New world bullies and Media responsibilities

Credits: Forestwood

The full attention of the media has moved from the pandemic to Ukraine. It is undoubtedly a concern with diabolical implications for global safety. But it also is a godsend for the media as listeners who had tuned out, weary of hearing about Covid tune in again. Simplistically, it raises media revenue through a higher number of viewers or listeners and associated advertising. 

Putin is, according to accounts I have heard, a hell-bent dictator with dated geopolitical aspirations, who’s prepared to go to any length to secure his borders/economic and security interests/wealth. However, I note there is almost no coverage given here to the contribution of western countries to the background of this latest crisis. Are we entirely without blame?

  • A buildup in former Soviet Union Satellite states (e.g. Estonia), of troops, weaponry;
  • Pontificating on Ukraine developing closer ties with Western allied powers
  • Ukraine’s political desires to be part of NATO, an organisation birthed of the desire to keep Russia in check.

Is it naive of me to think that imbalanced media coverage and reporting means we might never move closer to understanding the motives of others with interests diametrically opposed to our own? 

Except in Hollywood movies, has anyone ever solved their problems with a schoolyard bully by walking right up to them and poking them repeatedly in the stomach? Or by deliberating dancing around the bully’s enemies or opponents saying we will consider accepting you into our social circle?

Journalists could and must do better to present a balanced perspective to the public. Media sways public opinion. Governments respond to public opinion when it suits them politically and shy away from making hard decisions that will be unpopular with the electorate. 

We must discard any, ‘them versus us’ mentality if conflict is to be avoided. 

Subduing a bully with force has a history of failing miserably, and ordinary people pay the highest price.

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