A written record of events and above all a balanced selection of articles is essential to the free flow of information in our society.
A blog written by somebody in a village somewhere in the mountains of Peru is just as if not more important than articles written by the New York Times or The Guardian newspapers.
On the ground, first hand records that are not influenced by advertisers and sponsors are crucial. As good as the writing of the NYT is, it’s an undeniable fact that the underwriters and advertisers at any publication create a chilling effect that prevents certain content from ever seeing the light of day.
If a Telco company is a major sponsor at a given newspaper, you’re unlikely to encounter a piece that openly criticises that same sponsor.
Private citizens on the other hand have no such constraints. If something is happening locally you can convey a first hand account without the threat of losing your financial backing.
Of course one needs to be mindful of not accusing somebody of something without evidence, but that’s just common sense and should come part and parcel with good journalism.
True freedom only exists if people can express their opinions and access an unfiltered, uncensored fire hose of information.
If we let large news organisations continuously set the tone without a counterbalance from ordinary amateur writers, we risk the propagation of agendas that subtly make their way into the popular narrative.
It’s already too late I hear you say. Perhaps, but we can all create a counterbalance of unbiased information. We won’t have the same circulation as the major publications, but our articles will be indexed by search engines and will be seen.
Want to contribute to a more balanced permanent information record? You know what to do, get writing, it’s for the general good of our society.