Friday, February 24, 2012

Speaking the Truth when it Hurts

Transparency is a beautiful ideal, seen most often as just that, a beautiful ideal. There are many reasons for not speaking the truth, and for a Christian, charity certainly has high priority. However, truth  is always a big issue when it comes to a free press,  that is unbiased and propaganda-free. Many citizens feel frustration in not hearing the whole truth but hearing only partial truths that distort our reality.

In the  lead article in the Kyeongyang Magazine, a religious responsible for the editorial policy of the magazine introduces us to the popular South Korean podcast "Naneun Ggomsuda." In recent months this name has been mentioned repeatedly in the news. Downloading the podcast, millions have made it a point of discussion throughout the country.

The article sees this as a response to media that is seen by many as pro-government and that routinely slants the news. One of the four who hosted the podcast is serving a term in prison for, the charge was, spreading false rumors. The podcast is seen by some as raunchy,  vulgar and not truthful. It is satire and parody and not all they say is completely verified, but what makes it popular is the frustration of many of the citizens toward the mass media, which the media refuses to acknowledge. And so the pot continues to boil.

To speak the truth is often dangerous. There are too many who go along with the administration and say yes when they should be saying no. Because of vested interests, news is often contrived to satisfy these interests.  There are also those who would like to exert similar control over the use of this new media.

Humans are obviously the only ones who have the use of money and the press, a gift of God that  allows us to communicate. However, the control of money and the media is most often in the hands of the powerful. They buy and sell conscience, and sacrifice family, society and the future in the process. There are many leaders in society that should be speaking the truth even though it may incur a cost to themselves, but they are not doing so; they are like salt that has lost it saltiness.

Religion should also be transmitters of the truth, helping to break down the generation gap, overcoming the polarization of our citizens, and bringing us closer together. Communication, at its finest, should be a sharing of truth for enhancing the lives of all of us. The mass media along with religion should be trusted transmitters of a reality we can trust and believe in. 

The writer leaves us with two questions:  Am I a communicator of the truth?  Or am I following power and the road of least resistance so as not to harm my self-interests?



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