People are increasingly skeptical about mainstream media and turning their backs on it, according to Ulrik Haagerup, Danish broadcaster and founder/CEO of Constructive Institute.
Haagerup says traditional media’s obsession with covering negative events rather than focusing on positive stories is driving people away.
“If you ask people what they want – especially women, especially young people, and especially young women, they hate the narrative of traditional news….where we constantly focus on the most extreme, the most dramatic and the things most full of conflict,” Haagerup said.
He thinks that the narratives often pushed by mainstream media such as war, death, and poverty are misleading.
“People think that the world is falling apart when the fact is the world has never been a better place…. But people don’t know that. Why? Because we send reporters to cover wars but don’t talk about all the peace.”
Haagerup also recalled a recent survey that reveals people’s lack of trust in traditional media’s ability to accurately report basic facts when dealing with politically sensitive topics such as immigration.
“I saw a survey the other day, that 73% of German citizens do not trust traditional media’s way of covering immigrant issues – 73% – that’s not a small minority, it’s the big majority of the population that do not trust traditional media to tell the truth about what’s going on.”
These factors are leading to growing distrust in mainstream media around the world, according to Haagerup, who says factual information is more important than ever in an age of social media.
“People in growing numbers turn their backs on traditional news because they don’t like the narrative of it. And they think it’s exaggerated and it makes them fearful and apathetic,” he said.
“I think the new human right for people on planet earth is the right to get trusted information.”
/Interview by Nataliya Gumenyuk
/Texy by LP Luo