L’Université de Paix au forum Youngpress.eu

Le 28 octobre 2011, plusieurs membres de l’équipe ont été invités au forum Youngpress.eu, afin de partager notre action en termes de gestions de conflits, dans le milieu journalistique européen.

Vincent Tillieux, © StampMedia

Christelle Lacour est donc intervenue sur la question des biais liés à l’information, tandis qu’Alexandre Castanheira a rédigé un article intitulé « News report are always biased ». Il ne s’agit pas de donner un avis personnel par rapport à des phénomènes, mais bien de leur appliquer des distinctions et concepts utiles : différence entre faits et opinions, sélection / traitement / mémorisation biaisés de l’information, ouverture (pluralisme… des sources) et conscience, etc. Il ne s’agit pas tant de phénomènes à critiquer que de processus cognitifs et/ou sociaux à l’œuvre dans l’interaction… Par exemple, qu’il y ait des biais inhérents à la pratique de rédaction de l’information ne veut pas nécessairement dire que cette info n’est pas fiable.

« News reports are biased »

Alexandre Castanheira is conflict manager at the University of Namur. He is mostly working with social workers and adults that are in contact with youngsters. At the YoungPress.eu conference, he studied in the workshop ‘Labeling and prejudice’ the impact of social media.

Castanheira thinks that news is always biased. “It is all about our own perception. The reality itself isn’t treated, but our perception of reality. Everyone approaches everything from a personal opinion and has therefore a biased perception of reality.”

Opinion versus facts

“The extent in which people are sensible for biased media differs from person to person. Everyone reacts differently. People have different thoughts and emotions as well as beliefs and history”, Castanheira says. “By training people and imparting opinions and facts, they will step by step learn how to look through the façade and be less biased. Unfortunately this difference in courses is taught to a very limited extent.”

Diversity of news

Castanheira is not absolutely pro or contra the upcoming of online media. Social network sites offer a broad diversity on news. They deliver more divers information than the traditional media. It is really difficult to filter the most important news out of the constant stream of news. A journalist these days has to be able to process investigative journalism as well as mass information of the social network sites like Twitter or Facebook.

Awareness

It is difficult to make youngsters aware of the biased opinions in the media, but not impossible, Castanheira thinks. “We have to use the different sources in a useful way. It is important to keep a close eye on the traditional media and the social network sites and study and compare them.”

He is optimistic whether youngsters nowadays are really interested in news and opinion forming of the media. “Not everybody is interested obviously, but it is necessary that youngsters recognize the phenomenon.”

Castanheira believes that we cannot avoid the problem, but we do have to realize that the media is unarguably biased. “Only then youngsters are capable of recognizing the biased information”.

© 2011 – StampMedia – Lynn Symons – translation: Hannes Van Peer

L’intervention de Christelle Lacour, ainsi que l’article en anglais rédigé par Alexandre Castanheira ont été publiés le 15 décembre 2011 sur le site Youngpress.eu.

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