What role did media play on the “Burn the Qur’an day”?

Posted on 10/09/2010


An American small town pastor with the following of about 50 people managed to reach every corner of the planet when announcing a “Burn the Qur’an day” earlier this week. Partly because of the internet, and partly because of the international media having a field day with the news.

So what role, blame and responsibility does the media have for spreading extreme views?

Like the passive aggressors on a school yard, shouting “look, someone’s about to get their head kicked in over here!”, the media can of course be accused of being equally passive aggressive.

The difference, of course, is that anyone reporting about it (i.e. inviting to look on) also has a responsibility to ensure that the message does not promote hatred, violence, racism. Merely stating facts, in this case, can not be enough. However, adding a moral denouncement, or taking any other stance against such an act brings other and more troubling problems for any media outlet.

Instead, readers need to be educated about how to read the news in a truly global media environment. From the earliest school years children must be taught how to digest information and make sense of it.

In a not too distant a future, people will stop reacting to every single piece of sensational news as if they didn’t understand how things were connected. They will no doubt look back and question our naivety, as well as the questionable role media plays now. They will laugh in horror at the incredibly dominant role media plays today and how relatively unregulated it is and how, sometimes, very little it serves the people and how very much it often serves the increasingly frequent extremist and sensational voices.

Posted in: Uncategorized