It’s Media Democracy Day in Toronto this Thursday. It’s a chance for concerned citizens to vocalize their fears on the concentration of media ownership across the world, and its silencing effect on independent voices and opinions.
It’s a cause that Canadian public relations professionals should lend their support.
The small cadre of corporations controlling the media can affect the messaging of clients as well, after all. It’s in the best interest of Canadian PR to make sure media outlets remain democratic in nature. The more diverse Canadian media paths are, the greater chance that clients’ messaging will be heard.
Admittedly, there are many who think PR practitioners contribute to the problem. There are likely more than a few people who wouldn’t be happy to see members of a PR agency speak positively about Media Democracy Day’s efforts.
This is all the more reason to get actively involved. It’s a chance to show that media relations is about client messaging and raising awareness, not about spinning the issues.
It’s also a chance to celebrate the developments in technology that have made the media more democratic. Ten years ago, blogs, social networks and independent news sites didn’t exist. Now, though, as newsblogs and digital journalists become more sophisticated, the internet has added more voices to the media than ever before.
There’s no need to get radical on Thursday-just to get aware of how the changing media affects PR practitioners roles.[ad]