A documentary film just released in France, titled Les Nouveaux Chien de Gard (or The New Watchdogs) outlines how most newspapers, radio and television stations are owned by industrial or financial groups closely linked to power.
The film is based on an essay by Serge Halimi about media , published in 1997. The book was made into a film in France in January 2012. It sets out the collusion between government media, political and economic, focussing on television and major French newspapers.
It could translate into pretty much any country around the world. I understand it also sets out a challenge to journalists to not be tame and to stand up for their craft.
Perhaps you’ll find it odd that a politician would care, let alone write about such things. As a former journalist I care strongly about the importance of good journalism, the ownership structures of our media, the lack of investment in public broadcasting and the growing concerns about political interference that is daily undermining the craft, putting more pressure on individual journalists and treating news as a commodity.
Isn’t it time we stood up for independence, more objective reporting and pride in the craft of journalism?More distance between media and governments (any government). The media was named as the fourth pillar of democracy for good reasons. Can we fight for it in this country too?
The promo clip below for Les Nouveaux Chien de Gard is in French. But you might get the gist.
Who are our new watchdogs?
Hat tip: BE