Press, the 4th Pillar of Democracy?


Press, the 4th Pillar of Democracy? But at what price? The first few months of my retirement have confirmed many of what I tried to get my ex-colleagues on the right path the year before: the challenges for the future of the press will be gigantic! I decided to start listening to radio for the first 6 months in retirement, or reading a newspaper. I wanted to accelerate the radical break between active journalism during 38 years and retirement life. Exception: Telephony or TV, and a whole lot of internet. The result was a disaster for a former radioman! On the small phone I got to read things that the radio brought minutes, hours afterwards! The radio, to date the fastest media, ever lost the game at a time, and often a short info came to me: accident in the local area, vote of a law in parliament, results from the sport, etc. And even if I wanted more background information on this or that subject, the digital world offerings were generally wider, such as on the radio or the day after in the written press. This is a huge challenge for the classic media, who must either loosen up or close sooner or later!


lready the situation in Luxembourg is alarming!

Publishing a newspaper or making a radio costs money: paper, technical installations and, above all, staff! Newspapers can no longer vote alone on this sale through the sale of subscriptions. Moreover, they will no longer be able to provide advertisements with the advertising market, in other words, because the advertising market in Luxembourg is low. as this is still the case abroad. At Radio Luxembourg, the situation is similar: the program can still make a lot of money, but, at the same time? The antenna is being polluted more and more by publicity so that it is “clamped” and so that the tip becomes slightly smaller. already there are times when information and music are too short! That was also the main argument for calling the transmitter 100.7 into life decades ago, hence a radio without advertising.

The written press gets financial assistance from the state, while not too tight! But how should these aids and futures be distributed when the newspapers are read less and less? For some editions, the situation is dramatic and I don’t see any improvement, on the contrary! The young generation has grown up with mobile phones and PCs and will hardly pass to paper on 20/30 years… except that the journalistic offer is a very different one, with far more background information, with contributions not only to the paper. Top news related, with competent analysis and commentary. The same is true for radio: if former broadcasts of a whole hour have been listened to intensively by many people, radio is today condemned to rapid consumption, in genre: nothing is happening anywhere in Luxembourg, the world is still in line, how’s the weather ?! In order for the radio to remain interesting, something must also be dropped for the future! But neither for radio nor for the written press is a simple copy / paste available with the internet, which also shows the rise of the subscriptions and the written press and also the “daily reach” of the radio.


he journalist, fifth wheel on the car?

The great challenges presented by the classic press mean nothing else, as the different edition houses have to invest massively, both in the staff, in this case and in the journalists. There, however, I see more than black, because for the past 40 years, I have been regularly catastrophized when I heard what one or other colleague had to do with income! That amount was sometimes so low that I always said in my mind you have to go to the human rights court. Don’t be afraid! I don’t fall for my former employer here! At RTL, the situation is slightly different and I am not one of those who spit in the soup, from which they spent many years. I want to write very generally here, with the assumption that it is a hoax to hire young people with slightly more than the social minimum wage. In addition, these people often have a masters degree in tuition and tons of university debt on the banks. Then one must not wonder if such people leave journalism after a few years! The argument: either you have journalism in your armor or not, is not enough. The reporter has to be paid decent, so he is also willing to work 12 hours a day to introduce himself to the public by his name, voice or binette. The argument goes on to say that the reporter would not do anything without the press, because he could not write anything, so the public would not be known, thus, an extortion based on the ego-trip. The journalist, often referred to in the society as paperazzi, must also be respected financially. But first I see pitch black! If you want to see the press as a fourth pillar of democracy, you should consider that a must!

CNS - Caisse Nationale de Santé
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