We publish here the notes taken by Alicia Muñoz during the deliberations that took place in the framework of the IV Latin American Humanist Forum, by the Communication and Nonviolent Journalism Network. They give an account of the concerns and needs of the new media in order to continue advancing in the attempt to install new stories and looks on reality, with a focus on peace and nonviolence.
How to respond to the situation of the Continent and the tremendous power that conventional media have gained thanks to the use of virtual networks?
In the world of communications we know that there has always been false news and this has been strengthened lately due to new technologies. This phenomenon, which is contemporary, drags the common people to have easy access to digital information, even causing interference in political processes.
However, some of its benefits are that there are more and more communication platforms that transmit their positions and fight with conventional media; it is understood that communication becomes an important space to express ideas.
It must be possible that with the multiple media of social movements a great mass is generated to combat conventional media, however, we are not sufficiently linked so that our discourses have a relevant weight and become a threat to the media that are functional to the established power. It is time to think about how to collaborate to build a communication network.
Julian Assange, due to his immense work, shows the contradictions of the big media: governments censor contents. Behind the attacks and persecution of Julian, who if extradited would be very in serious trouble because what he was delivering was relevant information, it is being said that anyone can be sued and accused of violating the privacy of users.
One cannot think of the subject of communication without taking into account the political aspect, which desperately tries to prevent the emergence of new media. On our continent, countless journalists die, or are threatened without even being known and conditioned by the lack of freedom of the press. It is necessary to be brave for the articulation of pluralities: the only way to move forward is by showing that another journalism is possible, and also by denouncing the monopoly situation, generating coalitions in favour of changes.
The Internet is biased by business interests. Left-wing portals have been intentionally diverted, because the world wide web is no longer the tool it used to be. For this reason, coalitions must be generated so that the Internet becomes a platform that works for the people.
A big topic of discussion for social networks is: How do we make ourselves attractive to the public? The accompaniment we provide to the audience is important; we have to maintain the guidelines, credibility; find a balance, fitting into the public discourse and maintaining our vision.
How can we confront this political force that we have today? Things are becoming very radical, social networks have a personality and are taking on a life of their own.
It is necessary to create alliances, because the traditional media are hindering the alternative media, which also have few resources compared to the mass media. A communication platform must be maintained for the future, each one has its own capacity and need to transmit. The problem is that we are in the same bubble, because people have few alternative media. We need to unite, to group with others. We have to make an effort to get out of the bubble and, for that, we need alliances with social groups.
We can also implement communication formats that demand less time, because people are not willing to hold attention for long. For example, television is a continuous video that captures attention. Videos can have the same content as texts; you have to take into account the forms demanded by the medium today. The street is a means of communication that should not be abandoned.
How do you do something to change the way you communicate?
To go further requires an adaptation like the one we’ve been doing. It is necessary to have more reflection and a common strategy; to animate, to be creative, daring, fulfilling the need to reach more people.
We come from a new school of communication where we talk about what we believe in, but we don’t listen and we don’t create interaction. It is fundamental to weave more narrators who appropriate the contents, who invite people to create. The problem is not the content but the language, it requires adaptation. To be between the analog of the street and the digital, creating narrative.
We are used to using networks, but we don’t trust them. The whole strategy should never be centred there.
The development of Pressenza has been opening new fields. The aim of alternative media is to change the world and transform it into a nonviolent one.
There is a point of proportion between impact and depth; between juncture and process. The look of winning likes and republications can lead us to the pragmatism of capitalist communication. It is necessary to improve the quality of narrators in a multidirectional communication not only creating impact, but also producing things of another quality that may require more effort.
Subjectivity is not the same as lies, but it is another thing to falsify information.
When you know where you want to go, you can intertwine the different skills and enhance what you have.
One way to combat disinformation is seriousness. Credibility is everything. In the world of communications what generates influences is truth, concrete facts, reality.
Thinking globally and acting locally: what does not change is humanity, it is the real history that connects us and identifies us with the other. When it is clear what is going to be written, what you want to say, the audiences are identified, because from the moment that information exists it can be transmitted, it is easier to connect with real problems.
In order to change the world we have to be strong; we have to create common objectives to transmit the same communicational wave in different countries.
Writing is not for yourself, you have to think about those who are going to read what you write, it is for them.
The multiplication of relationships creates impact. Pressenza has an interweaving of relationships that must be taken into account because it is what allows the agency to nourish itself, this is what gives strength. It’s not a commercial medium, it can be improved because we don’t participate in capitalism.
Why do we do what we do? We do not coincide with the mass media. It is about advancing hand in hand with humanism. We are doing many more things than we did or knew, we have learned. We have apps in different languages; we are supporting TV programs on the Internet, radio programs, we are present in Facebook. Pressenza has produced a series of documentaries and we are at the gates to doing more. The nonviolent press needs to train young people and journalists. You can deepen the alliances you have, that’s where there’s a great richness. We have possibilities to create a graphics department, they have offered it to us these days. We can continue to expand what we do, a great deal, always with the objective of disputing the stories, of communicating our look, of journalism with a focus on peace and nonviolence.
Translation Pressenza London