New Internationalist

Ratings v quality – time for the media to do the right thing

the right balance in the different aims that you have to follow. Try to concentrate on what needs to be communicated,’ he said.

Deutsche Welle Deputy Director General Reinhard Hartstein said: ‘The media must have as its goal the improvement of educational opportunities.’

Unfortunately, it is not only media sensationalism that hampers public education.

According to Deutsche Welle, which organized the forum, millions of people, mostly from crisis regions and war-torn areas, are still illiterate – in part because of their lack of access to the internet.

‘Even in a highly industrialized nation such as Germany, 14 per cent of the population is functionally illiterate,’ Deutsche Welle said, quoting a recent study conducted by the University of Hamburg.

Marc Jan Eumann, State Secretary for Federal Affairs, Europe and the Media of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, said media and literacy go hand in hand.

Where the internet is available, the media must be ready to provide the audience with opportunities to tap the right information.

‘The challenges of the internet are challenges for all of us. Social media and mobile media are great opportunities for [the dissemination of] a great variety of thoughts and information. What we need in a global world is pure information,’ Eumann said, adding that education and literacy go hand in hand.

Whether or not the media groups which attended the forum will go on to improve their coverage is yet to be seen.

Examining one’s actions, at least, is a start. 

Photo (top) by {N}Duran under a CC Licence

Photo (bottom) by brizzle born and bred under a CC Licence

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About the author

Iris Gonzales a New Internationalist contributor

Iris Cecilia Gonzales is a Filipino journalist and blogger. At present, she covers economic news for a Manila broadsheet, but she also writes other stories here and there. She has been blogging since 2004 on various issues including women and children and human rights. She is among the winners in the TH!NK 3 global blogging competition organized by the Netherlands-based European Journalism Centre.

You may email her at [email protected]

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