‘Do not turn journalism into entertainment’

The dumbing down of the news—the McDonalds-ification and the Murodch-isation of the media—to appeal to the lowest common denominator, in the mad rash for numbers, has been the pavlovian response of publishers and editors to readership and advertising declines.

But the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa has served a timely warning. Making journalism interesting may be a prerequisite to keep readers interested, but making journalism entertainment, he has told the World Editors’ Forum, is a pure recipe for disaster.

In a video address to the WEF in Cape Town, Llasa said journalism was facing difficult challenges, which some have attempted to conquer by “banalisation or frivolisation of journalism”. He said people looking for entertainment rather than “true information” had caused some degradation of journalism. He said this was “very dangerous” and that a transformation of journalism into entertainment would abdicate what has been its most important function.

Good journalism, according to Llosa, “conveys an objective vision of what is going on in the world.” He said the best way to overcome bad journalism was to do what good newspapers, radio and television have been doing: “Telling the truth and trying to convey good information.”

Read the full story: Mario Vargas Llosa on the future of journalism

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.