Crises, Rebels, Journalists & Bloggers. On labels & labeling.

TV News

TV News

I’m not that different from any human being on this planet. I also watch TV news bulletins almost everyday. Yes, it offers me a window to the world. It shows me what’s going on. However, I came to realize the news is a heavy filter. Time to pull up the shutters, it’s noon.

On Labels & Labeling.

Labeling is describing someone or something in a word or phrase. That specific word or phrase is consequently a “label”. Without going into details of labeling theory, it’s important to realize that the very act of labelling is necessary for communication. You have to give something a “name” (aka label) so to communicate about it right?

It’s logic that journalists deploy labels and labeling techniques. After all, they are all human beings. However, they are human beings with a dramatic impact on society. Their act of labeling impacts how most people on the globe think about and frame certain events, evolutions, etc.

Let’s demonstrate “labels and labeling” with 3 real-life examples.

Example 1: multiple labels for 1 phenomenon

Mortgage crisis, credit crunch, debt crisis, economic crisis, etc.

I guess you’re quite familiar with the above “labels” today, as they have been largely present since a couple of years in the news. What’s remarkably striking however is that these terms have been deployed consecutively, one by one, the one after the other. In this manner it seems as if we’re hit by multiple different crises. I believe this is not the fact. All labels in fact point to one deeper phenomenon: rectification of global power values.

Global Power Value Rectification

The concept of Global Power Value Rectification is not that easy to understand. Maybe that’s why journalists don’t use it to frame the crisis story. However, as a non-journalist, you have more time for interpretation and analysis. So why not try to explain this concept and consequently understand the framing of the different crises. I hope the below definition and graphics make clear what I label “Power Value Rectification”.

Global Power Value Rectification is:
a rectification process by which
a discrepancy between the Value in Reality and the Virtual Value
is manoeuvred away through crises.

Global powers - a reality check?

Global powers - a reality check?

Global Power - the virtual situation not aligned to reality?
Global Power Value Rectification as underlying phenomenon to frame the crisises.

Global Power Value Rectification as underlying phenomenon to frame the crisises.

Well, that should be about it for the first example of “journalistic labeling”.

What I’m trying to prove here is that all crisises are related and have a deeper reason: the change in global power. The crises are the process that rectify the difference between real and virtual value. There’s only a new name (label) to it because it happens at different structural levels that construct society. Once all structures have gone through their crisis, the deeper reason – rectify global power – is gone and consequently all crises, up until a new rectification is required.

This was a rather difficult example of journalistic labels, I know. But it was the starting point in my thinking on labels, so it’s a well-deserved first place. The next case should be easier to understand: the labeling of freedom fighters as “rebels” during the Arab Revolution.

Rebels Journalistic Framing - (rebellen = rebels in Dutch)

Rebels Journalistic Framing - (rebellen = rebels in Dutch)

Example 2: The label “Rebels” in Arab Revolution

You often hear about the “Rebels” fighting the Arab Revolution. Quite frankly, this is a pretty strange label. After all, these people are actually fighting for freedom. Labelling them freedom-fighters would make a difference. Why do you call them rebels? I happen to associate the label rebel with negative and bad feelings, while freedom-fighter suggests they are “rebelling for a cause”. What about you?

Example 3: The label “Journalist” and the label “Blogger”

Overlooking what’s being said above, one can state that journalists are still important to provide us a window to the world but that we should always keep in mind that they are also humans who use labels so to interpret, understand and communicate about the world. I believe there might be a role for additional interpretation from bloggers around the globe.

It might be note-worthy in this respect to relate this to the “blogger vs journalist debate”. A journalist is formally employed at a professional media organization whereas a blogger is a more ad-hoc individual initiative. As a result the blogger has more freedom, time, less pressure and is able to frame stories more in-depth. Or am I just completely wrong on this whole labeling issue?

Football & World Power: 2010-2014-2018-2022 (continued from part I).

Tweet about the allocation of the organization of world cup football by managing director at think.BBDO in Brussels

Tweet about the allocation of the organization of world cup football by managing director at think.BBDO in Brussels

With the allocation of the FIFA World Cup Football for 2018 and 2022, observers mentioned that it reflected the emerging markets. It truly does! But what’s more, the trend was already there during the World Cup Football 2010 in RSA.

We even devoted a blog post to the way by which the adverts surrounding the pitch reflected the global shift of economic powers. Nevertheless, which countries have been granted the rights to organize this first-class global event? Are these the emerging markets?

Upcoming FIFA World Cup hosts and their economies

The trend seen in the adverts in the 2010 event is also there when one looks at the countries that have been assigned to organize the future events. All countries that are to organize the world cup, show a growing/booming and interesting national economy.

  • World Cup 2014 host Brazil “Brazil is one of the fastest growing emerging economies in the world. With large and growing agricultural, mining, manufacturing and service sectors, Brazil economy ranks highest among all the South American countries and it has also acquired a strong position in global economy.” (Source: trading economics)
  • World Cup 2018 host Russia “The Russia Gross Domestic Product is worth 1231 billion dollars or 1.99% of the world economy, according to the World Bank.” (Source: trading economics)
  • World Cup 2022 host Qatar “The country’s economic growth has been stunning. Qatar’s nominal GDP, estimated to be $128 billion for 2010, has recently been growing at an average of 15%, and the 2010 growth rate is estimated to be 19%. Qatar’s 2007 per capita GDP was $67,000, and projected to soon be the highest in the world. The Qatari Government’s strategy is to utilize its wealth to generate more wealth by diversifying the economic base of the country beyond hydrocarbons.”(Source: U.S. Department of State)
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