Today we need an extended model. Perhaps our media could produce an innovation to foster more Europe, perhaps like an ARTE channel for everyone, a multichannel linked to the Internet for at least 27 states – for 28 states of course – for young and old, for onliners and offliners, for pro-Europeans and eurosceptics. It would have to do more than broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest or European detective series. For example, it would have to broadcast reports on the founders of companies in Poland, young unemployed people in Spain or family policies in Denmark. It would have to organize discussions which bring home to us the sensibilities of our neighbours and help us to understand why they may regard the same event in a very different light. And on the grand political stage, the doors would then open after a crisis summit and the cameras would show everyone at the negotiating table, not just one face.
With or without such a TV channel, we need an agora. It would disseminate knowledge, help to develop a European civic spirit and also act as a corrective when national media adopt a nationalistic approach and report on neighbouring countries without sensitivity or real knowledge, thus encouraging prejudices. I know that many media companies have already attempted to create a European public space by reporting on other countries, by focusing on Europe and by putting into practice many good ideas. I know that. But let us see more of this – more reports on and more communication with Europe!
We are talking here about communication. I do not regard communication as a side aspect of the political process. Rather, providing adequate information on issues and problems is politics itself. Politics which expects the participants in the agora to be responsible and does not discount them as subservient, disinterested and ignorant.
(Este ponto podia ser um interessante desafio para alguns dos jornalistas portugueses que têm sido afastados das redacções e televisões.)