Of Politicians, Politicos as Newsreaders and Other Curiosities of Our Brave New Digital World

Back in the Summer of 2020, one of my random thoughts–shaken and stirred by the so-called Covid-19 virus–and accentuated by social media (like the humming of flocks of birds), was a spur-of-the-moment telegraphic comment I shared with an information ‘enthusiast’:

I was expecting he would respond (rather than agree) with Socratic questioning (open-ended-questions). Instead, the young gentleman returned my comment as a “quote” (above). I don’t blame him, as like other members of the ‘anxious generation’, he did what he had to do: react, respond, answer back, opine, agree/not agree, emoji his thinking, etc.

I’m no social or political scientist, but a half-baked raisin-peppered idiot and back to school listening and comprehending the keyboard warriors peccadilloes and WhatsApp politicos’ chicaneries–all at the rate of 300,000km per sec. ‘Smiles and frowns’ would be an understatement if I would have to characterize the state of mind and emotions one gets into at the peril of rationality. Imagine scaling this to the massive electronic media level or to Twitter level. Awesome-to-humongously OMG would be the X-axis, and the penetration level in percentage as the Y-axis of a simple graph. The simple derived equation would show the Positivity versus the Negativity regardless of the impact–the end must justifies the means aka Management By Objective (MBO). The Khariyan Khariyan vlogger from London has gone silent, and Haqiqat TV is active! Hamid Mir et al are active; Saleem Safi et al are somewhat silent. How relevant is this book compared to the ‘Wild Wild West’ scenario here, is a wild card in my view–I’m reading ‘Putting Pakistan Right’ by Moazzam Husain. The last sentence of its last chapter ‘What’s Coming’ is “And that show (Democratic Project) must go on”. —Comment by Irshad Salim.

By Irini Katsirea at OUPblog: Press Freedom and Regulation in a Digital Era: A Comparative Study contrasts the incremental relaxation of broadcasting obligations with the global trend towards a heightened regulation of online news, and asks whether press freedom guarantees risk falling by the wayside as regulatory silos are re-negotiated in a converged media environment.

The Book
Provides a cutting-edge analysis of current legislative, jurisprudential, and policy developments of online news media regulation
Offers a comparative analysis of the regulation of the online news media across different jurisdictions
Provides interdisciplinary insights from legal as well as media, communication, and journalism research

Incidents of politicians acting as news presenters and of star pundits tweeting their personal political opinions, as in the case of Gary Lineker, show that the standard of impartiality is in flux. Once a crucial tenet of robust journalism, impartiality is increasingly seen as an impediment to freedom of expression, as an anachronistic relic from a bygone era. The press is allowed to be partisan, while cherishing an elusive ideal of objectivity. The internet teems with opinion-based journalism and rewards distinctive, even extreme voices. This raises the question whether broadcasting should still be shackled with due impartiality duties. The broadcast medium’s special regulation, as well as the need for public service broadcasting in a communication environment of plenty, is asked with unremitting urgency…

More about the book here...