5.b.18 – What is the use of chronicle reports?

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July 18, 2010 — Riccardo Sabellotti - Giacinto Sabellotti

What is the use of chronicle reports?

We noted that we do not make good use of the news, those that talk about what happens day to day, resulting in a kind of information in real time. It is clear that many of the chronicle information acquire their importance thanks to the connections they allow to do: if one day an incident happens on a stretch of highway, it could appear to us as one of the many incidents, but if we notice that it happened in the same stretch where another incident happened last week, here the news acquires a new meaning: it says that this tract is probably dangerous, and then if the week after a new incident occurs in the same area, the suspicion would be certainty.
So the reports are as a raw material on which the information user should work getting the additional information that goes beyond the individual reports. Again we must ask the question, how many of us are able to use the news in the right way? And when it’s worth it? Under the present system, it seems to be something very difficult because among the events to link, often a lot of time passes and memories soon become confused and uncertain; also the national or international news, the most followed, inevitably relate to events far from our lives, events in other cities or even other nations, which details to be connected with similar news are rarely memorized. For the local news is much easier to remember the information because the news are related to the place where we live and there are many references that can trigger our memories and make the necessary connections. Also at the local level, it is easier to realize when they are lacking in some details for a complete picture, and get informed in a targeted manner. A similar work can be done with news of specialized type that affect our business or the like.
It is therefore plausible that the common user of information, if well prepared, can develop directly or very closely the news that concerns him, though initially he had read them for pure curiosity. The more the news seem rather distant from us, the greater the difficulty of this operation is and the news is reduced to a simple set of disconnected information to which no one can give the right weight, only good as a curiosity. This phenomenon is widely exploited by driven disinformation which, when it cannot censor news, can present it chopped in the form of report, so no one will understand what must not be understood and no one can make accusations of censorship. It is therefore not credible that the citizen can profitably process daily news stories which link to his life is not immediate, it is necessary the intervention of specialists to do it for all ,and this leads us to the second objective that we set ourselves: the collective and democratic management of information.
Let’s briefly summarize the results for the first target we set (the development of cultural adaptations that make us less vulnerable to natural misinformation); we have identified the following cultural adaptation:
– distinguish between curiosity and the collective information
– distinguish facts from opinions
– give weight to the news only if we are able to make a summary of it
– apply criteria to evaluate the validity of the information.
We all know that changing habits is very difficult and that learning new ones in a new context is instead pretty easy; to absorb effortlessly these cultural innovations is good to insert them in a new activity. From some years, thanks to the spread of the internet, we are all learning to use new services and new channels of information: this is an opportunity we shouldn’t lose to insert new habits in our lives. We will instinctively continue to damage ourselves by reading the newspapers or watching television, but nothing prevents us from being also responsible users using the internet and over time, gradually, we will obtain a general improvement also in the offline world.

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