In my last post I wrote about how German public broadcasting network Deutsche Welle is holding a 3 day conference dubbed: Climate Change and the Media, which features a number of let’s-save-the-planet and let’s-redefine-journalism workshops. Click list of workshops. You’ll find some real doozies. Here are some interesting ones, in case you’re interested in attending.Psychotherapist Mark Bayne
One workshop: It’s about Attitudes: Understanding and Reporting the Psychology of Climate Change, is chaired by former BBC foreign correspondent turned psychotherapist Mark Brayne. In a German interview here, he:
…is convinced that our media in its current form is overwhelmed and cannot handle this core task of the 21st century.
Bayne is also convinced that as long as politicians, business leaders and voters don’t grasp just how critical the situation is, there will be no chance for a change in opinion, and adds:
And what is the most powerful tool when it comes to changing how people think? The media! In our reporting, we have to portray the coming collapse as unavoidable. Ironically, that could be the only chance to prevent it – maybe.”
I’d say here, we aren’t the ones in urgent need of psychotherapy.
Here’s another journalist workshop: Coverage vs. advocacy – Does the media guide or reflect cultural shift?. It calls on considering media advocacy in place of just plain old coverage.
‘Media advocacy isn’t about a mass audience. It’s not about reaching everybody. It’s about targeting the two or three per hundred who’ll get involved and make a difference. It’s about starting a chain reaction. And reaching critical mass.’
Informing the public is not enough; now it has to be told how to think. Does Germany still sound like a democratic country? Perhaps more and more like the old German Democratic Republic (East Germany – the one that built a wall to keep its people from running away).
Behavioural Changes Are Necessary
The objective of another workshop Fragile environments in the Himalaya region – The responsibility of local media is to change human behaviour:
This workshop will examine the state of climate change effects now and in the near future and will analyze the role the local media can play in educating people about the environment and the behavioural changes necessary as a result of global warming.
I’m not making this up – it’s for real!
Clearly, with this conference, the publically funded Deutsche Welle is calling for a more dictated news reporting. But should this dictatorial approach be a surprise? Not really. A look at how German public radio and TV are funded can tell you something about how these media elites operate. In Germany, all radio and TV owners are required to pay hefty licensing fees every year. The fees are collected by an organisation called GEZ – where they are often collected by plainclothes officials who go door-to-door busting fee-shirkers. It’s not enough that they take our money, now they want to tell us how to think and behave too.
Obsessed and drunk with something, the German media are going off course from journalism to thought control. Sound familiar?