn't.

No, the Internet doesn't make us smarter. It dumbs people down. There is difference between wisdom and knowledge.
By anasawad
#15059173
@Atlantis
If a regime lacks the technical means to actually filter and/or manipulate Internet contents (including streaming), then it'll just switch it off as in Kashmir. Even the dumbest dictator can still pull the plug. If it hasn't happened in your place, then you know what's to come.

Not really, there are many ways to get around that, e.g. satellite internet.

For example:
I can avoid censorship and censored sites in Belarus by simply turning on my MTC international service and connecting to their VPN and networks.
Likewise, we can avoid the attempted censorship by the Lebanese government here because we have satellite internet in Baalbek so we're not dependent on the state to provide it.

Thinking that posting smart ass comments or your favorite video will make any difference is nothing more than the illusion of a wonderful digital grass-root democracy dreamed up by the Pirates a couple of years ago.

Commentaries are really just people arguing, not relevant to actual news.
So yea, I know it doesn't affect anything, but again, I'm not asking about them. :p


Even if you manage to get your streams out, it's just one little stream that will be buried as soon as our master decide it's got to go. And the viewer has no means of knowing what's true and what isn't.

And this is the first time you addressed the topics. :p
This is the idea I want to discuss, To give an example from the current events in Iran.
There is a media blackout in most events, be it protests or the shooting at protesters yesterday night.
We get max 5 minutes clips from regional news networks, and at best an article by foreign media.
The main source of news, which is also the main reason why protests are growing, is because there are tons of people who are on the streets streaming live to show everyone, which in turn lets others in other cities know there are large protests and motivating them to go down to the streets in their cities.
That's how it went in the past 2 days for example; At first, there was silence after Suleimani's death due the military deployment which made many fearful, then Kermanshah protesters amassed and started removing his pictures and those of Khamenei from the streets and continued the anti-regime protests, all while streaming it live, and all while no media coverage being in site, then Tehran went down, then after Tehran Asfahana, Shiraz, and many others followed, until yesterday Ahvaz and Semnan were the last to join.


Now, at the moment, there are thousands of people streaming the protests live, all while there is as little media coverage as possible, be it from western corporate media or from our own regional state media.
and here lies the question, who is more trustworthy, the coverage of the people streaming live from the streets unfiltered, or the traditional news media on the likes of state media like Al-Jazeera with Qatar, Al-Arabiya with Saudi Arabia, PressTV with Iran, etc or corporate media serving oligarch like pretty much all major western news media?


Furthermore, how do you think this plays a role on an international scale? More specifically regarding the language barrier.
From the above example: I, for example, can understand what he protesters are chanting and can easily identify which are anti-government protests and which were pro-government protests (Like the counter-protests in Qum and Mashhad) because I speak Persian. The same applies to Arabic protests.
But how will someone from the US, or China, Or Germany and Europe, in general, be able to tell apart these? And wouldn't the rise of such a form of coverage makes it easier to shape a narrative in international politics regarding regional events in other regions?
By Rugoz
#15059180
@anasawad

I think the potential problem with unfiltered or unstructured news is the same as with social media in general, namely that it tends to create bubbles where like-minded people consume the same news and overestimate its importance respectively fail to take into account other news.

If you watch videos about the protests in Iran all day long I guess it's easy to get the impression the revolution is right around the corner.
By anasawad
#15059185
@Rugoz
How would unfiltered coverage create bubbles? if the event is broadcasted as it is, then whatever the facts about it would be clear and away from personal opinions.


Regarding Iran's protests; There were many many many protests before in Iran, yet no one thought a revolution is on its way since they were comparably small in size in comparison to the wider population, and had specific demands.
What's happening now is more on the lines of protests in the millions all over the country with the aim of bringing down the regime in general, not specific demands.
Also, the counter-protests (pro-regime) says more that the country is heading towards partitioning or civil war, not regular revolution.

Additionally, taking the Iran protests as an example, the coverage doesn't give opinions, but rather show what's happening, the predictions or opinions regarding it are an entirely different thing; Which is the main point, wouldn't such coverage, unfiltered, and showing the event as it is (i.e. neutral), act against creating social bubbles? Primarily since the unfiltered facts would act to break any unfactual opinions?

Taking the Iran example again, a filtered opinion piece would show just the anti-government protests, but an unfiltered coverage showing the events as they are would show both anti-government protests in various locations (like Tehran, Asfahan, Ahvaz, Kermanshah, Semnan, Kermanshah, etc) and pro-regime counter-protests in others. (Mashhad, Qum, Bandar Abbas, etc); As such, an unfiltered coverage that doesn't hold any opinion but rather just show the events as they are would break any bubble that a regular revolution is taking place, likewise, break the bubble that the situation is fine and that the regime will continue as it is. Because the facts are shown as they are, unfiltered.

EDIT:
Taking myself as an example; The live coverage changed my mind from a revolution is gonna happen and the regime will fall entirely, to predicting something more on the lines of a civil war and potential partitioning of the country, since I saw, from this coverage, that the regime still has a notable base in some provinces while completely losing favor in others, as well as the fact that the Kurdish, Azzari, Arab, and Balochi separatism and independence movements are rising up again.
If it was filtered news coverage, it will either show that the regime will fall because protests everywhere are against it or, the exact opposite, that the regime has a massive support base and it will last for a long time.

EDIT 2:
Also, the apparent rise of ideological extremism on all sides, along with the violent confrontations between both sides acting as a spark is why my view turned to predict a potential armed conflict or civil war if escalation took place.
By Rugoz
#15059186
anasawad wrote:How would unfiltered coverage create bubbles? if the event is broadcasted as it is, then whatever the facts about it would be clear and away from personal opinions.


Because people search for what they want to see and algorithms feed people with what they've seen before.

It obviously depends on what kind of consumer you are. In general having that much information available at your fingertips is a good thing. I'm not a social media pessimist.
By anasawad
#15059187
@Rugoz
Sure, people's biases will play a role, obviously.
But that problem exists whether we're talking about a centralized news media as in the case with traditional media, or new media where the coverage is decentralized, live, and unfiltered.

So wouldn't such decentralization act as an improvement in terms of it limiting the potential for manipulation and propagandization by capable entities when it comes to local or regional news?

It obviously has limitations when it comes to language barriers. But hey, you win some you lose some eh. :lol:
By Rugoz
#15059191
anasawad wrote:Sure, people's biases will play a role, obviously.


Point is, it can amplify existing biases and people might not even be aware of it.

anasawad wrote:But that problem exists whether we're talking about a centralized news media as in the case with traditional media, or new media where the coverage is decentralized, live, and unfiltered.

So wouldn't such decentralization act as an improvement in terms of it limiting the potential for manipulation and propagandization by capable entities when it comes to local or regional news?


It's not exactly live and unfiltered though. The platform holders and search / recommendation algorithms decide what you get to see.
By Atlantis
#15059193
anasawad wrote:So wouldn't such decentralization act as an improvement in terms of it limiting the potential for manipulation and propagandization


That's the theory I disproved above. Anyways, the digital space is centrally controlled and allows a degree of central control that has never been possible in human history.

capable entities when it comes to local or regional news?


The capable entities (professional journalists) are made redundant by digital technology. With the competition from the free-lancers, traditional media are forced to cut costs by eliminating professional staff capable of research and unbiased reporting. They are replaced by amateurs who each pursues his own biased agenda in his own echo chamber.
By anasawad
#15059204
@Rugoz
Point is, it can amplify existing biases and people might not even be aware of it.

Somewhat, I'd say.
That's more so related to the ease of spreading political propaganda provided by the rise of the internet.

It's not exactly live and unfiltered though. The platform holders and search/recommendation algorithms decide what you get to see.

Sure, but geographic tags can and do show everything in a certain area, and with little to no filtration.
The personal feed is sorted out and filtered by these algorithms.

Now I do understand that all these biases exist.
But the key point of the argument is centered around the comparison between traditional and new media coverage.
The people had and will continue to have biases, and the technological advancement of the world will inevitably make the world far more connected and thus inevitably amplifying the effects of any propaganda or polarization in general.
As far as I view it, an unfiltered coverage showing the full picture without any interference or opinion attached to it can break or limit the capacity of these bubbles and propaganda.

The algorithms can be avoided by following geographic tags instead of just the personal feed, at least for anyone wanting to actually follow the news.

@Atlantis

That's the theory I disproved above. Anyways, the digital space is centrally controlled and allows a degree of central control that has never been possible in human history.

The infrastructure is, but not the content.
It also allows reach, not direct control.

The capable entities (professional journalists) are made redundant by digital technology.

Capable entities as in political, economic, and social parties or movements, or just oligarchs.

For journalists, disagree; Professional reporters are redundant, which is the inevitable consequence of the world becoming more connected and essentially a small place.
Professional journalists, on the other hand, have the job of connecting the dots more so than finding them, and they're not becoming redundant but rather very important and increasingly hard to find.

With the competition from the free-lancers, traditional media are forced to cut costs by eliminating professional staff capable of research and unbiased reporting.

Traditional media has never been unbiased and independent.
Traditionally, the news has been reported by people working either for states, corporations or oligarchs directly, broadcasting or writing the bias of their employer into their material. This is simply because if they didn't hold the same bias, they wouldn't have been employed there to begin with.
Fox news isn't going to hire a communist for example.

New media, on the other hand, allows access to a far greater scope of information and coverage.
As pointed above to @Rugoz, the algorithms and the possible filtration by the given network might affect one's personal feed, but it can be overcome by opening geographic tags, which though requires an extra minute of effort, it's worth it to get the full picture.


They are replaced by amateurs who each pursues his own biased agenda in his own echo chamber.

Sure, those provide opinions and propaganda.
But again, those would exist either way, be it by an amateur or by a professional, propaganda is propaganda.
But the live coverage provided is different, simply because whoever is streaming can't control what's going on on the ground, so they can't push propaganda, they show what's happening live.
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