THE REAL PICTURE OF THE WORLD
Conference “The real picture of the world” is a pioneering step in the study of how much are Serbian media informed about the world – its neighbors, the region, Europe and global trends in general. Panelists and participants in the discussion confirmed that the media insufficient, often superficial, and even incorrect notify and interpret about the international events.
It is, therefore, pointed out as a vital need that reporting becomes more realistic and that it is necessary to avoid playing by anyone, including politicians, with the incomplete familiarity and knowledge of the paper readers, people who listen radio or watch TV.
Higher understanding of the world, closer following of the pulse and its moves, according to the participants, would help us to release high opinion about ourselves so that we can better understand international flows, cope with them, as well as later on, make the right judgment about these topics. The achievement of our national needs and priorities depends on that success. Responsible shaping of the qualified public opinion is also one of the missions of the European Movement, which is also confirmed by this event.
Based on the long term following of the international activities, prevails the impression that contemporary Serbia has been falling into troubles because of the wrong evaluating of the position and the role of us in the world and the world in us, mainly overestimating ourselves and underestimation others. Our media approach in the world is often similar to the treatment that angriest us when (occasionally) applied – template and arbitrary.
Outside of bilateral relations and “current process” the world’s information are almost not present in our news, unless when there are so many tragically killed people so that kind of news would take away our mind and our own sufferings would look more bearable. That kind of suppression of the world seems counterproductive; it shows that we didn’t understand those catastrophes that we lived in the last decade of the last century, nor the consequences of foreseeing the changes in the world, especially after the fall of the Berlin wall.
The paradox is that we reduce the attention to developments in the world when we become much more dependable on it. Journalists are, meanwhile exposed to extraordinary challenges.
It is observed that, for years, views of some of the local popular media in some places are more conservative or at least more traditional then the official policy is. While official policy preaches opening to the world, with its inevitable partial deviations from the understanding of sovereignty, the media suggest that should not be done. Given the previous overdosed government’s influence on the press, it was pointed out that this specific “resistance” of the media could be “associated” with the need for government to show itself to be more co-operative and more open than the public opinion.
Also it is necessary to perform special deceptive point: reviews of foreign individuals, the fact that we are constantly right and others are wrong towards us, marketed as a strategically advantageous turn of real power towards us. It is not disputed that such opinions can please us, but local equity surge columns in last minute, only can fuel up the already accumulated unreal hopes and actually represent a prelude to even greater disappointments.
During the discussion at the conference it was particularly emphasized that there is lack of detailed and more persistent reporting about European values, global redistribution of power, but also about the ordinary life especially in the neighborhood, which would –if there was a different practice – contributed to bring people together, inter-ethnic reconciliation, as well as the continental integration after experienced regional disintegration.
After all, as the inhabitants of the “global village” we are all obliged not to reduce media attention to the world, because by neglecting it we encourage the delusion that we are more important than what we realistically are in international relations, where our role remains modestly in proportion. Global events – particularly now when world is changing at an unprecedented fashion, traumatic and inspirational – would become more read and watched as well as more appreciated if they would be represented in a fuller extent and impartially, so that “media consumers” realize that they substantially affect our lives.
What is the perception of news and electronic audience and how they see the world today represents one of the topics about which we know very little since there were no serious researches done. It seems as there if no one to support and finance this type of testing and analyses but without it, it is impossible to conduct a serious and credible approach to media editorial policy today. Some serious, however much more fragmentary research found that the public is very dissatisfied with the scope and selection of content and news from the world and about the world. What is missed is a deeper insight, “penetration below the surface manifestations of events”. Among the young and educated readers there is an opinion that the choice of news easily creates wrong picture of the importance and role of Serbia in international relations, and that its importance and role considerably lower than it is presented. The audience also dislikes that sometimes even crawling stereotypes of Cold War are being mentioned, and foreseeing of long term changes are being done too easily.
Research presented at the conference “The real picture of the world” has indicated that it is frequently that selected information about the of relations Serbia and European Union are more appropriate to ” computational needs of politicians,” instead to the interest of the audience. The public is interested primarily to further learn about the European standards, what life of an ordinary citizen of the EU looks like: medical treatments, education, what are the relations in the workplace, and not to be overwhelmed with short and protocol descriptions. Citizens are aware that Serbia’s membership in the EU is distant future and so they show decreased interest in daily news about the European path.
Most of the participants of the conference pointed out to the political and financial impacts to which are media exposed and concluded that this is why they are increasingly turning to sensationalism. It was also noted that much less news about the foreign content is largely due to the minimizing the number of correspondents from abroad, who cannot be compensated by using trained stringers. At the same time there is an increasing grow of influence of social networks, blogs and forums, which are often full of hate speech, bad comments and spinning.
It was pointed out that the economic crisis has further influenced the media, which now have to struggle for survival and to be more dependent on advertisers and owners, both state and private, which often hampers professionalism and narrows the scope of free journalistic expression.
It is recommended that the media in Serbia and the region should make an effort to make that their local stories have as universal access and thus overcome their own borders and become a recognizable brand.
The discussion confirmed that the conference “The real picture of the world” has created space for further research and as far as possible, guidance of the inadequately tested media approaches to the world, which would contribute to the construction of a qualified public opinion, which, furthermore, can contribute to the improved rules and decisions in the political sphere.
“The real picture of the world”, topic which has not been done in this way so far, has brought together extremely prominent and experienced connoisseurs of media and foreign policy opportunities, both from Serbia and the region, who are by their presentations of selected panelists, special distinguished guests, and annexes made by also willing participants in the debate, lessons learned and recommendations gave impetus to more comprehensive vision, realistic and accountable functioning of the Serbian media, when it comes to the international scene.