Skip to: Navigation | Content | Footer

COMMENT

1984 and all that

James Evelegh's editorial from today's edition of InPubWeekly.

James Evelegh

Posted on: 19 October 2017

 

Around the world, the media is under attack, and not just in the obvious places. In democracies like the US, Poland, Hungary and India, populist leaders and would-be dictators seek to delegitimise the press to shore up their own positions.

One of the most interesting sessions at last week’s FIPP World Congress was ‘Navigating politically turbulent times’.

Part of the challenge for the press is to understand the context they operate in and the mindset and modus operandi of those who attack them. The populist’s playbook has four main tactics: lie big, not matter how verifiable the reality; repeat the lies (and slanders) incessantly; promise it all, no matter the inherent contradictions; make it all about ‘me’: I alone can fix it!

How should the media respond? For a start, resist the temptation to fight fire with fire. Be balanced and objective, not polemical. As Politico’s Kate Day said, “our role is to report, explain, set in context: call people out, not bring people down”. For India Today’s Aroon Purie, constant exposure will eventually show people that the “emperor has no clothes”.

The Berlusconi-era approach of some in the Italian press (“report what he does, not what he says”) was given short shrift by Polityka’s Jerzy Baczynski, because “words matter”; lies must be constantly challenged, lest they settle.

One of the recurring themes of the congress was the breakdown of trust. For me, the key takeaway from this and other sessions, was that the only way to win it back was for serious minded media to always report truth, expose lies and eschew advocacy.

This session included two book recommendations; Aroon Purie suggested we all read 'On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century', by Timothy Snyder, whilst moderator Juan Senor thought George Orwell’s 1984 might be worth another look.

About James Evelegh
(Details last updated: 27 January 2017)

James Evelegh is the editor of InPublishing. Previous roles have included circulation consultant, group circulation manager at Centaur Media and circulation manager at DMG Trinity.

Tel: 01322 865 984

Email: Send a message to this author

Website: www.inpublishing.co.uk

Twitter: @InPublishing

comments powered by Disqus

Most read on InPublishing

These are the most read stories on the InPublishing website over the last 14 days, in order from the top.

Articles

Native – it’s all about Trust

James Evelegh
Posted on: 30 November 2017

Off The Page

David Hepworth
Posted on: 30 November 2017

The reader must pay!

James Evelegh
Posted on: 30 November 2017

My predictions for 2018

Jim Foster
Posted on: 30 November 2017

A balancing act

Ray Snoddy
Posted on: 30 November 2017

Hello! – Friend to the Stars

Ciar Byrne
Posted on: 30 November 2017

Media Quotes of the Year

Jon Slattery
Posted on: 30 November 2017

Less is more

Meg Carter
Posted on: 30 November 2017

Rise of agenda-driven journalism

Liz Gerard
Posted on: 30 November 2017

Peter Preston

James Evelegh
Posted on: 10 January 2018

This list is based on data from Google Analytics, and is refreshed every 24 hours. (Last updated: 21/01/2018 07:50)

Editor's Pick of Recent News Stories

Posted on: 19 January 2018
Posted on: 18 January 2018
Posted on: 18 January 2018
Posted on: 15 January 2018
Posted on: 15 January 2018

Find out more about

Featured job

Publisher Account Manager
Salary: Competitive
Gold Key Media
Soho, London

Featured in InPublishing Jobs

InPub Weekly: Sign-up

Click here to sign up for our free weekly email newsletter:

Sign up now!

Magazine registration

Next Top Tips Webinar

Navigating the Future of B2B Media: 10 practical strategies

2.30-3pm (GMT), Tuesday 30 January 2018

Carolyn Morgan

FREE-TO-ATTEND

Webinar sponsored by

Publishing Partners Guide