The challenges humanity faces today and the rapid geopolitical changes taking place around us means that the need to perceive and reflect the global community as a whole is more urgent than ever. With globalization, we find ourselves closely connected to people and countries on the other side of the planet, but the media has often been slow to fully acknowledge that. Journalism with a global outlook – or ‘global journalism’ – could help ensure that media coverage can catch up with this new reality.
‘the others’Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, The Medium is the Massage (1967)
The shock of recognition! In an electric information environment, minority groups can no longer be contained – ignored. Too many people know too much about each other. Our new environment compels commitment and participation. We have become irrevocably involved with, and responsible for, each other.
Marshall McLuhan coined the influential term global village back in the 1960s. Since then, global society has changed even more than this Canadian media theorist could have imagined: today there is no question about whether we should report ‘on’ the global village, but rather how we can effectively report ‘from’ the global village.
Given the increasing number of global challenges and megatrends as well as a shift to a globalized order, with changing roles for borders and nation states, there is an increasing need to perceive and reflect the global community as a whole.
Due to globalization we now find ourselves in much closer contact with peoples and countries on the other side of the world. Despite the fact that globalization is virtually everywhere – in fact, it is almost impossible to hide from – many, journalists included, still see it as something rather abstract. We cannot see the wood for the trees.
Global journalism, with a global outlook, could help make the globalization process more concrete, making the interconnections created by globalization more visible and tangible for audiences through a new lens. This up-to-date approach, building on the existing but separate strengths of the best domestic and foreign journalism, could support the development of more diverse and accurate content that reflects the realities of today.
Journalists could, by adopting this viewpoint, become transnational communicators bringing coverage for global audience, media professionals who have not their social contract concluded just with a particular public or society they live in. Instead, they should have concluded something much wider – a multi-society contract with the entire global community (find more in the post on globally-minded journalism ethics inspired by works of Stephen Ward).