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I spend my youth in Iraq till 2005, which gave me the chance to endure the pressure of living under the role of one of the most state-controlled hatred media. The hate message was, at that time, mostly to the West, U.S., and U.K in particular. Indeed, Saddam, the Iraqi dictator, want the whole Iraqi people to accept his extreme and hatred view with no further question. And the state-media just follow the pace. Under this pressure, which, sometimes may be called, brainwashing, many Iraqi, out of unconscious follow too.
I was juvenile, so could not appreciate the whole picture. Thanks to my father, mother, both were very intellectual, rational, and tolerant, who believe that political differences among states should represent no par for the people, societies, and cultures from the building of a humanitarian relationship among them. And such an extreme rhetoric taken by government sponsored media against the West in generalizing way will only bring unconscious, irrational hatred. And it will be implanted into the mind and heart of the people. The outcome will push the people to embrace more extreme attitude with adverse consequences for the progress of Iraq as a whole. Where Iraq is in desperate need to acquire knowledge, technical expertise, and collaborating with the West
Maybe, I could not comprehend fully, at that time, the endeavor of my parents to make me understand and not to involve. But all those overwhelming memories of my parent’s guidance about the role of media and its effectiveness was a factor for me to engage in this spectrum and have a B.A in Media and Journalism, and it was very helpful during the composition of my Master degree’s dissertation. And with my following extensive reading about the subject in hand and many courses, I think, the semi-final understanding of the role of media was coming ahead. Added to that, the two years I spent in America complement the process of my understanding the realm of media and its role to counter hatred and to foster inclusion which part of which was my experience mention in paragraph one above.
Not every communication or broadcasting outlet or tools is a media neither any means of general communication in society if they do not follow the unwritten code of real media which includes: collective, free, unbiased, open, rational, and logical, and the most important issues of well-informed. Otherwise, they are simply a means of hate speech promoted by using some kinds of media. Thomas Kamilindi, the author of Journalism in a Time of Hate Media, describes hate media as “a form of violence, which helps to demonize and stigmatize people that belong to different groups. This type of media has had an influential role in the incitement of genocide, with its most infamous cases perhaps being Radio Televizija Srbije during wars in Yugoslavia, Radio Télévision Libre des Milles Collines (RTLM) during the Rwandan Genocide and Nazi Germany’s Der Stürmer.”. It is a very effective tool of oppression for dictators and authoritarian authorities and regimes or perhaps an instrument to mislead the populace at large with catastrophic consequence as I witness in Iraq before 2003.
The conclusion is, media will remain as a tool, mean to outlet something. Like the old edge say; it is not the gun, but the men behind the gun. In the world of globalization, the influence of media outcome becomes more prominent, for good or worse meaning something to regulate or guide its function is essential. The outreach capacity and the enormous range of methods of transmitting and broadcasting brought more complication to forge effective control.
(To be followed by Part Two)