Media Coopetition: An Answer to A Not-Well-Informed Citizenry
America has a huge problem: a not well-informed-through-no-fault-of-its-own citizenry. It’s a citizenry that, despite its best efforts, struggles to keep up with the 24/7 onslaught of news and information from innumerable sources delivered in a multitude of ways. It struggles to discern between truth and fiction, fact and opinion, misinformation and disinformation. It struggles to be well-enough informed to make responsible choices — at the ballot box and wherever it chooses to invest its political time and energy.
For context and reference, a single example as reported last week by fellow Substack writer and media critic, Eric Boehlert (RIP):
“That’s why, according to a recent poll, 37 percent of Americans think the economy lost jobs over the last year, when it’s gained 7 million. (Just 28 percent of people know jobs were up.)”
How can a citizen who tries to keep pace with what’s happening have a chance? A citizen can’t. And a citizenry that wants to but can’t make sense of what’s happening in its society withdraws. It gets depressed. It becomes apathetic. And an uninformed, depressed, apathetic citizenry cannot under any circumstances do its part to insure the health and vitality of a democratic system of government. Ever. There are, to be sure, plenty of people and entities — plenty — benefiting from an uninformed, apathetic citizenry, but they are not conscious and they are not democrats, FYI.
A solution: conscious business, of course. Specifically, an industry-wide consortium of purveyors of news and information taking responsibility for this state of affairs — basic conscious practice. Then? Intention. Shiny and clear. In this case, it’s simple: a well-informed citizenry. It all adds up to something like: We, purveyors of news and information within the American media industry, are taking responsibility for insuring that the American citizenry is, on the whole, well-informed. It is our primary, collective intention. After that, sure, every producer of news and information will have a set of intentions beyond informing the public — from making money to being a leader in their category to winning the most awards or anything they want. What’s essential is those intentions will be subservient to the collective one.
So, fellow citizen, start imagining every single piece of anything that passes for news and information about politics and current events with labels affixed, very much like what we are accustomed to seeing at the movies, on television, and when we buy video games. “Fact.” “Opinion.” “Developing.” “Reference.” “Unverified.” “Special Interest.” And/or imagine an open source, dynamic website where we the people can track any story of interest and see how it’s being reported by any entity reporting it. I don’t know. But however the industry would go about taking responsibility and cultivating its intention, the result would be more citizens more equipped to make sense of news and information all the time. It would be more citizens, far more often than not, believing the same set of facts — all verified at regular intervals by the consortium’s built-in polling process. It would be more citizens engaged in the issues of the day, more able to make more responsible decisions at the ballot box and with regard to investing their political time and energy.
So the industry that has wreaked such havoc — wittingly and unwittingly, let’s say — could be the very industry that heals the deep collective wound of American distrust.
Why would a purveyor of news and information join such a consortium? Instant credibility, for starters. When, for example, Fox News, Democracy Now!, National Review, The Nation, Joe Rogan and Al Franken are all participating, it stands out in a big way when The New York Times and OAN do not. What are they hiding?
Another reason to participate in the consortium is the spirit of friendly competition or, as we new-consciousness people like to say, coopetition, that would ensue. With a voluntary scheme in place to collectively insure the citizenry is well-informed, every purveyor of news and information will then be far more free to devote time and energy to experiment and innovate. They will have more freedom to fully explore the niches they want to create and exploit. They will also be able to attract even more attention from potential new consumers and subscribers who were previously unaware of them but who now invest them with credibility because of they are part of the consortium.
Another reason for participation is that the project is based on interdependence, a hallmark of the new consciousness. A system of interdependence is one of the ways that Nature manages itself and in the new consciousness, we mimic the nature of Nature every chance we get. It’s healthy. We belong to the planet, not the planet to us.
Yet another reason is transparency. It’s a requirement of the project and a requirement for building trust. A citizenry that’s well-informed is one that trusts — the purveyors of news and information and the government itself. So the industry that has wreaked such havoc — wittingly and unwittingly, let’s say — could be the very industry that heals the deep collective wound of American distrust.
OK, one more. We all know that with great power comes great responsibility and we also know that taking great responsibility means gaining authentic power — in commensurate measure. Purveyors of news and information, then, would join the consortium for the stature, honor, and respect they will receive as part of a reborn fourth estate.
Ultimately, this would be a we-want-to, not a we-have-to proposition for the industry. It’s how things work in the new consciousness. No more winners and losers, just winners. Can we wrap our heads around that? Can we leave behind old-consciousness beliefs about survival of the fittest, zero sum games and all those relics? Yes, yes we can.
A project like this would be a given were the news and information industry full of conscious people. They would take pride in their willingness and ability to root their enterprises in this collective, interdependent endeavor. They would relish their roles as champions of democracy, as a trusted industry and institution. They would be humbled to serve their country in which free enterprise was/is/should be the name of the game. This is not complicated.
NOTE: The next Conscious Politics Free Monthly Training will take place on Tuesday, April 19, from 5-6:30pm Pacific / 8-9:30pm Eastern.
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