Can Buddhisms center habit save Journalism?

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Could Buddhism inspire a post-colonial and nonviolent media model that would surmount the technological maelstrom that is destroying established journalism? The rise of social media has led to the collapse of the Eurocentric media model. In a battle for supremacy, editors behind the arbiters of resolution and gatekeepers of ideas and assistance have ceded run to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and the bloggers.


Adding treat badly to injury, robots government on algorithms known as pretentious sharpness and machine learning are said to soon replace journalists subsequent to prized for their erudition, discretion and perspective.

These were some of the issues discussed at a conference organized in other Delhi recently under the aegis of International Confederation of Buddhists, titled Asian Buddhist Media Conclave Mindful Communication for skirmish Avoidance and Sustainable Development.

Certainly new answers are called for. The onslaught of fictitious news in the virtual world has real world outcome (for instance, in India erroneous and photoshopped Whatsapp messages have pushed mobs to layer be violent towards and lynching.) The anarchy of the post-truth instruction marketplace raising the banner of free speech has pushed the mainstream newspapers and channels to vie often unsuccessfully taking into consideration citizen journalists for viewership and relevance.

The realities of economics and falling advertising revenues have pushed media organizations that subsequent to cherished tab and objectivity other towards ideological extremes, or, equally worse, into the folds of corporate ownership.

It is little incredulity then that academics, scholars and media practitioners are looking for different models of media and journalism.

Indic-Buddhist media model

As Einstein as a result famously observed: No difficulty can be solved from the thesame level of consciousness that created it.

In a up keynote speech, Indian journalist M Gurumurthy envisioned an inclusive post-colonial vision of addition media that thrives upon philosophy and immersion rather than ideology and division.

All narratives feed on ideological dogfight and so the think-anew if- not-dismantle-our-dominant-media-paradigms. (We need to rescue philosophy from the gas chambers of ideology, Gurumurthy said.) Ideas have an increasingly shorter shelf-life, he said, pointing, for instance, to the now-defunct mainstream neoliberal economics of unfettered financial globalization that approximately pushed the world to the brink of great Depression in 2008.



The secular and inclusive Indic and Asian philosophy that prioritizes dialogue and debate is the obsession of the hour because it would lead to a world that is less conflict-ridden and violent.

As General secretary of IBC Venerable Dhammapiya, a Buddhist monk and scholar from Indian declare of Tripura, sour out in his speech how journalists should heighten the certain aspects of news and desist from incendiary narratives (Journalists should not always focus on darkness, but on lightning the candle that brings light.)

Indic Buddhist civilization could contribute to a other vision of media in the 21st century, said Arvind Gupta, the director of Vivekananda International Foundation, one of the co-organizers of the conference.

Media scholar Kalinga Sevaratne highlighted the craving to back more dialogue in the company of Buddhist traditions and to build narratives that challenge the generally simplistic reporting and writings on Buddhism as a religion.

Sevaratne, who helped develop a UNESCO-funded Buddhist-inspired media program at Thailands Chulalongkorn University, proposed a human-centric journalism paradigm that could be offered to anyone regardless of religious and diplomatic affiliation.

The meeting discussed the content and duration, and authorization of such courses, and how best to publicize such novel media methodologies.

Middle-Path Journalism

Buddhist philosophy offers ways in which to not lonesome rethink, if not replace, the Western media model but then find the money for light organizing principles and even conceptual norms for a new media model such as Middle-Path Journalism proposed by Bhutanese scholar Dorji Wangchuk.

Wangchuk, formerly media adviser to the Bhutanese royal family, believes that the acknowledged Four Theories of Press and the Fourth home model spread around individual values and rights even if Middle-Path Journalism prioritizes community well-being higher than individual freedom.

Dorjis other model of journalism is heavily influenced by the experience of Bhutan. (It is based upon four pillars of community and collectivism, compassion, commitment and contentment, the last of which is the core concept of Bhutans terrifying National Happiness).

Already, within the context of Buddhist practice, thesame guidelines have been proposed by others including Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, who published social media guidelines for students in 2013 on how to be more mindful practically their actions on the Internet.

Such guidelines have much import in the wake of growing incident of sexual harassment allegations in the Buddhist community, which the conference next discussed in the context how to greater than before lid Buddhism as a religion.

Mindful Media Network

Buddhist-inspired frameworks can give support to as ethical guideposts for mainstream media taking into account the theories of press, and the mantle of forgive speech on which it rests, seemed to have been intensely challenged by social media.

To incite instigate a paradigm shift in prevailing media models, the other Delhi conference pledged to inauguration a mindful news network akin to a Buddhist associated Press below the aegis of IBC as with ease as training programs for media practitioners.

Buddhist researcher and practitioner Shantum Seth stressed the dependence to include not just academic and conceptual training but meditation practices into any courses on Asian centric model of journalism. The beat on meditation practice and experience, he said, is precisely what distinguishes Asian models of media from dominant methodologies.

A attainable starting point would be to present rude mindful meditation courses, aided by conceptual framework in Middle-Path Journalism, to professional journalists and writers and gradually proceed their direct audience. These can also be offered through both press clubs, journalists contact and other university institutes.

The purpose should be to make mindful and Middle-Path journalism as accessible and palatable to people across religious and national divides just as mindful meditation courses are offered on the world, purely based on their relevance as a solution to the real-world problems.

Tsering Namgyal is a Tibetan journalist and author based in Hong Kong. He is the author of the novel The Tibetan Suitcase and new works. 

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