The other day we denounced how one of the most widely circulated newspapers in Spain suggested that Reiki helped fight COVID-19. Several media have managed to remove such atrocities .
But one wonders, then, how such an important communication medium can publish things like that (let alone some of its Cons, the horoscope section …). Deep down, it is part of their natural process as a means of communication . A process that all media in history go through: basically, from best to worst.
Any new means of communication ends up passing the following phases:
- Negative forecasts by analysts or even the inventor of the medium himself. With the advent of the telephone, it was said that it would end privacy. That the radio didn’t make sense. That the cinema would not interest anyone. That for personal computers there would not be enough demand.
- A progressive assimilation at the social level . People start to use these means and it is discovered that they are interesting.
- A distribution of enormous cultural and material benefits in society . The media enlighten the people, even some sectors of the social mass. For example, radio, in its origins, was based on programs that educated the people.
- A progressive commercialization of the environment . Advertising, competition, profit motives arrive, and content creators are beginning to be tempted and influenced by these factors.
- A progressive devaluation of the environment in terms of cultural and material benefits in order to maximize commercialization . The medium no longer serves for what it was conceived, but to obtain more economic benefits (although without exaggerating too much so that the mark of compatibility that allows continuing to contract advertising does not disappear).
In the end, @LaVanguardia has withdrawn its shameful article about #reiki before # COVID19 . Thanks to @maldita science and @SergioParra @xatakaciencia for warning. Now we hope that @Jordi__Juan’s diary publishes something serious on the subject My tweet: https://t.co/0Z3EOrOF91 pic.twitter.com/K8N4vGakLz
– Luis Santamaría del Río (@vaiconDios) January 21, 2021
These phases took place, for example, with the first great means of communication: the Gutenberg press , year 1450
It also happened with the telegraph , which has been compared to a kind of Victorian internet. This device was invented by Samuel Finley Breese Morse , American, in 1832.
It was the same with the newspaper: the first had few pages and were very expensive, so they were only addressed to educated and wealthy people. Someone came up with a new form of business that was to lower the price by partially defraying the writing, printing, and distribution costs by inserting advertisements, forcing more pages to be added (so that the advertisement could be distributed better).
As more people bought newspapers, advertising profits increased, so publishers soon realized that inserting tabloid or morbid news, that increased sales, that is, profits, which, in turn, forced to put more pages of superfluous news .
Or put on tabloid and shocking news, albeit false, like the ones that media mogul William Randolph Hearst began to introduce.
And, of course, the same has happened with the publishing industry as well.
And now it is beginning to happen, too, with some digital media (some platforms become vulgarized and others appear less vulgarized that will also end up being vulgarized). Even blogs, born as a tool for the empowerment of society, finally 99.9% of them barely reached a tiny audience, because the mass prefers hook news, clickbaits, the bad slob of Perez Hilton, the viral, the meme, the "and you won’t believe what happened next."
They are only commercial (or political) forces, blind and random, that reach with their tentacles to any medium . It is something of an unstoppable natural process. The following science fiction story may help you better imagine the process: