The failure of the conventional media to report objectively on the global migration and refugee crisis is calling for a reexamination of not only the role that the media plays in safeguarding the society but also how journalists could easily fall prey to the “propaganda traps” set by politicians furthering right-wing populist ideologies. What appears to be a failure on the part of conventional journalism, seems to be driving the average citizens into considering alternative ways to tell the refugees and migration stories as they ought to be told.
It is to this end that this paper, using the Slovak media as case study, examines the failing role of conventional media and journalism in reporting objectively the ongoing crisis and the emergence of citizen journalism and the role of new media in telling stories which should be “laced with humanity, empathy and a focus on the suffering of those involved” (Ethical Journalism Network, 2015, p. 6). It argues that through conventional media continues to play a great role in educating, informing, and entertaining about important day-to-day happenings, yet most media houses are owned and run by business moguls, or politicians who sometimes have their own agenda.
Journalists working for such biased media are easily “puppeteered” by right wing politicians who are anti-migration and would want to build a Trump-like wall to keep refugees and migrants out. Citing relevant real life examples, it discusses an interesting case for new media as the harbinger of reliable and breaking news stories, especially in the ongoing crises. Therefore, the paper concludes with an argument for a “singularity” kind of journalism where the consumer and producer of news stories are one and the same person.
Written by: Akintayo Adewale (Master student of General Management at the University of Economics, Bratislava)