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Building media trust in an era of informational anarchism

Summarised by Centrist 

Is “balance” in media possible? Maybe not, says political commentator Grant Duncan.

“Political issues and events are, by their nature, ambivalent and fast-moving. The field itself is always off-balance, and the current media environment is rapidly changing and diversifying, if not disintegrating. AI will only accelerate this, so welcome to the new info-war, or ‘informational anarchism’. Caveat emptor: bring your own bullshit-detector,” he says. 

Duncan advocates for a conditional trust in media, rooted in transparency, factual accuracy, and the fair representation of diverse viewpoints. 

“Canceling Don Brash, for instance, means you’re going after a niche market only. Nationally relevant institutions actively seek out and endeavour to understand differing political points of view. They challenge, and are challenged by, those differences,” he says. 

He cautions against simplistic notions of objectivity and “trust in media” arguing instead for a nuanced understanding of media bias and the inherent subjectivity of human perception. 

“When people decry the decline of trust in media (or in politicians), they never explain what the value of ‘more trust’ would be, beyond simply proclaiming how trust is vital for democracy. But dictators want to be trusted too, so it’s not a convincing pitch,” he writes. 

Read more over at Politics Happens

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