Posting Chaff

Posted on julho 5, 2010



Rodolfo Araújo*

I recently wrote about the phenomenon of Violence daily common, highlighting how the media makes real atrocities in banal events , daily absolutely. Traditional vehicles and premium programs exploit personal tragedies and collective pain, packing them into this with no shame nor embarrassment.

At the same time, the proliferation of attractions of this nature reveals the growing acceptance in society for this type of entertainment aimed at the spectacle of the world. An apparently normal reaction, characteristic of free markets contemporaries, where corporations offer what the consumer demand, in quantities and configurations consistent with what society behaves. Just as the bakery of his corner, automakers and drug dealers.
In Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics (Harvard Business Press, 2007), Eric Beinhocker offers an evolutionary approach to how we see the economy. This look works for macro analysis, also, parts of economic systems, for example, the media. According Beinhocker movements evolutionists go through three major stages: innovation, selection and replication.

Of the early hominid grunts in African savannas, to Gutenberg’s printing press and the advent of Internet, communication experiences innovations not only in technology but also on Social, and both influenced one to another one. While some creations perish by the way, other triumph is chosen and passed on to subsequent generations. In the next step, the innovations have established their use amplified, copied and imitated becoming many times the new standard. A process widely and commonly known in the literature as corporate competition
Overexposure of privacy and exploitation of the sordid details of bizarre crimes, which now fill the media, are also fruits of similar process. Rooted in innovations such as Big Brother, the series Faces of Death or championships MMA, gossiping and glamorization of violence were selected by popular fetish in having free access to audiovisual information about others, either in joy or sorrow – with special preferably the latter, however.

As the focus of evolutionary Beinhocker such innovations have been supported by new technologies Physical – such as the proliferation of digital cameras, increasingly powerful, smaller and cheaper and easier storage, transmission and dissemination of data – Social and – as the growing acceptance scandals and the gradual reduction of social decency, requiring Bizarre increasingly rugged.
Highlight grotesque behavior – is a parricide or debauchery of the star of fashion – carries components of social degradation, to the extent that such actions pose inside our homes, with an air of banal events, almost commonplace. In the same way that newspapers do not publish stories of suicides – to prevent imitation – should remove homicides. After all, you are not skeptical to learn that in most countries, suicides are more frequent than homicides? Probably most of the massacres perpetrated by snipers would not happen if that was not guaranteed highlighted in newspapers, where perpetrators seek their morbid posthumous fame.

Before readers rush to identify traces of censorship in my text, I warn that society is based around the restrictions on individual rights in the name of collective benefits. The freedom – particularly of expression – serves the public interest by ensuring access to relevant information especially in monitoring and control of public institutions, to impose limits on the power. This has nothing to do with the paparazzi the right to work, or photos smuggled from the inert body of a little girl . Which the public interest in the belly of Ronaldo (brazilian soccer player) or bruising of a dead child?

As a market economy selects what arrives at your fingertips and allows, as it were, the media becomes this monster surreal, it has a responsibility also impose their limits and reject that which is harmful, regardless of the time frame analyzed – is French bread, cars or cocaine.

But while there are laws that institutional, social and market for regular consumption, it does not absolve of guilt the side responsible for their production. The role of the journalist and the editor becomes therefore critical in this process of disinfecting a medium without boundaries. Although they respond to incentives in your industry – ultimately, the audience – they must also obey your instincts and values. Otherwise, they run the risk of ratifying the famous words of Adlai Stevenson: “A newspaper editor is someone who separates the wheat from the chaff – and prints the chaff.”

* Rodolfo Araujo writes to Voce SA and Não Posso Evitar.

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