Ways to build a truly objective media outlet
In the propaganda model, the five filters — — ownership, advertising, sourcing, flack and ideological marginalization seem to be inevitable. When we look at the examples in reality, we can also easily find the negative influence of these five filters and the news media is not as credible as we expect. However, an ideal independent media platform model can be built through the methods listed below:
1. Be independent from commercial institutions
‘Ownership’ and ‘Advertising’ are mainly because of the close relationship between news media and commercial institutions. To avoid negative influences like corporate censorship, the newly formed media platform should be independent from all the commercial companies, especially those large ones. To do so, the platform should be an interest-free one without any advertisements permitted so that there will be less interest related organizations aiming to buy or control the company.
Although without advertisement and large companies’ sponsorship, the platform may not have enough money to operate, the principle of staying away from corporations should still be insisted and sponsorship can be obtained through other ways as stated in part 2.
2. Get support from different governments or organizations representing multilateral interests.
Take UN as an example, it consists of different countries demanding different interests. If the media platform can get the sponsorship from UN, then the information would be less controlled by one Party as there is already conflict and coordination inside the organization.
Besides, getting help from this kind of international organizations can increase the credibility of the media platform, meanwhile sponsoring true objective media platforms can enhance reputation of the organization. So it will be a double-win case.
If such multiply cooperated organization is hard to reach, then the sponsor should also include different governments, as the more complexity the components are, the less control there will be. Also, the multiple sponsor can give rise to the increasing information sourcing, which will make the platform more comprehensive.
3. Set requests for news information or comments
Some people tend to search for anecdote and comment emotionally under the news articles. This will form a malformed market orientation to media and make it harder for people to be exposed to significant events in the outside world. Also, those rude and emotional comments can easily make the journalists uncomfortable and reduce their passion to news writing and reporting. So that there should be requests for comments like words account (such as above 800) to ensure the arguments are developed logically and sufficiently.
With such requests issued, even the people who strongly oppose the view in one article can have time to calm down and think deep through writing a long article analyzing the conflict and this is also beneficial for communication. Moreover, the words account request can reduce the possibility of online violence as the abuse words cannot be posted out as easily as Weibo.
4. Organize the website fairly
In terms of ideological marginalization, a fair website design can largely solve the problem. For example, a separate category can be set as ‘minority group’ and all the points which are anti-mainstream can be posted there.
Allowance for anonymous report and comments should also serve as an added measure to comfort the reporters or commenters who are afraid of potential threats.
5. Let people verify the credibility of the news
Fake news always come along with the appearance of media platform, especially when the anonymous reports are published. To clear out the fake news, there should be a verifying mechanism. Most of the website or media platform would have a certain group of people judging whether the news is fake or not. However, such methods can easily be used to supervise the comments or guide the public opinion. So that I think there should be a method like ‘Google News Lab’ and everybody can join into the process of checking the credibility or accountability of the articles posted.
6. Be largely spread in the world, translated to different languages, free to all the audience.
Only the platform having large spread of audience and writers can achieve the true comprehension. So that the platform should try very hard to grab more audience, as well as more attention. To do so, it should be free of charge and be translated into almost all kinds of languages to simplify the reading and writing.
7. Reward mechanism for the reporters or editors
Because the new platform would be an interest-free platform, the reporters wouldn’t receive any rewards in money and this may force some reporters to abandon this. To deal with this problem, other rewards, such as the verification of the journalist’s professionalism should be established to attract journalists to stay in this platform.
Although the media platform model may still have some possibility to be biased, I still believe if the methods can be practiced strictly, this possibility would be extrmely close to zero. However, I also know that these methods are only ideology model and it’s really hard to practice in real world. However, those steps towards an ideology media platform are quite worthwhile.