‘Don’t blame the messenger’ is good and proper. But I will make an exception in the case of the media.

Of course, lumping all the media together is a gross generalisation and mis-representation.

Which should serve me really well … should I ever seek a career in the media.

Oh, there I go again, basing my conclusions on the flimsiest evidence. Well, so long as it suits my agenda … I am qualified to work in the media.


If you work for the media, it is an awesome responsibility. Particularly, the national media.

You are the eyes, ears and voice of a nation. Or at least some part of it.

You see, hear and speak for people. Millions of people.

You reflect and represent their views and beliefs about the world.

You inspire people … to fear, hate and misery, by and large.

If an alien landed on Earth, after looking at our media, it would think to itself, “Crikey, it’s bad here! Let’s call off the invasion, and get the hell out of here!”

The tragedy is this. That out of everything that it could focus on, the media, generally speaking, focuses on the very worst in life – instead of raising us up to our very best.

Which is their reason, their purpose, if you were in any doubt.

The double tragedy is that most people in the media are intelligent enough to realise this. The reason many become journalists is because they are idealistic: they want to make a difference; they want to bring about change.

This is the triple tragedy: the people who own the media, generally speaking, are pursuing a very different agenda. The message they are selling us is this: Everything is bad! Everything is wrong! And there is nothing you can do about it! Be afraid! Very afraid! Trust us, only we can save you! And the messengers, no matter how reluctantly, are the ones who have to sell it to us.

The message that I am selling you here is this: if you want to be on good terms with your conscience, and you work in the media, remember why you became a journalist in the first place, and to hell with it.

Be the change that you always wanted to see. And tell the rest of us about it with as much energy and force as you can muster. And to hell with it.

© Phillip A. Klein March 2008

Published in: on March 17, 2008 at 12:21 am  Leave a Comment