domingo, 13 de julio de 2014

Interview with journalist Carlos del Frade: "Objectivity is the discourse of the dominant classes to maintain the status quo"

Carlos del Frade is a journalist, renowned for his consistency, ethics, militancy and above all, for his long journalistic production. For more than 30 years of tireless work he has published more than fifty books and research papers on topics ranging from economic, political, religious, historical, ecological, and even the soccer court. Meanwhile work, many of his investigations led to the investigation of crimes against humanity and various forms of looting on Argentine soil; received dozens of literary awards and was thrown out of all major media Rosario and region. He works in graphics, digital, radio and television media. It is a terrain of journalism.

In this interview reviewing old vices and speeches of communication, the role of alternative media, social networking, media law and the precariousness of media workers, among others.

- The old discourse of objectivity, which is rooted in positivism in science and communication was discarded in a moment. Why some sectors still wielding the discourse of objectivity and neutrality for communication?

-First the question of science is usually a small world, and even the powers of the world ends up being reduced, which is discussed in schools has little to do with what is being discussed in politics and in the street. In relation to that, what we have always complained that objectivity is actually hiding the discourse of the dominant classes to maintain the status quo. News is presented as objective when in fact damages the interests of the ruling class. Objectivity is simply the presentation of the facts of nature as a kind of society where there is no dominant interests, where no power factors where there are no social differences. The objective seems to be that we can see in the hard sciences, as in certain circumstances, for example, it is known that two molecules of hydrogen and oxygen are not combined water. So you have to continue battling against the discourse of objective journalism, which is generally the dominant discourse of the media to present the company in a scheme where the minority sectors that manage society are hidden.

- At present, and for decades, also live other forms of journalism. Alternative media, community, grassroots, self-managed, and hundreds of spaces and experiences that resist and oppose the discourse and power that reproduce these mainstream media. What is the weight that they have now and what is to counteract the effect, it is that they do, the discourse of power?

-They are two different issues. The press worker moves within the alternative media knows that his work is worth stating what happens in their immediate environment, that is very important. And that's a counter-hegemonic discourse because it gives visibility to near, which usually end up being despised by the mainstream media. In this case it is a counter, or at least in relation to counter the dominant discourse.

The problem we have from alternative or community media is massive. That is a political challenge. We can live life being a minority but is a problem, because eventually the sum will be little and deserve, for all the work that is done in the alternative media and community, to be as massive as possible. For that we must reaffirm the role of the worker press: to be as rigorous as possible, as accurate as possible, and at the same time that you add more information to what workers have news media system. We always need to work three or four times, to reach as many people as possible, which would make us to be massive. In addition to community in addition to alternative, to reach as many people as possible, it is a political problem.

- To exit the marginality, as sometimes the very label "alternative" makes a difference ...

-Yes, space for convinced. I think journalism is everywhere. And good journalism is one that produces more information. That usually ends up being counter-hegemonic because when producing of more'll end denouncing one of the factors of power that drives society today. But also, the issue of the mote, the alternative seal ends segmenting the field of reception.

- Another special moment was the one who were defining new technologies and, particularly in recent years, social networking. Do you think they democratize, to put it one way, the communication?

-Do not. I do not think that. Yes I think there may be a number of new sources of information when producing data. But the journalistic construction bypasses Facebook or Twitter or by mail. They can provide new data.

The democratization of the media is on. I believe in the weight still have the television, newspapers and radio, for that matter of the massive and culture of loyalty they produce. I have not yet seen the situation on the Internet, for example, I have not seen that has appeared this issue of massiveness and culture of loyalty that produce certain television programs, radio and some newspapers. Loyalty, continuity over time. I think that identity has not yet been released in the Internet. Not to say that will not change in the future.

- Information is also, at least for those who thus appropriated, a commodity, a consumer product. Social networks are part of that circle ...

Yes, I also believe that social networks are very important for the social and political organizations, which are even against the system, to make known its views. But they need those views are bounced and multiplied by the mainstream media because it is in the followers taking into particular social network. So in any case, there are multiple expressions million individual, but this does not mean they become media to democratize information.

- In addition, the media generate produce and reproduce meanings, ideologies. Reproduce an order.

-The logic of capitalism is clearly evidenced in the mass media, so I think there may be more accessible communication tools, but those tools have to be put at the service of a transformation project for society more democratic. It is very difficult to think that they can build more democratic communication means when the company is still in the image and likeness of the interests of a minority. That's the big question and the political-cultural challenge we have.

-Carlos del Frade has a long journalistic career: research, articles, publications, books and productions in large branches of communication. But you have closed the doors at all, or nearly all, the media city. Do you think there is a real and complete freedom of expression?

-I believe that freedom of expression is a kind of conception of biblical commandment, something that exists on the territory of metaphysics. Freedom of expression would be the freedom that the worker press to say what you want where you want, and that's a lie. Indeed, a mason can build a wall anywhere, but it will not work in the best construction company in the country because they want to, but because they either can not, because they take or do not take. Same with an employee release. The new Law 26,522, of Audiovisual Communication Services, in its second article says that all people in Argentina are free, accessibility to the media. It's beautiful that spirit of the law, but a verse. I can not go to Channel 3 and say "come to exercise my right which is guaranteed by Article 2 of the law and I want to make the editorial 'DE12 14'"; however shows me kicking. I think that no worker press has the freedom to choose where to publish their work, work which can and does what he can, and that I think is an issue that goes beyond the work of the press and gets into the reality of all workers.

- Since you mention the law, there are many points that sound like beautiful set but in reality are not reflected.

In reality, it is difficult. I always said, during the discussion of the draft, during the discussion of the project and after I said: I am in favor of the law in general, but there are things that it did not say at any time. For example: how to hold the media space civil society, 33 percent of that which sets aside the law, if the law does not say at any time democratizes how government advertising nor is there a single mention of how to democratize private pattern, something that exists in other legislation, in Europe for example.

- There is also no differentiation within the 33 percent reserved for non-profit, and that's when disputes occur because, for example, can be a means nonprofit owned by an NGO, some church, union ...

Yes, the famous or cooperatives. One thing is AFA as a cooperative, which is one of the top 200 largest companies in the country and another thing is tuff neighborhood cooperative. They are not equal.

So I say that the law seems interesting especially in limiting the power of oligopolies, the power of the unitary concept: for Buenos Aires tells Purmamarca as dawned Slaughterhouses, then that's fine. But on specific issues, it is also a propatronal law, something I always denounced, because Article 4 clearly states that the dealers will apply the editorial policy of the media. Not only do not talk of the rights of workers but speaks directly to the right of the pattern. Then press unions adhere to the Kirchner administration politically, and having the right to do, say this is not a labor law. It is surprising that a Peronist government, which had to have made the only law of democratic communication in 1953, does not specify what is the role of the worker in the news media. And that is paddling against the current, because you find yourself with a law that says what happens in a radio, television or a daily pattern is power and that is very serious.

- And the other side is the reality of most media workers who suffer a particular insecurity.

-It is difficult to find such job insecurity as in our case, as media workers. Those in white are the big media: the three newspapers in Rosario, the AM and FM radios no high when there are hundreds. It also expresses the concrete reality of power, economic power, which is the place that has the social worker. Those things have not changed with the law, which also said in the middle of the presentation that the 7D arrived saying that the great transformation that the next day we would have a democratized, extraordinary communication. Nothing happened, because obviously the law does not change reality, the political forces that change reality. The law is a fact that can be applied or not. We denounce the lack of written discussion of labor rights in the discussion of the draft and the draft, but as always, are minority.

By Fabián Chiaramello

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