Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Powerful Mediums

by Antonio C. Antonio
June 6, 2014

A medium is a means or instrument by which something is conveyed or accomplished.  Surrounding conditions or influences such as the environment has traditionally had a conveyance problem because of its relative cost.  Popularization remains to be the biggest challenge in any advocacy… especially pro-environmental advocacies.

Mankind has gone a long way from using drums and smoke signals to convey messages across earshot and visual distances.  And nowadays, the Pony Express of the U.S. Old West seems to be a very inefficient way of delivering messages.  The telegraph likewise pales in comparison with the telephony systems of today.  Advancement in technology has created powerful mediums aimed at reaching out to as many people as possible.  Examples of these powerful mediums are as follows:

JOURNALISM – Journalism is the most powerful medium as it involves print and broadcast at the same time.  At present, broadcast media (television and radio) remains to be the most accepted outlets for news and information the world over.  Journalism is written literature designed to appeal to current popular taste or public interest; writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without any attempt at interpretation; and, a writing designed for publication in a newspaper, magazine or narratives to television/radio news items.

Journalism seeks to present facts and truths as the reporter or author sees them.  There is no attempt on the part of the writer to present his/her personal opinions or use their own sets of values in the event.  A lot of present-day so called “journalists” often cross this line and make a quasi-editorial (using their own opinions) after each news item.  There is a means to do this through an editorial where in the publication or the broadcast network infuses its own conclusion on the current event.

Then there are the “AC-DC” journalists and news reporters.  “AC-DC” stands for “attack and collect” – “defend and collect”-type of journalism.  These are the media practitioners who think they are journalists but are in the wrong profession and belong to the next medium.

PUBLIC RELATIONS – Public Relations is the practice of creating perceptions.  It is a profession of creating and maintaining the goodwill of an individual or organization usually though the use of mass media (print and broadcast).

The Philippines, where elections are held every three years, is a perfect place for political operators, propagandists and PR outfits.  Politicians need to create the perfect image for the electorate to vote them into public offices.  More often, the image they want to project is simply not who they really are… so the need for character re-engineering which is more effectively accomplished through good PR.

ADVERTISING – Advertising is a form of brainwashing to create name or brand recall on the minds of a certain market segment.  It is a written notice in a paper of mass circulation to make an announcement or a short film that is shown to the public to help sell a product, goods or services.  Political advertising is a specialized field, very much the same in concept as product advertising, although it sells a political party, a politician or a political platform of government.

SOCIAL MEDIA – Social Media is composed of websites and internet applications that enable users to create content or to participate in social networking.  Social networking is nothing more than spreading goodwill and friendship among netizens (citizens of the internet).  Social Media remains to be the cheapest means to popularize anything.  The only drawback is its scope and reach.  Not all households have computer hardware and internet connection is also another drawback.

In the case of environmental advocacies, the situation is even more pathetic.  There really is a very low level of awareness for what is good for Mother Earth.  Journalism, public relations and advertising are on the business end of things and, therefore, fuelled by money and sponsorships. Social media, therefore, remains to be the only viable medium to popularize environmental matters and concerns.

Just my little thoughts…

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