“PHANTASMS” OF MEDIA CHAOS
By Bardhyl ZAIMI
The quality of democracy depends primarily on the media professionalism and quality. The last decade has marked an astonishing transformation of the media paradigm. The so-called traditional media already have enormous competition from the online media. Despite the fact that even traditional media, such as television and newspapers, are already present in the vast sea of online specialty media, nevertheless the flood of endless portals without the slightest sense of journalism remains a particular challenge in the world of online information.
In fact, along with the idea of democratization offered by online media, there is a big step forward, a change in the perception of what we call information. The right to be part of media pluralism has already been contravened in the banal right to be part of a chaotic media world with protagonists who do not respect any minimum of professional dignity.
Perhaps no definition can fully articulate this painful transformation that tries to instill in the media space the bizarre forms of invisible ideological propaganda hiding behind portals without any transparency. And most tragically it remains that these media “phantasms” are often fed with public money when it comes to money from a political party.
This whole situation reveals a degraded context of perception of the political and social reality and the fatal correlation between political power and the mediocrity of the media. This mediocrity of the media then produces and nurtures social mediocrity. The theses that the “traditional minds” of journalism cannot get this rhythm of the new paradigm of online media are mediocre excuses for expanding the chaotic presence of ideological profiteers who see their loss in the principles and norms of functioning.
Despite the biggest transformation, from the transition to the algorithms of the infinite possibilities offered by the digital world, journalism remains essentially the same, based on already established professional and deeply ethical principles. Journalism cannot function outside the theoretical framework and outside the human and public mission. Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez also says that journalism has always allowed him to stay in touch with reality. There is no journalism outside of this human reality, beyond the deontological principle that brings the public interest to the public as the main pillar of democratic life.
But we are already in this mess looking for a solution. We are part of this virtual world filled with all kinds of media and we risk being schematic in the reception of information that comes from invisible addresses and without any professional identity. This frightening almightiness of the media fueled by ideological fragments and passions from various subcultures, disrupts our daily lives in meaningless communication. Theoretically and paradoxically the receptor remains responsible for the information. This postulate also remains for other communicative treatments.
At the time when you cannot put rules on a play, the chaos waves generally come uninterrupted. Such is the case with network media in North Macedonia, chaos created by the socio-cultural context and the lack of a concrete initiative for self-regulatory regulation that is the only disposition to give direction to the normality of the media.
More precisely, one step forward in establishing order in this mess is the AJM initiative to create a professional media registry. This initiative comes after signing the memorandum with the Economic Chamber of North Macedonia, and part of the process will be the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia. Allegedly, creating this professional media registry will help the public and businesspeople identify which media meets the professional criteria that adhere to journalistic code in their work and have an Impressum and transparent ownership.
Regardless of the different interpretations, creating a professional media registry promotes the possibility of imposing a minimum rule on the chaos of online media. Throughout this media phantasms landscape, creating a registry will allow them to minimally identify which medium has transparency in its operation and which have an address in their work. This remains minimal in the differentiation of professional responsibility versus media with unidentified missions.
Of course, this is only a small step forward in professional and qualitative resizing, while the question of self-regulation remains an indisputable mechanism for creating a deeply transparent media space in which relevant and professional media pluralism will be found, influential and professional operational ethics. In the meantime, there are many other issues that need to be addressed that relate to the forms of funding and other “invisible” supports that this registry cannot normalize.
However, it is worth the initiative to put an end to the online media chaos, to all that controlled media fragmentation that feeds the “phantasms” of the many interdependencies that are created, where government and ideologies flirt with public and semi-public money.
*The text is written exclusively for the purposes of Inbox 7. For each republishing, a consent by the editors must be obtained. Inbox 7 does not always agree with the opinions and views of the authors in the debate section.