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What is truth?

Media competence and why Pilatus' question is highly relevant today

by Jochen Ressel

He is accused and questioned by the executive representative of the Roman Empire, Pontius Pilatus: “What have you done?” It’s Jesus from Nazareth giving his answer, bringing up his role as the guardian of truth, to which Pilatus replies ironically, probably a bit desperate: “What is truth?”

And the question is still valid 2020 anno domini, almost 2,000 years after Pilatus raised it. There are thousands of articles, posts, tweets and comments we are coming across every single day, which are mostly aiming to create opinion and indicating what we are forced to perceive as the truth. Though the question for each of us is an everydays challenge: What is the truth?

It’s obvious that the “truth” is probably not what is really true, but what got the most “likes” or “shares”. Complex logarithms selecting what is offered to us as the truth. More than ever we need to find our own ways how to create our own conviction of what is true and wrong.

From my point of view, there is no question, that we need to educate ourselves in the field of Media competence. Although we will never understand all the logarithms, some knowledge would help us to know, how our newsfeeds are filled with preselected content and which sources are relivable enough to falsify or verify the offered content.

Secondly, it’s my strong believe that a holistic understanding of geography, history and religion is key to find information which come close to truth. Hardly anything happens on our globe, which has no context to happenings of the past, of their religious backgrounds and the geographic changes of countries and movements of nations and ethnic groups. If we know about the links between these fields, we might be able to judge a headline to be true or false in the same second as it comes across, because of its historical, geographical or religious context.
One challenge still remains for ages: History is written by the winners. I haven’t found a path for me personally, how to judge the official historiography without the opportunity to hear the voices of victims and disadvantaged of historical processes.

How do you address the question “What is truth?” Which sources do you choose to find out, if you are misled by mass media manipulation? Your comments and views are highly appreciated.
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Jochen Ressel is a Board Member of the Austro-British Society The opinions expressed in this article are entirely his and reflect in no way the opinions of the ABS. He worked several years for a UK company and for its HQ in London.

Bung a Bob for Big Ben Bong

Boris Johnson says: “we need to restore the clapper, in order to bong Big Ben on Brexit night and that is expensive.”

by Wolfgang Geissler

“The bongs cost £500.000 … but we are working on a plan so that people can bung a bob for a Big Ben bong” “Bung a bob” is a rather puerile English slang for “give me a shilling (a “bob” today 5 pence) so I can make Big Ben chime!” Well, we know that “Big Ben” is under repair like many things are in Britain. We also know that Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson enthused to have “Big Ben Bonging” at 11 pm Greenwich Meantime (our 12 Midnight Central European Time) thus celebrating Britannia’s exit on 31 January 2020 from the European Union, which Anne Widdecombe, former Tory MP and new MEP for the Brexit Party, likened to slave masters.

Societal Division: An easy way to get over it?

What does it take to bring a divided society together?

by Jochen Ressel

Following the Austrian mass media through the last years made it quite clear: The Brexit is perceived as an error by the UK people. Politicians should just go for a new referendum (no clue why they simply don’t do it…) and everything will be good again and all this Brexit rumors belong to history. Full stop, over and out.

BREXIT and the Irish.

How Britain is about to lose the Peace.
How a great country is trapped in the history of its own making

by Wolfgang Geissler

In 1604 Parliament passed an act requiring all clergy of the Church of England to take an Oath of Allegiance at their ordination to the diaconate or priesthood in which they acknowledged the King (or Queen) of England as supreme governor of the church in all spiritual and temporal matters. "I, NN, swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will, as in duty bound, honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors, in Person, Crown and Dignity against all enemies, and will observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors, and of the generals and officers set over me. So help me God."

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