“An ethics thereby becomes the last resort of humanity, which is in danger of becoming extinct as the result of its own actions.”
– Enrique Dussel, Ethics of Liberation in The Age of Globalization and Exclusion
Let’s start with the gloom to begin and (hopefully) move into optimism. Ethics throughout this entire course has been shown in various theories that have either brought us together or torn us a bit at the seems. Yet, we’ve been left with the question as asked in the post “How much responsibility do media entities have for human life and for the biosphere?” Media entities mostly focus on profit and see the vast majority of people as simply consumers.
The media entities that surround us have only grown stronger and have been making barely an attempt to enter the social justice sphere. There is a false sense of giving back and trying to strive for the best. I still remember NBCUniversal promoting “going green” back in 2007 in conjunction with their long-term partner-in-crime, General Electric, being only a part of the conglomerate. After that year, they never mentioned it again outside of 30 Rock parodying NBC’s less-than-sincere efforts. Since then, many networks and companies attempt to be hip with social causes or have a false sense of modern values aka “being woke.”
Lindsey Ellis, a video essayist, has a fascinating and insightful video on Disney’s failed efforts of creating “woke” narratives while still ensuring they get your hard-earned cash. While the efforts to relate to us Millennial and Gen-Z kids i admirable and much needed, many of us can see through the facade.
New media entities such as Netflix also have their hat in the ring of social justice, or at least an attempt. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has donated to various charter schools in order to ensure better education for students, yet ignores the public schools in the East Hollywood area that could use the funding as well. Having worked in both public and charter school few blocks from the albatross of the Netflix building looming over like a Star Destroyer, I was left wondering. “Why is it the charter schools only? They already have Paramount Pictures sponsoring them. Why not this school? The kids hardly have the best technology and don’t have the same privilege. What makes it different?” That’s something I still never had answer.
But, when it comes to the “liberation” journalism, Vice seemed to be the go-to for the longest time to get the more hard-hitting and real facts without the bull. All killer, no filler. Vice has created fascinating features others would not touch and thrilling documentaries ranging pro-wrestling deathmatches, the cannabis industry to even whatever the hell Eiffel 65’s “Blue (Da Ba De)” was.
Sidenote: This song slaps.
Yet, despite being a shining example of a more liberated media, they are still 30 percent owned by Disney and even have their own cable network. It seems that even all the ethics in the world cannot help you avoid the mega-corporations that surround. Yet, it’s up to us, the people, not the consumers, to hone in on how we hold these entities accountable and how we gather our news and information. If not, we can very much lose ourselves and humanity in the grander scheme of life.