The entire Journalism and media landscape is changing. We are in the middle of a disruptive structural transformation. Newspapers are going under, the internet is becoming more and more dominant and news is becoming flatter and more social.
We don’t even know how people will be consuming news 5 years from now. This is why I become nervous when I see plans like that of Minsiter of Information Tarek Mitri to create a new “comprehensive” media law in Lebanon.
The details are still sketchy. Here’s how Minister Mitri sees the task ahead:
“We are in need of a binding and deterrent law that combines [separated laws], secures consistency, modernizes what requires modernization and fills the legislative holes”
The law could be bad if it creates a monstruos bureaucracy that attempts to preserve the status quo, empower the entrenched special interests and protect the current stakeholders from any disruptive change. Newspapers will start asking for subsidies from the tax payer because they believe they’re performing a “public service”.
But it could also be good. It could consolidate all the red-tape into a law with a light touch, a law that follows general guiding principles without being too specific and overbearing. It could also create a reasonable safety net for all the journalists that will most certainly be the victims of the upcoming disruption to make the transition smoother.
I trust Mr. Mitri is an enlightened man and I’m sure he’ll make the right decision. And yet, it is important for us as bloggers, blog readers and general internet news consumers to let our voice be heard. If you have suggestions for the upcoming law, send Mr. Mitri your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org .
I will be emailing him a copy of this post after I publish it.
Note: Posts with titles starting with an ❊ (asterisk) are my opinion posts. I used this system to separate long posts from quick links and comments.