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Challenging realities, the mainstream media and you: Harry Fear at TEDxCopenhagen

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Published on Oct 4, 2013

In an age when anyone can become a citizen journalist, with little more than their smartphone, we should have higher expectations of the discipline's work — both commercial and independent and citizen reporting. In the West particularly, we need more human tragedy reportage, which is a cornerstone of humane, watchdog and investigative journalism. Such journalism is often responsible for the first draft of the historical record. And so often this journalism fails us, reducing tragedy to statistics. This is radically wrong. So something radically needs to change, in the minds of journalists, their editors, and their consumers. Harry proposes a new standard for journalism as a general discipline. Every single human tragedy should be documented. That means we should start to expect from content-producers, more reportage, and more humane reportage.

Documentary filmmaker, activist and journalist, Harry Fear first traveled to Gaza in May 2012, where he's now based. He is also co-direct of the Welcome to Gaza Convoy -- a project that takes convoys of journalists, media students and mental health professionals to Gaza to raise awareness for Palestinians in the West. Inspired by journalists such as John Pilger and Chris Hedges, and dissidents like Noam Chomsky and George Galloway, Harry has chosen to focus his work on building awareness around social injustice. Still in his early 20's, he has already appeared on RT and Al-Jazeera English, covering live from Gaza or debating with high-profile commentators from Washington DC and Israel.
In an age when anyone can become a citizen journalist, with little more than their smartphone, we should have higher expectations of the discipline's work. In the West particularly, the dominant media outlets often fail to challenge prevailing world views. So often journalism fails us, reducing tragedy to statistics. Something needs to change, in the minds of journalists, their editors, and their consumers. Harry challenges one of the underlying concepts of modern journalism — the need for objectivity and impartiality in reporting. We should start to expect and demand better critical reporting from journalists and news outlets.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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