In what follows I want to communicate a prophetic conviction of the arrival of a new media. Certainly a new media presence within Europe. The old ‘woman’ of Europe can produce, and will produce a new media presence.
A little while back I realised the myth of the independence of the ‘spheres’ within society (education, health, politics, arts etc). The concept I had been working with was of them having their own measure of autonomy. Indeed in a healthy society that is how it should be. However…
A little aside:
- we live in a fallen world – left to its own devices this will ‘fall’ to a place of increasing evil.
- fallenness can be redeemed – brought back to purpose.
- hence we do not operate from a distinct line of good / evil but fallen / redeemed (or better situations in a process toward even greater fallenness / or in a process of redemption).
- I do not see either the future (pre-parousia) as ‘all evil, rule of antiChrist’, nor as ‘all perfect’.
- there is ground to be gained and seasons when this happens incredibly. This does not make it permanent as ground has to be held.
And before coming to the ‘a new media?’ issue I consider that one of the deep insights of the book of Revelation (and if wanting to read it in context get a history book that shows the total domination and myth of Rome) is that of the two beasts. I have wrestled with that for a while. What are the two beasts? The primary one is that of preserving the elite at all costs (Imperial power) and the second one is that which keeps the first in place – hence it can be literal Emperor worship (the Imperial cult of the day), politics, media (here is where I am going), or finally if necessary of course military power.
Still with it?
The media – free and independent?
Probably on the whole not free and independent! We have some very challenging situations with the media.
- The news channel most watched by our charismatic friends across the pond, one that is strong on family values…, the same media empire that ran the infamous ‘page 3’. In other words it was not serving family values but serving an agenda of thought formation.
- The percentage of the media in the UK owned by a handful of people. 3 companies own 71% of the UK national newspaper market.
- In Spain we have government controlled channels (and one owned by a certain Berlusconi of Italian fame) and then one independent channel. When a political party rose in Spain with an incredible growth of members – totally newsworthy by any stretch of the imagination – the journalists employed by the established media groups were banned from giving any interviews with those involved.
- The BBC website these past few days seemed amazingly silent with respect to the material on Mr Cameron and his connection to the benefits he drew from the Panamanian company his father was involved in.
So maybe the beast has another associate – for the beast must have a voice – a servant in the media that is not allowed its own freedom, its own autonomy. BUT…
Prophetic prayer gives way to apostolic declaration – certainly that was my language of a few years back. Correct language at this point is not too important.
WE HAVE ENTERED A TURN AROUND IN THE MEDIA. A NEW MEDIA IS HERE. JOURNALISTS WHO WERE MARGINALISED WILL GAIN A PLATFORM.
Maybe this does not mean everything will disappear and everything new will be here, but ground has been gained, there is a shift.
(In all I am writing it is not to demonise certain media organisations, or as in the dream, Northern Europe, they are symbols and examples of the structures that we all find ourselves living within.)
Last night I had a dream. I needed to go to the toilet to have a pee. I was not at home but knew it was in Southern Europe. (Dreams are strange!) When I got there I lifted the seat and in the bowl was stacks of paper and some dirty clothes. Pressed in and pushed down and the bowl was all-but full. In the bathroom were two other people (!!) who noted my surprise at what I had discovered. They were from France and Germany. One of them said – ‘Oh I did not know we couldn’t put that stuff in here (meaning both here as in the toilet and here as in Southern Europe) and that it would not just flush away’.
I knew I had to empty the bowl, but being pretty desperate, first peed then got on with pulling out of the toilet all the papers and clothing that was placed there to be flushed away from sight. Not such a pleasant task – but it was only a dream!!
So waking up this morning (a regular occurrence most mornings) I consider that there has been a way that the dominant powers have behaved that might have cleared stuff out of sight for the past years, but this stuff cannot be flushed down the toilets of Southern Europe. There will be a messy process that now ensues but there are papers and clothing that are going to be brought out to light, primarily (in the European context) from Southern Europe.
The mess has arrived. A new media, and new journalists who cannot be bought.