Thoughts on the press in postmodernity

We have reached a point at which we all act as agents of the Press– no non-journalists can be found. There is only a prevailing hierarchy of journalists, the vast majority unpaid, and yet networking assiduously on social media. This does not merely count for Western societies–perhaps to the contrary, the rule holds doubly so for the non-Western societies, making the hierarchy of total enlistment in mass-journalism all the more apparent when every citizen of the Arab world or in Africa acts a journalist via social media. In the mass of journalists, only anti-authoritarian and anti-hierarchical slogans and self-definitions can be heard. The established press lords, through salaried pundits, simultaneously support censorship, while making claims of preserving “the Truth” against the “post-Truth” of an authoritarian dictatorship’s state of exception to the establishment. The word “pundit” harks back to its etymological meaning, from Hindi “pandit” which entered English thanks to the bureaucracy of colonialism.

The opponents and competitors of the established press, meanwhile make similar claims. The amateur press we all belong to (without the rights granted by a press card and without other journalistic freedoms, only duties ) by definition identifies as liberal, or progressive, even when promiscuous with authoritarianism and fetishistic towards “expert opinion”, and contemptuous of free thought. The audience itself is enlisted and militates, at least virtually.

Arturo Desimone,
Málaga 2020

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