‘코스모 모던 시티즌’을 아십니까?···첨단기술 자유자재 ‘미디어 인간’

[아시아엔=아시라프 달리 <아시아엔> 중동지부장, 아시아기자협회 회장, <알 아라비 매거진> 편집장 역임] ‘Red Dager’는 1940년, 50년대 공산주의자들을 일컫을 때 쓰는 용어였다. 미국에서는 위스콘신주의 공화당 상원의원이던 조셉 매카시가 공산주의자와 좌파세력을 색출해 내고 폭로한 것을 의미하기도 했다.

21세기 우리는 새로운 매카시들이 활동하는 것을 종종 보게 된다. 불법으로 녹음된 자료들을 폭로하는 새로운 토크쇼가 바로 그것이다.

토크쇼 시청자들은 전·현직 장관들의 사적인 통화나 정치가들의 비밀회동이 담긴 테이프, 혹은 스타배우들의 연애스캔들 등을 접한다. 다른 국가에서는 범죄로 여겨지지만 이집트에서는 정식 허가 없이도 공인들의 자료를 방송할 수 있게 되어 있다.

‘코스모 모던 시티즌’은 최신 모바일, 태블릿, 전화기 같은 하이테크 기기를 갖고 고화질의 카메라와 초고속인터넷을 사용하는 ‘미디어인간’을 말한다. 사진을 찍고 녹화를 해서 자신의 웹사이트에 올리거나 개인블로그를 만들어 팔로워들이 공유하고 또다시 이를 재공유할 수 있게 한다. 하나의 파일이 여러 토크쇼 프로그램에서 재사용되어 몇시간 동안 수백만명의 사람들 입에 오르내리게 된다.

그런 토크쇼의 편집자들은 방송윤리규정을 따르지 않고 진실여부를 밝히지도 않은 채 ‘코스모 모던 시티즌’을 통해 정보를 빨리 수집하는데만 혈안이 되어 있다.

진정한 저널리즘은 진실과 정의와 자유를 추구하되 인기에 연연하는 값싼 미디어와는 추구하는 목표가 완전히 달라야 한다. 언론자유와 미디어를 통제하려는 것이 아니다. 미디어 윤리를 제대로 준수해야 진정한 언론자유를 누릴 수 있다. 만일 당신과 내가 불법녹음의 희생자가 된다면 그것은 현재 우리의 의무를 제대로 이행하지 않았기 때문이다.(번역 송혜원 <아시아엔> 미국통신원)

 

The Cosmo Modern Citizen as a Man of Media

-On how different nation’s media are responding to a rapidly changing new-media Asia?

Ashraf Abou-Yazid (Dali), Egypt, President, AJA

The “Red Danger” is not limited to a certain political ear. While this referred to the fear of Communism in the late 40s and 50s, the “Red Danger” was challenged in the United States by the Republican Senator Joseph P. McCarthy of Wisconsin who spent almost five years trying to expose communists and other left-wing “loyalty risks” in the U.S. government. Now this phrase has spread to denote many “McCarthys” who fight different “colored” dangers and enemies under the umbrella of corruption, terrorism, among other threats.

In the past, Senator McCarthy sought loyal citizens to unveil his enemies. And now, in the 21st century, we have our own McCarthy doing the same. This new “McCarthy” is the new media wave of talk-shows through which a presenter (or more) gets their sources in a specific political field to feed them with illegally recorded materials. These files, in most cases, are used to expose the actions of official and non-official members alike.

Viewers of such talk-shows listen to private telephone calls between recent and ex-ministers, watch video scenes of secret meetings between political activists, and follow a hot relationship affair between actors and actresses who are not married. In regards to the Egyptian case, many talk shows broadcast material of high-profile figures without authorized permission. Although this would generally be judged a crime in the free world, such practices are completely acceptable in Egyptian media as long as they expose wrongdoing by men of opposing political factions.

There are many new examples of colored dangers: “Green Danger” documents which can be uncovered to attack Saudi Arabia, “Black Danger” documents used to reveal the Islamic State crimes, and “Golden Danger” documents that might be discovered to frame some businessmen, and so on.

The “Cosmo Modern Citizen” has become a “Man of Media,” armed with his hi-tech gadgets, like a sophisticated mobile, tab, phone, with a high-resolution camera, and a high-speed internet. He could shoot, record, and upload his precious footage to his website, or personal social media page, where followers would be ready to share and re-share the media materials. The same file would be recycled multiple times through one or more of the talk-show programs to be the talk of millions in just a couple of hours.

Editors of such TV talk-shows are too lazy to seek real materials. They are eager to catch a fast source of information for a quick over-the-meal show. One resource is enough: for instance, the “Cosmo Modern Citizen,” who is interested in everything, commenting on every situation, and attacking every personality. Most of these editors do not follow the ethical guidelines to present respectable content.

Citizens who become media suppliers are also misused. Indeed, true journalism is not like this and should not be like this at all. In real journalism, we do not attack one’s privacy like the paparazzi, nor do we accuse innocent people as the ignorant do, neither are we, judges or policemen. We seek truth, justice, and freedom; far different goals compared to cheap media that only seek popularity at any expense.

I suggest, responding to this wave of recycling the privacy of politicians and celebrities for publicity, there is a need to monitor such cases and?at least? to issue some declaration not to accept the way these media shows and programs humiliate humanity everywhere.

We also need to determine the correct materials which are to be used. The late clearance of innocent victims can definitely be of use as the public media act against them could be too harmful. We do not want to control the free press and media; we need to control the ethics of media itself. If we are becoming tomorrow’s victims of illegal recordings (misused or misunderstood) that are only because we have not fulfilled our duty today.

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