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The Media Needs to Speak for Everyone

 3 min read / 

Here’s what one may have read over the last few weeks in the news or in in-depth articles on where the world is headed:

  • President Trump wants people to stand up and listen when he’s speaking, just like they do for his enemy-turned-BFF Kim Jong-un.
  • China has a social rating system that some say was inspired by a show called Black Mirror, but many fear it will completely silence those living in the most populous nation in the world.
  • EU leaders are struggling to maintain their hard-fought union – formed in the shadow of war to maintain peace and promote prosperity. It is beset by dissenting voices and set to lose one of its largest members.

Globalisation is one of the greatest powers the world has ever known, and everyone wants to get on the carousel. For those not on it, the music can sound a lot different.

For those at the grass-root level, however, world leaders, trade wars and even capitalism are just words.

Almost exactly a year ago, I went to Grenfell Tower to donate clothes. I had been watching the news on the topic all week, and on the Saturday, I went to try and help.

The first thing that hit you was the silence, at street level. This was before you could see the actual site. There was this heavy lack of any life-like sound, as if everything was moving in slow motion, as if the end of the world had come and gone, and we were all struggling to understand what had happened. I had only experienced silence like that once before – when visiting the September 11 memorial.

Then, I saw the actual building. A black and gruesome reminder that 72 (although exact numbers were not known at the time) universes, hopes, dreams, and futures had been crushed by a wall of fire and chaos.

People were walking around stunned. There were pictures of the missing ones everywhere. On the fences, on the walls. People that you knew – you instinctively knew – were now gone forever. Every single photo, every single message written detailing who they were, were signs of a desperation that would never find solace.

Grenfell Tower is still standing today, a sad memorial of an event that should have never happened. Will anyone be found guilty? Will anyone actually pay? Hard to tell.

But before we worry about world order and exotic leaders, our duty should be with the people who need us the most – those whose many voices must be heard and whose futures must be protected. It has to start at home. Caring about our own. Being humane and human with others. Being rational, being critical, but still trying to see other perspective and to understand. When we lose that part of ourselves, when we don’t nourish and develop it, chaos follows – both big and small. In all this, we, the media, must remember that simple truth.

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