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In the age of globalization, bad news spread much faster than good news. Reports on war, terrorism, death, crimes, scandals, catastrophes and disasters have consistently ranked at the top of the stack.
One reason for this trend is that negative reports spread more quickly, oddly – because negative messages convey the impression of being convincing, immediate, plausible and in today’s digital world more visual. This may be due to the fact that the reports trigger strong feelings – anxiety, anger, loss of pleasure or disgust – they put us in deepest excitement and touch our prejudices. Good news on the other hand, seems more idealistic than realistic – a wishful thinking.
Considering the Arab Spring, the 2016 U.S. elections, the endless war on terror, or the normalization of all the hate speeches. By now, we all are aware that social media plays an important role and has today a tremendous impact on our media and information sphere. Simply put, networking sites like LinkedIn, video sharing platforms like YouTube, and social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, just to name a few, are often referred to as the cause – if not the main cause – of these shatterings. It is accused and acclaimed to have prophesied the end of the mass media, to destroy or to promote democracy, and to allow unprecedented surveillance and freedom. Are the Internet and the social media good or bad?
There are all signs of both social media’s growing influence in politics, the growing interest in politics from users of social media while sidelining mass media as an effect of the worldwide loss of confidence and trust in the mass media’s ability to report “the news fully, accurately, and fairly.” The official mass media are considered corrupt, biased and controlled by their own interests. The global Judicative was of the opinion that the social media was a means against the shadows of the mass media, in which all citizens – not only the rich or influential – give the opportunity to comment.
Studies however show that the surplus of news does not involve any surplus on information. Today we have ceased to actively read news, and started stumbling over them. Information is delivered to us and no is longer needed to be looked up. A dangerous trend, where one knows that the transferees of this information are mostly acquaintances and friends, instead of qualified journalists. Fake news and “alternative facts” unfold such a powerful effect, because they often reach people who are no longer motivated to actively seek substance of the information on the contrary. As far as the Internet and social media is concerned, it became a place for hackers, Internet trolls and self-proclaimed gurus who have no scruples to cross borders of taste, reasons, and ethics.
Especially in times when the press is threatening to be crushed between economic and political interests, it is all the more important to stand up for it. Our knowledge and understanding allows us to engage in scientific concepts and processes in order to make informed decisions, participating in dialogues and affairs as they have moral and ethical implications too. The PR department of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan will constructively confront issues with a scientific dimension basis through media, while becoming a resting point to all the noise of the modern media world. We will relate to all aspects such as the nature of a communicator, the true and trustworthy content/information from reliable sources, as well as responses from the community.
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan