The Qualitative Influence of the Independent Media (12)

Besides, the structure of understanding context for information is another important factor affecting how far a media influences society. For explaining this, we can first take a look at the typical form of the news reporting arrangement in television media. Generally speaking, the time period for news reporting of a TV media is not so long that is about two or three hours in a daily programme schedule (excluding the so-called “news channel” designed for a full-day news broadcasting service). Besides the news programmes, there are many other TV shows occupying the great part of the whole broadcasting content, including the advertisement. In every news programme, social news, which is for reporting people’s real life, would not be the major one. Through the short-time reporting, TV audience is unable to establish a full understanding on the present situation of society. For them, other news content and TV programmes are of the “diluting element” or distraction: the structure of understanding context for social reality given by general TV media is fragmented that the audience cannot effectively transfer the valuable news information into a concrete knowledge of evaluating the nature of the current social circumstance and create a distinctive attitude toward the development of society in their mind. Here, we can see the “influence” of media on people, on society is not to be a real, even though the population of audience is seen as “huge”.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

The Qualitative Influence of the Independent Media (11)

One more example here: a labour movement is reported by a media general and this movement is at the same time covered by an internet independent media too. According to the above reasoning logic, the general media’s reporting for the labour movement is to be recognized as having a significant social influence larger than the independent media’s because the population of audience of the general is greater than the independent’s. However, it is not right. Although there are more people catching the labour movement news through the general, they could ignore or forget the content of the reported that no influence on them would consequently be made. They are passive audience. On the other hand, there are fewer people getting the news from the independent media. But, this group of people, who are interested in the reporting, concern the potential development of the labour movement that they would, for instance, carry out supporting action as active audience if the labourers’ activism is suppressed. According to this analysis, we discover that there can be an illusion about measuring the “influence” of media by just making statistic figures. If we ask again: which media can help create larger influence on society? The answer is the independent media, not the general one because the independent media audience value and respect the reported content and are ready to “do something” for society betterment. Therefore, we have sufficient grounds to argue the “influence” of media should be understood based on the qualitative analyzing approach shown as the above.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

The Qualitative Influence of the Independent Media (10)

Before dealing with the task, we should first understand how people recognize the instrumentality of media and its influence. Here is a starting point for reflecting on the social influence of media. Generally speaking, scholars and researchers now tend to study the so-called “influential force” of any media based on a quantitative perspective: using huge amount of statistic figures including the ratings of the audience, the page view of the media website, etc. to justify the substantial existence of the force functioning in a specific society. According to this, they usually argue that mass media have a relatively huge social influence because this kind of media have a larger population of audience and more support from advertising parties – the “high ratings” evidence their “scientific” judgment.

For example, there is a research report which shows the rating of a news media “X” is higher than the rating of “Coolloud.org”. According to the shown data, we have evidence to conclude that “the social influence of the media ‘X’ is highly likely larger than that of ‘Coolloud.org’”. It seems no problem with the above conclusion on analyzing the influence of the two media. However, any knowledge made by this logic would conceal certain important points that can help us to further discover and understand the qualitative influence of media on society.

How do we define the “influence” of a media? The rating does prove that there is a large/small group of people who stay tuned on the media platform in a specific period of time. However, this fact does not reflect the exact influence of the running media on people’s thinking and behaviour. How do we measure the qualitative influence of a media on society? To analyze this aspect of influence of media, we cannot rely on the “evidence” made by the quantitative methodology of statistics for social science research.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

耶穌言行的無政府性

據《新約聖經》(Bible: New Testament)〈馬太福音〉(Gospel According to Matthew)所載,耶穌不但擁有猶太民族(the Jews)祖先亞伯拉罕(Abraham)、大衛(David)的血統,祂的出生、接受聖約翰(John the Baptist)施洗、及至成年並開始傳佈福音,這整個過程實為一連串神話式的人生發展歷程。

猶太民族的歷史充滿被壓迫、遷徙、動盪戰亂等記載。此民族先後被波斯、希臘及羅馬等不同帝國統治過,而這些帝國的統治者不乏對其族人加以迫害。所以,這不幸的猶太族人的經歷自然形塑出一種民族意識:極其渴望有一位來自「天上」的使者打救其屢屢陷於水深火熱中的猶太人。耶穌就在這樣的歷史背景下被安排降世。

據《新約聖經》所述,耶穌的誕生首先被當時統治猶太土地的希律王(Herod the Great)所忌諱。因為有通曉星象的博士為敬拜將要出世的耶穌從遠方而來。希律王從這些博士的口中得知,耶穌會是「猶太人的王」。在政教合一的現實下,這正意味著既有王權將被挑戰的事實。羅馬帝國統治者希律為阻止這個未來的「王」對自身統治的威脅,不惜下令屠殺大衛城伯利恆(Bethlehem)中所有兩歲以下的嬰兒。結果是徒然的:耶穌的誕生是神的旨意,上帝不會使「人子」降生後就結束生命。耶穌的父母約瑟(Joseph)及瑪利亞(Mary)在夢中得到上帝的明示,先一步逃往埃及避難。及後,這位「猶太人的王」在加利利(Galilee)的拿撤勒(Nazareth)成長,成為一生志願帶領猶太人乃至全人類脫離困阨苦難的「基督」、「救世主」。

(摘自: 無政府與全球化. 台北: 國立政治大學. 2003)

無政府性釋義 (7)

在現今資本主義高張的人類社會,任何事體的成就都無法脫離經濟-由金錢所產生出來的各種問題(這就是權力所建構的「遊戲規則」)。任何政治社會運動都需要一定額度的資金才能付諸實踐。那麼,資金從哪來?沒有資金,何來運動?又何來所謂民眾團體組織?又何來社會力量的凝聚?

無財主支配的重要意義在於鼓吹任何反對權力的主張甚至實踐,其得以成立和存在的憑藉並非依賴權力本身─如政府建制、企業集團、資本家願意提供資金支持來成就其基本立場的具體化。不論是個人或團體組織,抱有其阻抗權力擴張和發展的存有價值的前提應建基於自身的經濟獨立─如透過勞動、民眾自願捐助等方式作為支撐其反對宰制信念的基礎條件,而不是靠攏政府或財團。

若某反政府的個人或組織團體必須依附政府或企業作為其既定運作或生存模式,可以預見,其對整體社會的發展而言並無任何顛覆和創進的性質。換句話說,它只是所謂「多元社會」中被權力所允許的裝飾品而已。

(摘自: 無政府與全球化. 台北: 國立政治大學. 2003)

無政府性釋義 (6)

(3) 無財主支配-以自給自足對抗經濟壟斷

權力的擴張在於經濟資源的略奪和壟斷。只要控制人賴以為生的各種物資,統治的施展將順遂且不受挑戰,古今皆然。所以,體現創造和反政府這兩種無政府性的根本基礎在於由個體反對權力宰制之信念出發,在實踐具體顛覆行為的過程中,從頭到尾以個人所成就的經濟條件作為立足點,其無政府性才能完整兌現。為此,我們可對現代政治社會運動的發展加以考察並釐清問題所在。

在現代社會,公開批判政府的施政甚至倡言無政府主義似乎並不困難。不過,我們應著眼於作出如是批判的運動份子或團體是在何種社會脈絡及經濟條件底下去論述其主張。例如,有不少運動團體及非政府組織是以立案的形式成立。所有參與人士都是雇員,以薪資作為生活條件,而這些團體組織的資金卻是來自政府或企業的補助贊助。當它們質疑政府的施政利於企業壟斷經濟卻影響民眾的生計時,其陷入一種理論實踐融貫邏輯的矛盾:一方面站在民眾的立場試圖左右在上位者的施政;另一方面依賴在上位者或既得利益者從民眾剝削而來的資源存活。這種矛盾的真實性可從政府或企業有權透過停止其經濟支持來消弭社會反對聲音而獲得證實。所以,這些社會運動團體及組織如何將自身的運作係由權力所支撐卻抱持著反對權力的立場這個事實正當化或合理化?

(摘自: 無政府與全球化. 台北: 國立政治大學. 2003)

The Qualitative Influence of the Independent Media (9)

Also, Kuang’s comment implies that Taiwanese independent media are usually working separately. This kind of ecology of the independent media movement practice would probably hinder the development of the media’s influence on making a substantial public opinion against the Establishment’s power. If the independent media carry out their media activism collectively, for example, to publish the so-called “united report” for social issues revelation, an effective and practical approach to strengthening the media’s position as social power is to be built that it can be used to force the authorities to do more for improving the commons’ life in the local society.

Although most Chinese people, for the time being, do not have a clear understanding on the significance of the independent media social movement, this distinctive phenomenon motivates us to go further to think about the potential importance of the media activism catalyzing in the two societies.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)