MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Investigative journalism today reaches more people than previously, which scares political leaders and triggers more violence against reporters around the world, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO for Communication and Information Frank La Rue told Sputnik on Monday.
"One of the challenges for the modern journalism is that there is a rise of violence, and I think that it is indirectly connected to the Internet, because journalism covers more publicly now. Now it reaches a bigger distance, and therefore it has a bigger impact," La Rue said.
Reports on whistleblowers or other investigative journalism stories now reach more public than in the past, he added.
"This has made many political leaders very much afraid… There is more and more reaction against investigative journalism today. That is why we find more cases of arbitrary detention and use of crime of information against journalism," La Rue said.
Modern Media Need to Diversify Ideas, Move Away From Commercial Reporting
Modern media need to move away from prioritizing commercial reporting and diversify ideas and positions, Frank La Rue told Sputnik.
"The problem [with the modern media today] is the massive concentration of media on sort of huge monopolies that are growing in the world, and reporting with an emphasis on commercial element, and not on the informational or professional element," La Rue said.
He added that the purpose of informing the public is being pushed to the sidelines.
"It is bad, because sometimes what sells is not the most important. Very often news of violence sells or some with dramatic elements sells, when you really need a better analysis. The alternative to this is to defend the plurality and diversity. Plurality of ideas and positions and principles, and the diversity of the media," La Rue said.
The problems and challenges that modern journalism is facing today has been the major topic at the media forum "New era of journalism: farewell to mainstream."
The international media forum is taking place in Russia's capital on June 6-7. It is hosted by the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency and is part of the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Information Bureau. Media experts from over 30 countries of the world take part in the forum.