Watching the watchers

When news media chooses to give coverage to divisive organizations, it only further legitimizes said organization. Without media coverage, it’s just background noise.

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Daily Mirror (mainly, among others) was my go to source for news in Sri Lanka. It used to be. Then I switched to Asian Mirror. Now, I’m considering switching away from Ada Derana.  Why?

In Sri Lanka, we have notoriously divisive organizations stirring up communal violence, now and again. And, I’d like to NOT contribute to the presence of articles that give coverage to such organizations, which in turn give legitimacy.

When news media chooses to give coverage to divisive organizations, it only further legitimizes said organization. Without media coverage, it’s just background noise.

In the past three years, Daily Mirror, Asian Mirror, and now Ada Derana (among English medium sites) have been increasingly, giving voice (a.k.a coverage) to otherwise non existent extremist organizations.

During my short stint in the news media, I was able to understand how the industry operates. It all boils down to profit for the company. And like the sale of a printed copy of a newspaper counts as profit, so too, does a page view.  I don’t want to be counted on as a page view, which in turn drives up revenue due to advertising on these sites.

Why would news sites carry articles of such a nature? Well, it sells (more views, shares, etc…).

A decade ago, expressing negative sentiments regarding a particular religion or community would have been seen as uncivilized, or uneducated. What changed?

The next time you see a link to an article about some fellow claiming that Muslims are becoming extremists or that Muslim culture is against national interests, please, think twice before clicking on it or sharing. Most likely, the headline is just click bait.

In this age where information is freely available at the press of a button, we need to be more responsible in the information we choose to consume. I haven’t visited the Daily Mirror site in three years. I have chosen to not visit such news sites. And if enough of us start doing this…. Insha Allah.

In a crowd of people, who are all talking, the one that gets the most attention ends up influencing the rest.

 

PS. Insha Allah, I hope to post another article on alternative sources for staying up to date with current events.