The current background of political lies, lawbreaking and corruption in the UK (and elsewhere of course) has drawn my attention to the role of the press in masking truth and distracting from politically inconvenient discourse. I’m not particularly naive, I realise that for many what matters is spinning their version of “truth” but I had always hoped that those who are entrusted with powere would think more deeply about their responsibilities and that journalists would look beyond what they are asked to report in order to understand whether their reporting is fair. Alas, fairness in many cases alongside journalistic integrity have often fallen by the wayside. As readers we have to examine the messaging critically and “follow the money” if we are to understand what we hear or read currently.
Sadly those who uphold important values are often caught in the crossfire. Jack Monroe knows how it feels to be unable to afford to feed her family and, during our cost of living crisis, she has shared her learning openly, challenging the supermarkets to keep costs low and offering tips to prevent children going hungry. She understands the value of money. Those who accuse her of making money from her work do not understand how much can be achieved when earning money is not the prime motive.
Fortunately there are journalists and lawyers who work not just for money, they hold higher values – justice, fairness, truth. They are willing to expose those who seek to perpetuate untruths. It is life affirming to see how others will help Jack to fight back.
It would seem that some politicians believe it is “fair” to maintain their power through controlling the public narrative. Through manipulating the press and those who make editorial decisions in order to confuse and obfuscate. The priviledge that comes from wealth and power is used to their advantage.
Never has it been more important for those of us who may have meagre means to assert what power we do have to push back. We can all do something. Here are some low cost suggestions:
- challenge those who pick up a Daily Mail, Sun or a Daily Telegraph – wouldn’t they prefer to spend their hard earned cash on a real source of news and be better informed?
- question where your money goes. Every spending decision has a consequence. Research your list of products/places to avoid.
- Get involved in campaigns which highlight injustice and inequality. Use your social media presence to make your values known.
- Refuse to share misinformation. Take a little longer to read the shared links and research their veracity. Call them out or gently point out where they are wrong.
- Take the advice of the image above. Peace.