AEGEE-Utrecht: reliable Media – myth or reality?

The world develops constantly and causes the changes of values, that people have. Scientists call our modern society “information & media-oriented”, because information has recently become the most important value. But is all the information useful? AEGEE-Utrecht tries to find the answer to this difficult question.

The most important and valuable resource in our modern society is information. We receive it every day, in addition such an enormous amount, which we can hardly analyze. Information waits for us everywhere – on television and radio, in newspapers and magazines, in the internet and many other sources. Information has recently become a good, which can be sold and bought, has its precise price. But what is also very important, information now needs to fulfill certain requests to be interesting to the audience. For example the message should be up-to-date, devoted to the topics, which are important for the audience, and be reliable.
«Reliability of the Media» is the characteristic, which everybody knows, but can hardly explain how to prove it. With local sources it’s simpler. For example if one of the local newspapers wrote a story about a fire in the house in the center of your city, you can easily go there and see if it’s true. But what to do with messages devoted to other countries? Of course, for AEGEE-people it’s not such a big deal, they have so many friends all over the continent, that they can easily write an e-mail and ask, what is now happening in Spain or in Malta, in Serbia or in Russia. But there are still the countries, which are not in AEGEE-list, such as China, India, Philippine islands and many-many others. The only thing that we can do with the information about these places is to trust Media.
AEGEE-Utrecht is now deeply engaged in the topic, how to prove the reliability of the information that you hear or read. They asseverate that there exist millions of different reasons, why the information can be changed before being published. President of the AEGEE-Utrecht pre-event commission Maarten van de Kuilen says: “Even the most reliable sources of information have to simplify things to make it understandable or readable for the public. But there are also a lot of players that influence the information and can force journalists to change it”. In addition, every media has its own information policy, and it can happen that the editor refuses from the materials, which go against it.
But it is not the reason to be afraid and refuse from all kinds of information you receive. First of all, every valuable medium proves the information that is going to be published – especially facts and numbers. And there also exist some methods how the readers can understand, if the information is trustworthy or not, just being attentively. If you are really interested in these skills, AEGEE-Utrecht especially for you organizes an Agora Pre-event: «Reliability of the media», that will be held from March 28 to April 2. During the event specialists in mass media field will share with the participants all the information about such mysterious players in the process of media production as information suppliers. The participants will be also instructed, what basic factors they have to pay attention to while analyzing the media information. If you want to be an expert in reliability of the media and to be always able to distinguish true and false, go see for yourself.

Written by Aleksandra Antokhina, AEGEE-Moskva