This is the Tower Of Babel, where the worst is yet to come
The loudest noise comes from the celebrities of the post Arab awakening and media experts who were sleeping soundly prior to November 2010
In search of fresh and different news and views, we drown ourselves in a sea of opinion. Unfortunately, the loudest noise comes from the celebrities of the post Arab awakening and media experts who were sleeping soundly prior to November 2010.
Having been awakened abruptly by the unexpected and reacting since and playing catch up with the times is no excuse. In the public domain, these noise-making machines are in direct competition with various agendas: some of them petty and opportunistic, others seasonal and therefore temporary; while a few more are extremely dangerous, even lethal. Not to mention the age-old agendas of bankrupt Arab tyrants incapable of reform, unable to share or relinquish power.
Empty noise drowns out real news
Just as in politics, the media scene is filled with master spinners and not many honest dealers. While some intelligent minds and serious reporters are still trying to tell things as they witness them, pseudo-intellectuals are trying to make sense of events for themselves while confusing their breathless thirsty audiences, and extremists climax in their spin tales of incitement and recruitment of more death-lovers.
Welcome to the age where everyone and their cousin has a voice, a loudspeaker and a media outlet willing to feature them to entertain or numb the masses and drive their agenda!Octavia Nasr
In 2001 most of the world woke up to something called al-Qaeda. The U.S. successfully used the group to justify its deeds from launching wars against right and wrong targets, to jailing and torturing people blindly -- unable to identify who's a terrorist and who is not, lumping everyone under the same category. Spying and eavesdropping on unsuspected citizens and foreigners became the norm, just as recording conversations, tracking and saving people's online activities.
The wrong focus
Was the ousting of former Egyptian president Mohammad Mursi a coup or not a coup? Experts are so focused on the name, they forgot about the change people demanded and some died for.
Is the Yarmouk Camp besieged by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad forces or Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants? While this is debated on TV screens and online, Palestinian refugees and displaced Syrians are starving to death.
Is it a victim of a terror act or a martyr? Make up your mind. Because one is mourned while the other celebrated in your complex culture!
Noise, confusion, terrible foreign policies, mixed with noise bombs, cries of starving babies, noise of indifference from world leaders, noise of all the experts, politicians and other time-wasting disingenuous personalities flipping lips: welcome to the age where everyone and their cousin has a voice, a loudspeaker and a media outlet willing to feature them to entertain or numb the masses and drive their agenda!
This article was first published in al-Nahar on Jan. 20, 2014.
Multi-award-winning journalist Octavia Nasr served as CNN’s senior editor of Middle Eastern affairs, and is regarded as one of the pioneers of the use of social media in traditional media. She moved to CNN in 1990, but was dismissed in 2010 after tweeting her sorrow at the death of Hezbollah’s Mohammed Fadlallah. Nasr now runs her own firm, Bridges Media Consulting, whose main aim is to help companies better leverage the use of social networks.
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