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每日英語跟讀 Ep.852: Old media suddenly has the upper hand 亂世中,傳統媒體愈顯其優勢

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日英語跟讀 Ep.852: Old media suddenly has the upper hand

The coronavirus pandemic has torn the veil off a long-obscured and frightening reality: Our economies are unconscionably fragile, propped up by low-wage jobs, and our health systems are tissue-thin. As companies go bankrupt and workers are laid off by the millions, it seems likely that most major economic and cultural institutions will suffer the shock of transition, if not extinction.

冠狀病毒大流行揭露了一個長久以來隱晦而駭人的現實:我們的經濟脆弱到荒謬的地步,是靠低薪工作支撐起來的,而且我們的衛生保健系統單薄地像衛生紙一樣。隨著公司破產和數以百萬計的人員被解僱,多數主要經濟與文化機構看來都將遭受轉型的衝擊──如果沒有被完全消滅的話。

These include the media, which have a key role to play in shaping how we think of and act upon this new world.

這些機構也包括媒體——媒體在形塑我們對這新世界的看法與行動上,扮演著關鍵的角色。

Clearly, many periodicals will not survive the loss of revenue from sales and advertising. For better and worse, the landscape of news and opinion looks to become far less diverse. Small magazines, especially non-profit ones, are most vulnerable.

顯然,銷售及廣告等收入的損失會讓許多刊物撐不下去。無論如何,新聞及輿論刊物的多樣性看來似乎會大大減少。小眾雜誌,尤其是非營利性的雜誌,所受到的打擊最大。

Some losses should not be mourned. The social media “influencers” who broadcast conspiracy theories linking COVID-19 to 5G signal masts should long ago have been consigned to history’s wastebasket. It’s about time, too, that the culture of celebrity was fatally undermined.

對於某些損失,我們不需哀悼。散布5G基地台會造成武漢肺炎傳播這種陰謀論的社群媒體網紅,老早就該被丟進歷史的垃圾桶裡了。名人這種文化也該被徹底推翻了。

And one can only hope that the credibility of partisan outlets such as Fox News, which aggressively downplayed news of the pandemic, lethally influencing US President Donald Trump, will be impaired, especially in the eyes of its elderly audience, which is most exposed to the virus.

希望這也會削弱像福斯新聞這種黨派傳聲筒媒體的可信度,尤其是在年長觀眾心目中的可信度—福斯新聞對這大流行病的報導極度輕描淡寫,對美國總統唐納‧川普造成極危險的影響,而這些年長的觀眾也是受害於病毒最深的一群人。

The institutions of the much-maligned “legacy media” actually have the best chance of surviving and even flourishing in the future. Rogue challengers to their authority arose in part because the traditional media failed to anticipate or diagnose correctly the financial crisis of 2008. Fortunately, the traditional media now have a chance to rebuild their reputation and even augment their essential role in democratic societies.

備受毒舌唱衰的「傳統媒體」機構,未來其實最有可能生存下來,甚至繁榮起來。對傳統媒體之威信挑戰最烈者之所以出現,部分原因是傳統媒體未能對二○○八年的金融危機做出正確預測或診斷。

幸好,傳統媒體現在有機會重建其聲譽,甚至增強它在民主社會中不可或缺的作用。

The experience and fear of death, and the mass destruction of livelihoods, calls for the utmost precision in information and analysis. There is no dearth of issues where the traditional media should be able to establish permanent superiority over their upstart rivals with a mix of intellectual rigor and compassion.

人們對死亡的體驗與恐懼、疫情對生計的大規模破壞,都需要資訊及分析的精準度達到最高。傳統媒體在許多議題上,應可憑藉知識上的嚴謹以及關懷,在與新興對手的競爭中建立長久的優勢。

There are imbalances in coverage to be addressed. The plight of many people most intensely affected by the crisis — teachers, nurses, cleaners and carers, not to mention the poor, the elderly and the disabled — has very rarely featured in mainstream accounts. The BBC, for one, has rapidly reemerged not only as a source of unbiased news and scientific opinion, but also as a champion of the poorly paid people on the frontlines of the struggle against the virus.

新聞報導的不平衡,則需要解決。許多受疫情危機影響最劇的人——教師、護理師、清潔工及看護者,更不用說窮人、老人與身心障礙人士——其困境很少出現在主流報導中。但英國廣播公司(BBC)卻迅速重整旗鼓,不僅提供公正的新聞與科學評論,而且還為身處對抗病毒前線卻薪資微薄的人發聲。

As the biggest crisis since World War II unfolds, the challenges before the traditional media will be manifold and steep.

身處於第二次世界大戰爆發以來的最大危機,傳統媒體所面臨的挑戰將是多方面的、艱鉅的。

Social unrest, manifested last year in a global wildfire of street protests, is likely to intensify. Moreover, the state, whose urgent intervention in public and private life is being widely demanded and welcomed, could become oppressively overbearing. It is no exaggeration to say that the fate of many democratic societies, presently led by criminally inept and deluded politicians, will depend on how well the news outlets that survive perform their duty.

街頭抗議活動去年在全球延燒,此社會動盪可能還會加劇。此外,因控制疫情需要而對公共及私人生活實施緊急干預且廣為民眾接受的國家,其政府可能會變得暴虐專橫。毫不誇張地說,目前由極度無能與受騙的政客所領導的許多民主國家,其命運將取決於倖存下來的那些新聞媒體所履行職責的能力。

Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/04/21/2003734969

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