Media, For What?

by Dianne T, Research biologist and web developer, Ocean Shores, NSW

Right now my heart hurts and I feel very shaken by something that is happening right in front of me. The Australian media are in the process of aggressively harassing people who have come to hear a presentation on healthy, loving lifestyle choices. I’ve been before and I choose to come again because what I learn makes a great positive difference in my health, work, relationships and my ability to handle stress and life in general.When I first arrived I saw a television crew with three big cameras outside the front door. I wondered what was happening but it didn’t feel good. They filmed me front on, but had not the decency to introduce themselves, or tell me why they were there or ask my permission to film me. Then I could see that they were blocking the door and staking out people as they arrived, filming them without permission too. I looked in the door and could see more television reporters wielding cameras, filming and harassing the puzzled audience including children and teenagers. I went in the other door and sat down, and got to observe abuse by reporters of people standing a metre in front of me. So I began writing on my lap as I watched.

A few weeks ago I was invited to take photos and films of a street march by members of my local community who were raising awareness about toxic agricultural chemicals. Many of my friends were there and all present were of like heart about the issue. Notwithstanding the fact that I was asked to film the rally, and that they were friends and community, I was strongly advised by someone more savvy in public events to only take pictures with at least five people in them, as to take photos without permission of individuals or just a few people was against the law and a violation of personal rights.

Now here I am watching reporters from a well known television channel doing just that, and quite aggressively too. They are upsetting, confusing and offending people who don’t yet know what’s happening. The reporters appear to be exempt from the law, which individuals such as myself are bound to obey or face the consequences. What consequences do agents of the media face when they invite themselves in and without permission, ambush people with strange leading questions, thrust video cameras into their faces and film them looking confused, follow them around even when they ask not to be filmed, and even hit away their victim’s hands when they put them up to fend off the cameras and questions?

In discussion with other attendees who’d arrived before me, it transpired that the media reporters had turned up at the venue early to ambush the event and disrupt it before it even began. It seemed that they were totally uninterested in actually interviewing anyone to learn the truth, but only interested in grabbing film footage of people looking confused and not knowing what to say (presumably so they could go off and do their film cut-and-paste to make up whatever lies they wanted). I ask anyone reading this: if you’re quietly taking a chair and getting ready to listen to a lecture on health, and suddenly a giant TV camera is thrust in your face by someone you don’t even know the name of, who asks you a leading question from left of field, would you be puzzled? Confused? Offended? Would you feel a bit off balance and possibly say something you’re not sure of before you have a chance to think about it? That was the impression I was getting from the people who had been assaulted by the reporters in that way.

By what right does the media do this? How is it that TV reporters are allowed to act with such contempt for standards of common human decency and honesty? They may be employees, but I hold them personally responsible and culpable for the dishonest and abhorrent way they are conducting their business, and subsequently with whatever lies they broadcast on TV, radio, online or in the newspapers. For peaceful citizens to be affected this way as a result of media aggression is unacceptable. It has to change.

[Written on 12th October 2012 whilst attending a Universal Medicine event at Lennox Head Community Centre]

88 thoughts on “Media, For What?

  1. We say we have rights but actually we have no rights at all and we are lying to ourselves if we think we have them and that they are there to protect us.
    In the UK currently there is no such thing as freedom of speech as even the Politician’s are being seriously abused by their constituents and some are in fear of their lives because they dared to speak up and voice an opinion. It seems you are not allowed an opinion if it doesn’t concur with the ‘mob’ mentality. People are being whipped up emotionally by inflammatory speeches and there are people who are acting in a way that shows they feel they are above the law and this encourages others to feel they are too. It’s the same old story of people in power using the energy of words to incite the masses into mob rule. It reminds me of the sacking of the Alexandrian Library where the religious zealots of the day incited the easily lead citizens many of whom were paid to storm the Library and act in many barbarous ways to defile and destroy what the religious Zealots felt was a threat to their power. We have learnt nothing and yet say we are the most intelligent species on earth… Seriously I don’t think so.

  2. The world of rights is curious. Some have the right to pay money to listen to someone they like from which they learn. Yet, apparently others have the right to harass them and get away with it with no hassle.

  3. Could it be we need to look at the whole judicial system and the political agenda that sets the laws? And “it has to change” from the grass roots up as those in power seem happy with what is obvious an abusive relationship for the majority of us.

  4. We are all responsible for our movements and the media present at this event acted in a despicable way and should be held to account for it.

  5. I have learned that ‘my heart hurts’ when the innate and deeply sacred sense of brotherhood that is within me is violated. My heart hurts a lot – because this happens often.

  6. We currently live in a world where we must constantly question what is reported by our media rather than ‘take it as read.’ What did this TV crew achieve? They got the footage they wanted – but they created the environment around it and hence have not observed anything true or real about that gathering. The subsequent reports and programmes are then nothing that can be relied upon – but are another example of what we now call ‘fake news’. Do we really believe that the people being filmed behave normally under such circumstances? So what are we really viewing when we watch such programmes and reports? There is nothing true in these reports – merely created sensationalism. It is no more real than watching a soap opera – and even in soap operas they do at least address some real issues at times.

  7. It has to change – I agree. We need to dramatically raise our standards and the integrity we choose to live with so this kind of behaviour is deemed completely unacceptable at all points in time.

  8. The media are well known for flouting the rules in order to get the story they want regardless of the truth, and each media person at the event who tried to manipulate the situation should be held responsible for the hurt and chaos they caused.

  9. Maybe it is time more individual people took the media to court. Ask their names, get their contact details, note who they work for and film them in action… then we could maybe begin the long, but steady shift in the assumed power the media have used.

  10. One point alone marks the difference between how things are conducted. Anytime there is filming of a UM even we are generally informed and I have had to fill out a consent form giving permission for my child to be filmed. Often at an event when someone shares on microphone, they are filmed up close – they are given the right to decline this. Did the media offer the same respect and decency? Or does the selling and so called exposing of a story give them the right to bulldoze other people’s rights?

  11. When we set out to fulfill a narrative or agenda, everything in our path is moulded to fit that agenda and this is very easy right now for those in powerful positions like our media. They have an agenda, they set out to fulfill it and they have the tools to do so. It doesn’t make it right but it does raise questions about what is going on in our world that we’ve allowed this to be … there is no supply without demand so how are we feeding a demand for lies to be told, for others to be harrassed in the telling of those lies and for a certain ‘narrative’ whatever it’s flavour to be upheld?

  12. Thank you for sharing your experience of respectfully filming an event at the specific request of others and the contrast with the manipulative and aggressive behaviour of the uninvited media present at the Universal Medicine event and their shocking tactics to force behaviour that they could then distort to fit with the angle that they had obviously already decided they were going to present with no respect for anyone present or for the truth. No-one should be above the law and members of the community should be able to attend a health and wellbeing talk without being hijacked and filmed without permission.

  13. The whole approach was based on a judgement: what you guys are up to is sooooo wrong that I have the right to do as please. You are worthless, so I will trash you. This energy is a very old one and it still is well and alive.

    1. That’s exactly it Eduardo, once that judgement was in place any action was considered justified. It’s a great call for all of us to consider if there are places where we may judge in the same way and how that colours our views and subsequent actions.

  14. It would seem we can say all we like about things but for there to be a change then we also need to support this with action. Writing for many has been a great step but even now is there more we can do? What about turning off to the media, not buying the papers etc, that’s been done. Well then what about having dinner conversation or similar about what is going on. I don’t mean just about this night but about seeing how we have allowed such a thing. In this we are asked our part, how have we taken judgement to someone about something we have heard or how have we looked at someone we don’t even know when we have been given a story about them. If we are wanting the current media to start doing their job again then we will need to lead them back. Start to live in our own circles what it is we see as ‘wrong’ with the world. Then you not only give people the facts of what happened but you show them how far that actually is from who we truly are.

  15. We each hold a responsibility in how we treat another human being, and whether we like it or not, every time we treat another without our full love and care, we create a moment in time that is going against the natural flow of the universe, and this will need, at sometime in our personal evolution, to be rebalanced to a state of harmony. The media and their behaviour, whilst being abhorrent, is but a representation of how humans treat each other every day.

  16. No one is above the law – and that includes the media. Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine present the truth that we are all equal. This is a truth that some seem to disregard.

  17. It is curious, that in our world today there are certain organisations, like the media or institutions, like the Catholic Church that are exempt from the laws that we established as a society. And you are rightly asking, how can that be? This is something that truly needs to be looked at.

  18. The behavior of the media involved that night was beyond appalling. The shock and confusion was testament to that. Clearly journalistic standards of conduct need a massive overhaul because it forgo any human decency as it’s foundation. This was a great example of what is wrong with the media of today.

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