This Thursday, the programme Dando Caña on El Toro TV was the scene of an interesting discussion on the transformative role of the media between the journalist Julio Ariza and the former MP, currently coordinator of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Enrique Calvet.
The impromptu debate began when Calvet referred to Ariza’s comment on the importance of “being in the media to transform society”, to which he could not avoid replying: “This has a strong, very interesting question mark. I haven’t fully constructed my idea: does the media have the right to try to transform society? Faced with the question, the journalist responded emphatically: “Absolutely, my friend. The world’s media is constantly transforming society”. At first, despite their different positions, they both agreed on one thing: the transformation does exist today, and it is for the worse.
“The world’s media is constantly transforming society”
According to Ariza, the media are loudspeakers for those who are legislating because if “a child does not have to ask their parents’ permission to be castrated you are producing objective harm to that child”. Faced with this argument, the ex-deputy interrupted, expressing his disagreement with “that’s opinionated”; and brought up in the conversation the ability to express an opinion in the media on controversial issues such as clitoral ablation. For Calvet, it is completely opinionated, to which Ariza responded “so I have my opinion. Most people understand that cutting off a child’s testicles at the age of 12 against the will of his parents is not open to opinion. And I am certainly not going to accept it”. The journalist thus defended his commitment to transforming society and trying to make people see that there should be no laws of this nature, something that he himself understands as corruption of the law.
Enrique Calvet then intervened with another question: “Is this Julio Ariza, a militant or a journalist? Ariza answered: “Both, because I am a militant for a part of the truth that I defend. All human beings have a part of reason and truth, no doubt. But there is a part that is sometimes projected to harm the other. It is that part that we have to try to obviate or soften, because nowadays there are many things that harm others”.
“Where does information end and opinion begin?”
Calvet, who does not exactly see the role of the media in this way, offered an interesting counterpoint: “The media should inform. This channel has the virtue of reporting what the others hide. And that is bad, but here the information is expanded and then the educated citizen, in a country where education is not a weapon of mass destruction like this one, decides”.
Ariza, in a more conciliatory tone, found “the key” in the words of Enrique Calvet: “What do I report on? Where does information end and opinion begin? To begin with, the media chooses what is information and excludes many things that would be information, and you choose how to counteract it”, he concluded.