I’ve started a book called “Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now,” by Alan Rusbridger. He was editor at The Guardian for many years; he’s now Principal of Lady Margaret Hall at Oxford and chairman of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
I’m working my way through sliwly, but he makes a fundamental point from the outset: what happens to a society, a world, evdn, when facts no longer matter, when the truth no longer matters, and even when the idea of Truth no longer matters?
We’re probably all familiar with “cognitive dissonance,” the concept that holding two conflicting ideas flips people out. Many may be familiar with studies that show people, when presented with facts that contradict their beliefs dig in rather than change behavior.
What happens when we go up a notch, when people refuse to acknowledge what’s staring them in the face? We’ve already seen this around the question of global warming – though the motivations for denial there are as much about protecting rich, powerful interests as much as anything.
I’ll be posting more on this as I make my way thtough thr book.