December 16, 2009

The Climate Summit has 2 days left, which has put more pressure on the negotiators, forcing them to find real results in a shorter amount of time. As developments inside the Summit are large enough, marked events outside are undoubtedly much more dramatic. Protests, arrests, physical altercations and everything else you’d expect from demonstrations of this scale are the result of voices trying desperately to be heard. There’s one complaint being raised; one I don’t think can be overlooked. It is a statement in defense of all those in third world countries, those not fortunate enough to live in the modern city of Copenhagen or the affluent continent of Europe, those unable to efficiently use tools like the internet, and they’re those who the changing climate will most drastically effect.

The declaration is that this summit is not a democratic event.

I’d venture to say that we don’t appreciate the time and world we live in. The Classical and Hellenistic eras gave us only a 450-year experiment with democracy before the Republic fell to the Caesars, which is a pretty short amount of time in the grand scheme of things. It isn’t until the end of the 18th century that we really see the spirit of democracy rise again with the French and American revolutions. Can we really say that Democracy, when held up to the time line of humanity, is really as strong a force to be reckoned with? I don’t believe so.

What the world has been trying since the end of the First World War is admirable. Yet, there are problems, and so when the protesters outside of the Climate Summit voice their well-founded concern that this meeting is not democratic, they are right in doing so and should be applauded. This meeting is not truly democratic when you think of the number of people in this world that are voiceless, and it is our job to make sure that we all consistently have a say. Those without access to the sort of communication that many of us have need to be represented. And this is why Journalism is essential to this world, especially in this world of mass communication.

There is a huge community out here that, unlike most other fields, are not insular. Photography seems to be able to break down many walls, perhaps because it has the ability to be used in print media standing alone or with a written article. Maybe because the ‘thousand words’ saying is true? I’m not entirely sure, but I am certain that expression is the bedrock of our liberties, and a journalist’s job is to express the facts about whatever corner of the world they’ve decided to report on.

Categories: Educational, Notes From Ed