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O controlo dos meios de comunicação social na era digital

NOVA IORQUE – Os últimos anos não foram positivos para a liberdade de expressão. Os governos da Polónia, Hungria e Turquia tornaram-se cada vez mais autoritários e - tal como líderes dos Balcãs, China e Rússia - cada vez mais determinados em controlar o discurso público. Além disso, nos EUA, o Presidente Donald Trump tenta incansavelmente desacreditar os meios de comunicação social e a sua administração revela um nível de inacessibilidade à imprensa nunca antes visto.

A era dos censores que redigem fisicamente os jornais, tal como pude verificar no Vietname e no Mianmar, está em vias de chegar ao fim. Contudo, como se pode constatar pelos desenvolvimentos recentes, a liberdade de imprensa continua altamente vulnerável, uma vez que os governos e os "interesses instituídos organizados em rede com a política" - segundo afirma a investigadora política Alina Mungiu-Pippidi - empreendem uma espécie de supervisão suave que pode ser caracterizada como "controlo dos meios de comunicação social".

Os economistas utilizaram o termo "controlo" na sequência da crise financeira de 2008 para descrever a razão pela qual os reguladores - que frequentemente eram provenientes (e regressavam) ao sector que deveriam supervisionar - foram incapazes de monitorizar o sector de forma adequada. O controlo dos meios de comunicação social funciona da mesma forma: os líderes políticos detêm a propriedade total dos meios de comunicação social (veja-se o caso de Itália, com Silvio Berlusconi) ou garantem a lealdade dos seus responsáveis através de clientelismo ou do castigo.

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