Some are urging national governments to ‘regulate’ social media in ways similar to how newspapers, television and radio are regulated. This is easier said than done where globalized social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are concerned, because national governments don’t have jurisdiction over them.
But does this mean that globalized media companies are above the law? Short of blocking entire platforms from being accessed within their territories, what other options do governments have? Do ‘user community standards’ that some social media platforms have adopted offer a sufficient defence against hate speech, cyber bullying and other excesses?
In this conversation, Lankan science writer Nalaka Gunawardene discusses these and related issues with Toby Mendel, a human rights lawyer specialising in freedom of expression, the right to information and democracy rights.
Mendel is the executive director of the Center for Law and Democracy (CLD) in Canada. Prior to founding CLD in 2010, Mendel was for over 12 years Senior Director for Law at ARTICLE 19, a human rights NGO focusing on freedom of expression and the right to information.
The interview was recorded in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 5 July 2017.
Sri Lanka’s Free Media Movement (FMM) is media freedom watchdog organization of Journalists. Started in 1992, it completes 25 years in 2017. FMM has been active in all areas relating to media freedom, defending the rights of journalists and other media workres. It also has called for reform of legislation, agitating against censorship and intimidation of media personnel and standing for broad principles of democracy and human rights.
I was invited to speak at the 25th anniversary commemoration held in Colombo on 21 November 2017. Here is a synopsis of my remarks, which were delivered in Sinhala (see below):
Sri Lanka’s media went through its worst period in history during the decade 2005-2014, when journalists and media houses became regular targets of goon squads who acted with impunity. Prominent journalists were killed, made to disappear, or captured and tortured. The government of the day promised ‘prompt investigations’ but nothing happened. For some time, Sri Lanka was one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. FMM and other media rights groups did whatever they could, non-violently, to defend media freedom and the public’s right to know.
That state of siege has ended with the change of government in January 2015. Critics of the government and independent journalists no longer face violent reprisals. But no one can be certain whether this marks a temporary ‘ceasefire’ or a permanent ‘peace’ in the long drawn conflict between the Lankan state and Lankan journalists.
So let us take advantage of the current ‘lull’ — for however long it lasts — to advocate some legal and institutional reforms that will strengthen the safety of journalists and ensure the Constitutional guarantees of free expression work in reality. For the media community to have societal support for these reforms, the media’s ethical conduct and professionalism must be improved, urgently. Otherwise, why should the public support the rights of an irresponsible, unethical and compromised media?
On a brief visit to Berlin, Germany, to speak at a media research and academic symposium, I was invited by Germany’s Reporters without Borders (RSF, or Reporter ohne Grenzen) to address a side event at their office that looked at media freedom status and media development needs of Sri Lanka.
It was a small gathering that involved some media rights activists, researchers and journalists in Germany who take an interest in media freedom and media development issues in Asia. I engaged in a conversation first with Anne Renzenbrink of RSF Germany (who covers Asia) and then with my audience.
I said the media freedoms have significantly improved since the change of government in Jan 2015 – journalists and activists are no longer living in fear of white vans and government goon squads when they criticise political leaders.
But the pre-2015 benchmarks were abysmally low and we should never be complacent with progress so far, as much more needs to be done. We need to institutionalise media freedoms AND media responsibilities. So our media reforms agenda is both wide ranging and urgent, I said (and provided some details).
I used my favourite metaphor: the media freedom glass in Sri Lanka is less than half full today, and we need to gradually fill it up. But never forget: there was no water, and not even a glass, before Jan 2015!
Sri Lanka has risen 24 points in the World Press Freedom Index that RSF compiles every year: 2016, we jumped up from 165th rank (in 2015, which reflected the previous year’s conditions) to 141st rank out of 180 countries assessed. The new ranking remained the same between 2016 and 2017. Sri Lanka is still marked as red on the world map of the Index, indicating ‘Difficult situation’. We still have a long way to go…
When asked how European partners can help, I said: please keep monitoring media freedom in Sri Lanka, provide international solidarity when needed, and support the journalists’ organisations and trade unions to advocate for both media rights and media professionalism.
I was also asked about slow progress in investigating past atrocities against journalists and media organisations; recent resumption of web censorship after a lull of two years; how journalists are benefitting from Sri Lanka’s new Right to Information law; the particular challenges faced by journalists in the North and East of Sri Lanka (former war areas); and the status of media regulation by state and self-regulation by the media industry.
I also touched on how the mainstream media’s monopoly over news gathering and analysis has been ended by social media becoming a place where individuals are sharing news, updates – as well as misinformation, thereby raising new challenges.
I gave candid and measured answers, all of which are on the record but too detailed to be captured here. My answers were consistent with what I have been saying in public forums (within and outside Sri Lanka), and publicly on Twitter and Facebook.
And, of course, I was speaking my personal views and not the views of any entity that I am working with.
The German “Forum on Media and Development” (Forum Medien und Entwicklung, FOME) is a network of institutions and individuals active in the field of media development cooperation. I was invited to participate in, and moderate a panel at FoME Symposium 2017 held in Berlin on 16 – 17 November 2017.
This year’s symposium theme was Power Shifts – Media Freedom and the Internet. It explored how Internet governance issues are becoming more and more important for those who want to develop media (both mainstream media and social media) as democratic platforms.
On 17 November 2017, I moderated an international panel on Fake News: Tackling the phenomena respecting freedom of expression. It brought together representatives from government, civil society and a global media platform to discuss their roles and how they can interact to tackle the issue – all within the framework of Freedom of Expression (FOE).
Miriam Estrin, Public Policy Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Google
Here are my opening remarks that set the context for our discussion:
Just as there are many definitions of Fake News, there can also be many perspectives on the topic. We all recognise Fake News as a problem, so let’s focus on how it can be countered. What are the local, national and global level strategies? What alliances, tools and resources are needed for such countering? What cautions and alarms can we raise?
To respond to any problem, we need to understand its contours.
Fake News is not new. The phenomenon has been around, in one form or another, for decades! Many of us in the global South have grown up amidst intentionally fake news stories in our media, some of it coming from governments, no less. And the developing world governments don’t have a monopoly over Fake News either: for over half a century, the erstwhile Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries manufactured a vast amount of disinformation (i.e. deliberately wrong information) that was fed to their own citizens and spread overseas in sustained propaganda efforts.
Sitting here, within a few kilometres from where the Berlin Wall once stood, we need to acknowledge that veritable factory of lies that operated on the other side!
So what’s new? During the past decade, as broadband Internet spread worldwide, fake news peddlers found an easy and fast medium online. From websites to social media accounts (many hiding behind pseudonyms), the web has provided a globalised playing field where dubious content could go ‘viral’.
Yesterday at this Symposium, Mark Nelson from CIMA said “We live in a world where lies are very cheap, and much easier to disseminate than the truth.”
Which reminded me of one of my favourite quotes: ““A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes!”
Variations of this quote have been attributed to several persons including Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain. Whoever said it first, these words neatly sum up a long standing challenge to modern societies: how to cope with the spread of deliberate falsehoods.
As Mark Nelson asked us yesterday, how can we “make the Internet a place where truth is valued and spread – instead of disinformation?” This is the crux of our challenge.
So what is to be done? Among the options available, which ones are most desirable?
In searching for solutions to the Fake News crisis, we must recognise it is a nuanced, complex and variable phenomenon. There cannot be one global solution or quick fix.
Indeed, any ‘medicine’ prescribed for the malady of Fake News should not be worse than the ailment itself! We must proceed with caution, safeguarding the principles of Freedom of Expression and applying its reasonable limitations.
As human rights defenders caution, there is a danger that governments in their zeal to counter fake news could impose direct or indirect censorships, suppress critical thinking, or take other steps that violate international human rights law. This is NOT the way to deal with Fake News.
In my view, Fake News is a symptom of a wider and deeper crisis. It is a crisis of public trust in journalism and the media that has been building up over the years in many countries. Some call this a ‘Journalism Deficit’, or a gulf between what journalism ought be, and what it has (mostly) become today.
In my view, a free press is not an automatic guarantee against Fake News. In other words, media freedom is necessary — but not sufficient — to ensure that media content is trusted by the public. We need to better measure public trust in media and what the current trust levels mean for those producing media content professionally.
I would argue that the medium to long term response to Fake News is to narrow and bridge the Journalism Deficit by nurturing quality journalism and critical consumption of media. If you agree with this premise, what specific measures can we recommend and advocate?
Let us explore how media development can counter Fake News by exposing it, undermining it, and equipping media consumers with the knowledge and skills to spot it – and not spread it inadvertently.
For this, we need everyone’s cooperation.
We need global social media platforms and digital gatekeepers like Google to join with all their might (and what might!).
We need governments to be thoughtfully, carefully evaluate the optimum responses.
We need civil society to go beyond mere hand waving and finger pointing to help enhance media and information literacy.
We need researchers to keep studying and discerning trends that can influence policy and regulation (where appropriate).
We are not going to solve the problem in an hour. But we can at least ask the right questions, and clarify the issues in our minds. Onward!
Beginning in the 1990s, thousands of people in Sri Lanka’s Dry Zone – heartland of its rice farming — developed kidney failure without having diabetes or high blood pressure, the common causative factors. Most affected were men aged 30 to 60 years, who worked as farmers. As numbers rose, puzzled doctors and other scientists started probing possible causes for what is now named Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology (abbreviated as CKDu).
CKDu has become a fully-fledged public health crisis and humanitarian emergency, affecting thousands of people and their families – most of them subsistence farmers. Investigating causes of this ailment — still not pinned down to a specific cause or factor — has proven difficult. While scientists follow rigorous scientific methods, some ultra-nationalists and opportunistic politicians are trying to hijack the issue for their own agenda setting.
Sadly, some journalists and media outlets have added fuel to the fire with sensationalist reporting and unwarranted fear-mongering. For several years, I have documented the kind of misinformation, myths and pseudo-science uncritically peddled by Lankan media on CKDu.
In late 2012, speaking at an Asian science communication workshop held in Colombo, I first coined the phrase: Mass Media Failure is complicating Mass Kidney Failure. In December 2015, I revisited and updated this analysis, arguing that there are many reasons for systemic media failure in Sri Lanka that has allowed ultra-nationalists and certain environmental activists to pollute the public mind with half-truths and conspiracy theories. These need media industry level reform. Meanwhile, for improving the CKDu information flow in society, I proposed some short, medium and long term recommendations.
The report, for which I served as overall editor, is the outcome of a 14-month-long consultative process that involved media professionals, owners, managers, academics and relevant government officials. It offers a timely analysis, accompanied by policy directions and practical recommendations.
Reginald Cooray, Governor of the Northern Province, in a message said: “I am sure that the elected leaders and the policy makers of this government of Good governance will seize the opportunity to make a professionally ethical media environment in Sri Lanka which will strengthen the democracy and good governance.”
He added: “The research work should be studied, appreciated and utilised by the leaders and the policy makers. Everyone who was involved in the work should be greatly thanked for their research presentation with clarity.”
Speaking at the event, Sinnadurai Thavarajah, Leader of the Opposition of the Northern Provincial Council, urged journalists to separate facts from their opinions. “Media freedom is important, but so is unbiased and balanced reporting,” he said.
Lars Bestle, Head of Department for Asia and Latin America at International Media Support (IMS), which co-published the report, said: “Creating a healthy environment for the media that is inclusive of the whole country is an essential part of ensuring democratic transition.”
He added: “This assessment points the way forward. It is now up to the local actors – government, civil society, media, businesses and academia – with support from international community, to implement its recommendations.”
I introduced the report’s key findings and recommendations. In doing so, I noted how the government has welcomed those recommendations applicable to state policies, laws and regulations and already embarked on law review and regulatory reforms. In sharp contrast, there has been no reaction whatsoever from the media owners and media gatekeepers (editors).
Dr S Raguram, Head of Media Studies at the University of Jaffna (who edited the Tamil version) and Jaffna Press Club president Ratnam Thayaparan also spoke.
The report comes out at a time when the country’s media industry and profession face multiple crises stemming from an overbearing state, unpredictable market forces and rapid technological advancements.
Balancing the public interest and commercial viability is one of the media sector’s biggest challenges today. The report says: “As the existing business models no longer generate sufficient income, some media have turned to peddling gossip and excessive sensationalism in the place of quality journalism. At another level, most journalists and other media workers are paid low wages which leaves them open to coercion and manipulation by persons of authority or power with an interest in swaying media coverage.”
Notwithstanding these negative trends, the report notes that there still are editors and journalists who produce professional content in the public interest while also abiding by media ethics. Unfortunately, their work is eclipsed by media content that is politically partisan and/or ethnically divisive.
The result: public trust in media has been eroded, and younger Lankans are increasingly turning to entirely web-based media products and social media platforms for information and self-expression. A major overhaul of media’s professional standards and ethics is needed to reverse these trends.
The Tamil report is available for free download at:
Each time I see a Finance Minister struggling to deliver annual budget speeches, I remember Ronnie de Mel.
President J R Jayewardene’s Finance Minister from 1977 to 1988 was one of the most colourful and articulate persons to have held that portfolio. Ronnie was instrumental in creating the free market economy, ending years of socialist misadventures in the early 1970s.
Ronnie, now a nonagenarian, still keeps an eye on the transformative reforms he initiated. In a recent media interview (The Nation, 24 Sep 2016), he recalled the big challenges his government had faced in explaining to the people about the benefits of an open economy.
“The whole country…had all got so used to a closed economy that it was rather difficult to convince them that an open economy with certain restrictions would be better for Sri Lanka than the closed economy which had been in existence for a long period and was strongly supported by the leftist parties and by a powerful section of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party,” he said.
The hardest part, according to Ronnie, had been to get the media to support those reforms. “In fact, it took a long time to convince the press that the open economy would be better for Sri Lanka than the closed economy. As has always to be emphasized, it had to be an open economy which would safeguard the poor.”
JR and Ronnie set in motion economic reforms that have since been sustained by successive governments, sometimes with minor modifications. We will soon be completing four full decades under free market policies.
Yet the market still seems a dirty word for some Lankans, especially those in their middle or advanced ages. Their mistrust of the country’s economic system occasionally rubs off on the younger generation too, as evidenced by university students’ political slogans.
There is a pervasive notion in our society that businesses are intrinsically damaging and exploitative. I attribute this to ‘residual socialism’: we have plenty of frustrated socialists who grudge the current system, even though they often benefit from it personally.
So we pursue free market economics only half-heartedly. We were never a communist state but we seem to be more ‘red’ than Marx, Lenin and Mao combined.
In other words, many among us have closed their minds about the open economy.
Yes, it’s a free country and everyone is entitled to own myths, beliefs and nostalgic fantasies. But collectively harking back to the bad old days – and romanticising them – does not help anyone, and can distort policy choices. Protectionism and monopolies can thrive in such a setting.
Anti-market attitudes also feed public apprehensions about entrepreneurship in general, and against certain economic sectors in particular.
Take, for example, the tourist industry. Half a century has passed since Sri Lanka adopted policies of tourism development and promotion, but large sections of society still harbour misgivings about it.
A few years ago, I helped organise an environmental education programme for school children in the Negombo area. A leading hotel chain which originated from that city provided the venue and catering for free. Yet some accompanying teachers were rather uneasy over our venue choice: for them, all tourist hotels seemed to be ‘dens of vice’.
This perception, reinforced by prejudiced commentary in Sinhala language newspapers, extends to other sections of the leisure industry such as spas. I recently heard how a Lankan spa chain struggles to recruit female therapists. Because spas are demonised by media and society, few women apply despite the competitive salaries.
Societal prejudices might also be one reason why the country’s 12 industrial zones, administered by the Board of Investment (BOI), are struggling to fill some 200,000 vacancies from the domestic labour market. Many youth would much rather drive three-wheelers instead of working in factories. There are no sociological insights as yet on why they frown upon such work.
To be sure, there are unscrupulous businessmen who cynically exploit our country’s poor governance and weak regulation. There are also some schemers and confidence tricksters. But our anti-biz media would make us believe that all entrepreneurs are corrupt and untrustworthy.
Study any Sinhala daily for about a week, and we are bound to find several headlines or news reports using the phrase Kotipathi Viyaparikaya (multi-millionaire businessman). In the peculiar worldview of Sinhala journalists, every businessman is a kotipathiya, and is usually presumed guilty until proven innocent! Often a Roomath Kanthawa (pretty woman) is linked to the businessman, suggesting some scandal.
Tele drama makers love to portray businessmen as villains. Newspaper editorials frequently highlight unethical biz practices, condemning all businesspersons in the process. Bankers and telecom operators get more than their fair share of bashing in letters to the editor.
And even our usually perceptive cartoonists caricaturise entrepreneurs almost always negatively – either as pot-bellied black market mudalalis, or as bulging men in black suits and dark glasses, complete with a sinister smile. These images influence how society thinks of business.
So what is to be done?
Teaching business and commerce in schools is useful — but totally insufficient to create a nation of entrepreneurs and a business friendly public. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities can help soften society’s harsh judgement of business and enterprise. But that too needs a careful balancing act, as a lot of CSR is self-serving or guilt-assuaging and not particularly addressing the real community needs.
More ethically driven businesses and less ostentatious biz conduct would go a long way in winning public trust. As would more sensitive and thoughtful brand promotion.
The biggest challenge now, as it was to Ronnie a generation ago, is to nurture a media that appreciates and critically cheers entrepreneurship.
Paradoxically, media’s own revenues rely critically on advertising from other businesses. No, we are not asking media to compromise their editorial independence under advertiser pressure. But simply toning down media’s rampant and ill-founded prejudices against entrepreneurship would be progress.
The open economy’s legacy must be rigorously debated, and the policy framework needs periodic review. Let’s hope that it can be done with more open minds.
The question has come up again after Dr Ranga Kalansooriya, Director General of the Lankan government’s Department of Information, wanted the media to give preeminence to its watchdog function and pull back from supplying relief in the aftermath of disasters.
As Dr Rohan Samarajiva, who was present at the event, noted, “Some of his comments could even be interpreted as suggestive of a need to prohibit aid caravans being organized by the media. But I do not think this will happen. The risks of being seen as stifling the natural charitable urges of the people and delaying supplies to those who need help are too high…”
Ranga raised a valid concern. In the aftermath of recent disasters in Sri Lanka, private broadcast media houses have been competing with each other to raise and deliver disaster relief. All well and good – except that coverage for their own relief work often eclipsed the journalistic coverage of the disaster response in general. In such a situation, where does corporate social responsibility and charity work end and opportunistic brand promotion begin?
For simply raising this concern in public, some broadcast houses have started attacking Ranga personally. In my latest Ravaya column (in Sinhala, appearing in the print issue of 2 October 2016), I discuss the role and priorities of media at times of disaster. I also remind Sirasa TV (the most vocal critic of Ranga Kalansooriya) that ‘shooting the messenger’ carrying unpalatable truths is not in anybody’s interest.
Back in 2009-2010, I used to host a half hour show on Siyatha TV, a private television channel in Sri Lanka, on inventions and innovation.
So it was good to return to Siyatha on 27 September 2016 — this time as a guest on their weekly talk show CIVIL, to talk about Sri Lanka’s new Right to Information (RTI) law.
Joining me was Dr Ranga Kalansooriya, experienced and versatile journalist who has recently become Director General of the Government Department of Information. Our amiable host was Prasanna Jayaneththi.
We discussed aspects of Sri Lanka’s Right to Information Act No 12 of 2016, adopted in late June 2016, with all political parties in Parliament supporting it. Certified by the Speaker on 4 August 2016, we are now in a preparatory period of six months during which all public institutions get ready for processing citizen request for information.
I emphasized on the vital DEMAND side of RTI: citizens and their various associations and groups need to know enough about their new right to demand and receive information from public officials — and then be motivated to exercise that right.
I argued that making RTI a fundamental right (through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in April 2015), passing the RTI Act in June 2016 and re-orienting the entire public sector for information disclosure represent the SUPPLY side. It needs to be matched by inspiring and catalysing the DEMAND side, without which this people’s law cannot benefit people.
On September 11, I took part in a breakout session that discussed media innovation in Asia and the United States. While my fellow panelists spoke mainly about digital media innovation of their media outlet or media sector, I opted to survey the bigger picture: what does innovation really mean when media is under siege, and how can the media sector switch from such ‘innovation under duress’ to regular market or product innovation?
Here are my remarks, cleaned up and somewhat expanded:
Innovation has been going on in media from the beginning. Faced with major challenges from advancing technologies and changing demography, innovation is now an imperative for market survival.
We can discuss this at different levels: product innovation, process innovation and systemic innovation. I like to add another kind for our discussion: innovation for physical survival.
With forces social and market Darwinism constantly at work, you might ask, shouldn’t the most adaptable and nimble players survive – while others perish?
Yes and No. Sometimes the odds against independent and progressive media organisations are disproportionately high – they should not be left to fend for themselves. This is where media consumers and public spirited groups need to step in.
Let me explain with a couple of examples from South Asia.
They say necessity is the mother of invention or innovation. I would argue that tyranny – from the state and/or extremist groups – provides another strong impetus for innovation in the media.
In Nepal, all media came under strict control when King Gyanendra assumed total control in February 2005. Among other draconian measures, he suspended press freedom, imposing a blanket ban on private or community broadcasters carrying news, thus making it a monopoly of state broadcasters.
The army told broadcasters that the stations were free to carry music, but not news or current affairs. Soldiers were sent to radio and TV stations to ensure compliance.
When the king’s siege of democracy continued for weeks and months, some media started defying censorship – they joined human rights activists and civil society groups in a mass movement for political reforms, including the restoration of parliamentary democracy.
Some of Nepal’s many community radio stations found creative ways of defying censorship. One station started singing the news – after all, there was no state control over music and entertainment! Another one in central Nepal went outside their studio, set up an impromptu news desk on the roadside, and read the news to passers-by every evening at 6 pm.
The unwavering resolve of these and other media groups and pro-democracy activists led to the restoration of parliamentary democracy in April 2006 and the subsequent abolition of the Nepali monarchy.
My second example is from Sri Lanka where I live and work.
In June 2012, Sri Lanka was one of 16 countries named by the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression for “attacks against journalists during coverage of street protests and demonstrations, such as arbitrary arrests and detention, verbal and physical attacks, confiscation or destruction of equipment, as well as killings.”
Threats of attacks and actual incidents of physical violence in recent years led to a climate of fear and widespread self-censorship among journalists in Sri Lanka. This is slowly changing now, but old habits die hard.
At the height of media repression by the former regime, we saw some of our media innovating simply for physical survival. One strategy was using satire and parody – which became important forms of political commentary, sometimes the only ones that were possible without evoking violent reprisals.
What I wrote then, while still in the thick of crackdown, is worth recalling:
“For sure, serious journalism can’t be fully outsourced to satirists and stand-up comics. But comedy and political satire can play a key role in critiquing politicians, businessmen and others whose actions impact the public.
“There is another dimension to political satire and caricature that isn’t widely appreciated in liberal democracies where freedom of expression is constitutionally guaranteed.
“In immature democracies and autocracies, critical journalists and their editors take many risks in the line of work. When direct criticism becomes highly hazardous, satire and parody become important — and sometimes the only – ways for journalists get around draconian laws, stifling media regulations or trigger-happy goon squads…
“Little wonder, then, that some of Sri Lanka’s sharpest commentary is found in satire columns and cartoons. Much of what passes for political analysis is actually gossip.”
For years, cartoonists and political satirists fulfilled a deeply felt need in Sri Lanka for the media to check the various concentrations of power — in political, military, corporate and religious domains.
They still continue to perform an important role, but there is more space today for journalists and editors to report things as they are, and to comment on the key stories of the day.
During the past decade, we have also seen the rise of citizen journalism and vibrant blogospheres in the local languages of Sinhala and Tamil. Their advantage during the dark years was that they were too numerous and scattered for the repressive state to go after each one (We do know, however, that electronic surveillance was attempted with Chinese technical assistance.)
Of course, Sri Lanka’s media still face formidable challenges that threaten their market survival.
A new assessment of Sri Lanka’s media, which I edited earlier this year, noted: “The economic sustainability of media houses and businesses remains a major challenge. The mainstream media as a whole is struggling to retain its consumer base. Several factors have contributed to this. Many media houses have been slow in integrating digital tools and web-based platforms. As a result, there is a growing gulf between media’s production models and their audiences’ consumption patterns.”
Innovation and imagination are essential for our media to break out of 20th century mindsets and evolve new ways of content generation and consumption. There are some promising new initiatives to watch, even as much of the mainstream continues business as usual – albeit with diminishing circulations and shrinking audience shares.
Innovate or perish still applies to our media. We are glad, however, that we no longer have to innovate just to stay safe from goon squads.