Horasis:The Global Visions Community Horasis China and business Asian business Asian business globalization systemic risk sustainability management consulting Asian trade globe visions leadership skills scenario-building World Economic Forum Frank-Jürgen Richter Frank-Jurgen Richter Frank-Juergen Richter Frank Richter
      Home Site Map Email
Home
Philosophy
Management
Events
Contact
Opinions
 
2017
Asia Needs more Dialogue
Solutions to urban pollution may prove complex
Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
China needs to lead in new multi-stakeholder world
China’s B&R initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
New wave of robots will be beneficial to all
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
Time is right for Chinese firms to invest in Europe
Robots to the rescue for China?
Asian Multinationals are Going Global, But to Where?
China ratchets forward with energy efforts
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
Bridging managerial gaps involves trust-building
China well-placed to power its future through green technology advances
China's new 'springtime' is here
2016
China’s moves show it’s banking on the future
Mindset for action at the G20 summit will be determined by Chinese presidency
Chinese head-hunting intensifies for rare managers that can steer overseas firms
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
Is it time to be prudent and consider austerity policies again?
What will we do if we have no oil?
Unlock talent by finding the right fit for a person
The benefits are real and tangible
Trade along China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ won’t succeed without the currency of trust
Reasons for optimism about the long term
2015
Can big oil go green and win?
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
Combating Idleness and Deprivation
How China can be a model of food sustainability for the developing world
Kyoto II – Is it a Done Deal?
A meeting of the two largest economic powers
Why China will experience a 'soft' landing
Beware of superstitions
The Elephant and Dragon move ahead
G-7 target on fossil fuels raises many questions
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
China’s resurgence – the ‘normal new’
Wanted: A managerial culture that embraces cultural differences
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
The New Normal for China and India
2014
China's infrastructure push offers a sure track to better growth
US-China climate pact a good start, but not quite enough
Rethink the human’s place in the ‘digital revolution’
China springs a carbon surprise
Infrastructure - the invisible hand in full view
Dialogue vital for survival of Iraqi nation
China must nurture a new generation of beautiful minds
Great expectations in China and India
GM Cereals – The Pros and Corns
Time to be Honest about Our Energy Prospects
Weathering the Storm of Climate Change
Making a Big Decision? Beware of Your Biases
West Deserves Better Logistics Infrastructure
Digital Currencies do Represent the Future
From 'Printed' Houses to Wooden Skyscrapers
It’s time to bail out our schools, not our firms
Solution to India’s housing shortage – print new ones!
And the most promising green technologies of 2014 are ...
Transport infrastructure key to domestic, export growth
Oil stopgaps: Not worth risking
2013
Why the US should grant Edward Snowden amnesty
May we be more optimistic!
China headed for another massive social experiment?
A dialogue that worked
Yes, politicians deserve vacations - because we benefit
NPOs, NGOs invaluable as creators of dialogue
Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
Chinese strategists make right moves for growth
2012
Preparing for tomorrow
Austerity or growth?
Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
Beware of the business cycle?
An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
Driving towards a green future
Waiting for springtime
Preserve or Perish
Startlingly similar Asia policy for Obama, Romney
Globalisation remains an irresistible trend
Google has the edge in smartphone war
U.S. Braces for China's Rise
Mankind’s General Scourge
The summer holidays are over and nothing has changed!
Put the hidden trillions to work
Making sense of India’s woes and wonders
Storm in a teacup!
Let’s give bad bankers a venue to admit their sins
News is about depth, not puff or velocity
Booming India, but too few toilets
Delayed Court decisions doesn't mean one may continue to play 'Great Game'
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
Big polluters can lead in forging common purpose
The weighty issue of choosing a leader
EU-India Relations - Facing similar challenges
Educating with a goal
The Judicial Malaise
We are growing out, but not growing up
EU´s retrenchment enigma
Urbulence in the Eurozone and the effect on SMEs
Skolkovo May Help Russia to Diversify
Make things more effective
Tapping into the Commonwealth connection
Innovative models for public finance
Facebook revolution but Indian style
The feel-good factor
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
Shafts of sunlight
What webs we weave
As performers go to Davos, the circus steals the show
Can we control the politicians?
 
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
China firms should go for win-win in overseas ventures
Of procrastination...
Making sense of profiteering
Truth about financial mess must be laid bare
Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
Excising the cancer of global corruption
Education, a critical asset
Arab uprisings set in motion forces of creative destruction
A new era of change
We must ensure better education for all
Beijing wary of bankrolling a lost cause
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
Why India's Role in the Global Economy is Still Work in Progress
Its the leadership, stupid!
Reverse globalisation: The new buzzword
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Japan Today, June 21, 2012
 

It’s all about balance. Get it?

Well that’s what we might hear a parent saying to his or her kids at the ice rink, but here I wish to comment on the news media—all of it, from years ago, to now with the instant speed of Twitter, and so on. Is that too much to take in? Well maybe – but there are parallels to be drawn and learned from down the ages.

I remember the B-movies from the U.S. viewed in my youth where the newspaper editor, surrounded by cigarette fumes, barks instructions at the hero “…go get the news - and if it ain’t there, make it up!” The hapless lad exits and we know he has to grapple with his ethics to find the true story that will make his editor happy and the readers, too.

Over the years, I have been surprised to find the explosive headings created by newspaper sub-editors really have little to do with the storyline but everything to do with readership and maintaining the paper’s cash flow as “no news” translates quickly into “no sales.” But now, instead of walking the streets sweating over investigative journalism, the modern journalist often sits at a desk reviewing a cascade of #twitter streams.

Neal Mann (of WSJ) says he keeps ahead by understanding what his well-researched tweeting authors are delivering. Neal has learned to judge who says what “with accuracy” which, after a little further research, may be forwarded to the news desk… and in some cases may be announced on air within seconds of the first tweets being seen.

While the old-style newspapers used traditional metrics to evaluate their impact (turnover, advertising income), the new bloggers use on-line analytics (How many people read it? How many times was it forwarded or shared? How many comments?) and there seems to be low interest in truth or customer enlightenment. Bloomberg writers are said to have a “dashboard” which indicates these metrics and which are used to evaluate the writer’s salary – more impact, more cash – simply because Bloomberg benefits directly.

The press now seem to support a strategy of harvesting data and selling it as “information,” just as a “hot” story might move markets and so raise the salary of the staffer at Bloomberg. Although I pick on Bloomberg here, I am sure majors in the wire industry all do the same: as Neal Mann says “… you’ve got to say ahead of the game.”

Four days ahead of the second Greek elections, I whizzed through the English language TV news channels – Russia noted its flat markets (after its two-day national holiday); France noted that oil prices were falling slightly and that Euro ministers would meet at the end of the month; in Spain its prime minister attempted to assure the parliament that its recent loan had to be repaid later; while the Italians refuted they would be next-in-line for a bailout; and Bloomberg (again, sorry!) discussed the second month fall in U.S. retail sales and how data affected the Asian, European and - as they would soon open - the U.S. markets. Instant news, but a lack of commentary on its potential evolution and how it might affect the common man – no wonder they switch off.

In the UK, the Leveson Enquiry (into the culture, practice and ethics of the press) continues day by day: it began in July 2011 and is expected to end its data collection in July. The chairman, Lord Justice Leveson, said the press provides an essential check on all aspects of public life. That is why any failure within the media affects all of us. At the heart of this inquiry, therefore, may be one simple question: who guards the guardians? It covers the relationships between the press barons, politicians and police; and the inquiry will make recommendations on the future of press regulation and governance consistent with maintaining freedom of the press and ensuring the highest ethical and professional standards.

In fact, that inquiry, though British, affects us all because at its heart lies the £30 billion global media enterprise of the Murdoch family (world-wide via satellite and terrestrial TV and films, newspapers and magazines). Their methods over the years have warped from the traditional reporting to embrace all aspects of digital data access in the search for “news.”

I suggest we need now to backtrack a little, to calm down, and to refrain from “sound bites” and instant glimpses of “news.” We know that a wide-angle lens can make a group of people from “Rent-a-Crowd” waving banners and shouting nonsense look like a revolution, especially if the intrepid reporter mouths-over a report from the safety of the HQ desk. Words that seem to confirm the conflagration “… here are images but we can’t confirm…”

What is really needed is that the international media covering different sectors gather with the players in these sectors to hold open Chatham House meetings to elicit truthful news which may then be commented upon at length without innuendo and with conclusions that are over-drawn due to the brevity of the news-flash. It is about balance, not about the velocity of the Twitter, it’s about depth not about a puff. We, as concerned global citizens deserve better from our media.

 

Frak-Jürgen Richter is chairman and founder of Horasis, a global business community


Horasis is a global visions community committed to enact visions for a sustainable future. (http://www.horasis.org)

For more information, please contact:
 
Communications and Public Affairs
Horasis. The Global Visions Community
phone: +41 79 305 3110
fax: +41 44 214 6502
e-mail: visions@horasis.org
 
 
Copyright © 2005 Horasis Web by Toronto Web Design