How to Keep Media Away from Flak and Ideological Marginalization

In modern society, media are endowed with significant power to participate in the social construction. The “truth” and corresponding mainstream opinion led by media usually seems to be reasonable, credible and meaningful. However, the selecting process of facts, the method to interpret the current affairs are technically subjective since operating team of media also do that based on their knowledge background. Apart from personal subjectivity regarded as unsystematic biases which may be rectified through integrating various views, there are systematic biases functioning in mass media deeply root in traditional propaganda model.

Although propaganda model can no longer influence the neutrality of news that much since Financial ownership and Funding sources problems could be solved by donate-based crowd-funding, sourcing is becoming more pluralistic supported by individual journalists, the Flak and Ideological marginalization are still hard to solve. Apart from several individual media platforms such as Wikipedia, most of the media aim at collecting and spreading information in specific regions, facts are easily distorted by political factors under this background.

Recently, a shocking scandal named Panama Papers disclosed and detailedly reported by ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) indicated a possible solution against Flak. Flak can be used to persecute domestic media, but it doesn’t work on cooperative, international organization. “It’s becoming clearer and clearer: the Panama papers are a historic event in the evolution of a free press.” Said Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at NYU. Comparing joint investigation with the simple revelation of Wikileaks, ICIJ did much more to go deeper. Professional interpretation and report on special topics make all secret data meaningful to general publics.

It is worth mentioning that encryption software such as Signal and Threema assist journalists finish nearly all investigation online, self-created database accelerated this process. In conclusion, groups consist of participants with multinational background with stable independent financial and technological support will be a powerful weapon to fight against flak.

The ideological consensus is a sufficient but not a necessary condition of cooperation because journalists interpret and organize data based on the different national situation. However, as investigation go deeper, the ideological difference may not be that big. However, dominant media are influenced more by ideological marginalization than diverse media, diversification of opinion platform may work out this issue in the future.