The World As It Really Is

"The media have to decide: do they see their role as being to inflame or to inform?"

Speaking at a TEDx conference in London earlier this year, Lord David Puttnam talked about the media's role in democracy and society's collective duty of care. The context of his speech was political citizenship, and some of the references are specific to the political landscape of Britain, but his overall theme, which he expresses most eloquently, echoes the principles and purpose of the Foundation. Set aside ten minutes and listen to the end of this thought-provoking talk.

"...honesty, accuracy and impartiality are fundamental to the process of building and embedding an informed and participatory democracy," Lord Puttnam points out. "It has to be possible to balance freedom of expression with wider moral and social responsibilities."

", journalists and even bloggers... [have] ...a collective responsibility... to deal with the world as it really is."

Commenting on the influence of the media on society and its ability to resolve complex issues in a rational way, he said, "...if the facts themselves are distorted, the resolutions are only likely to create further conflict..." adding that we need, "...accurate, unprejudiced information, with which to make our own judgements."
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