Fez - In the light of what is going on in the so-called national media, this title comes as a reaction to the necessity of questioning the hidden agendas of our media, particularly those presented on national TV involving foreign programs. These programs are produced in different contexts for audiences with different languages, lifestyles, ways of thinking, norms, and values—audiences who, in one way or another, are different from us.
Fez – In the light of what is going on in the so-called national media, this title comes as a reaction to the necessity of questioning the hidden agendas of our media, particularly those presented on national TV involving foreign programs. These programs are produced in different contexts for audiences with different languages, lifestyles, ways of thinking, norms, and values—audiences who, in one way or another, are different from us.
As it is defined, media is a means of informing, transmitting messages and meanings to different types of audiences, teaching ethical morals, and, most importantly, a means of fostering and enriching cultural values of a group of people living in a certain context. It is also an effective way of enhancing people’s awareness of polemical and serious issues in society.
The giant role of media has to be praised and encouraged as long as the local taste is taken into account during the process of production. Once the media meets the underlined objectives and needs of the Moroccan audience, everybody will applaud and voice their pride.
Nevertheless, it becomes a big problem when the media becomes a means of destruction and backwardness of societies through its shows and productions without taking into account the local culture of the audience. Media has a crucial role in shaping people’s identities and promoting spiritual belongings and ties to a community. Because through it, we discover ourselves and reflect on the way we think and live as a distinctive group. Through it, we open the gate to the world outside, perceive it and sense it not as alien and strange, but as a partner and collaborator, since it is believed that the other is a mirror of the self.
There has been a constant plea to revitalize and revive the role of media in promoting one’s belonging to the home, but without response. Recently, King Mohammed VI insisted on the pride of belonging to this nation but media producers are not supporting and consolidating this national mission and duty. On the contrary, they are making people alienated and strange in their country.
The idea of being alienated in our country is strongly reinforced and confirmed by national TV programs in the name of openness and cultural exchange. These programs, prosaic in their nature, are taken from different sources: Turkish, Mexican, Indian, and even Japanese, which are translated into the Moroccan Arabic to be easily understood even by the commoners.
The act behind translation is done deliberately to promote “understanding” and “appreciation” of such series, and this fact creates more harm and damage to being proud of one’s belongings to this nation. In the bosom of this amalgam of series, one has to ask a few questions: who is going to benefit from these second hand soap operas, which are identical in their scenarios? Are there any scientific and educational benefits in these series? Do we need others to teach us love and conflict? Where are we in these series?
The problem here is that culture is taken out of its context and replaced by another one that is totally different from ours, and introducing the modified culture as an alternative and a good way of living and thinking. We are softly and unconsciously becoming alienated and exiled in our home through media conquering and occupation of minds. We, therefore, start to act like the other, as media tries to foster and present it as civilized, cultivated, and open-minded. To achieve this aim, Moroccan media invites its audience to become westernized and embrace its “ideal” norms and values, and deserts all that is native, local and unique.
This hurting reality brings about a sort of dilemma among people who are neither here nor there, but rather caught between the cogs and unable to identify themselves with the other, as the other refuses the self to be wholly fused and melt into its “pure” body.
The other rejects the self as being a permanent potential threat to its “superior” identity. Today, there are racist voices in Western countries, which believe in the “purity” of European blood, and thus it has not to be mixed with the other who, according to the self, is an “alien”, a “danger”, a “threat” to European identity, and “barbarous” in its nature. The rise of the right wings in France, the UK, and Italy marks a radical change in the European mind towards issues of nationalism, identity, belonging, and patriotism.
It is time to stop this massive killing and smuggling of our cultural identity by our media and launch a national discussion by media experts, producers, educators, stakeholders and decision-makers about what should be done to rescue what is to be rescued. Otherwise, the cost will be great and will be paid by coming generations. We want our people to be proud of their identity and citizenship, and feel exclusively part of a very antique civilization through using media as a tool to dig into the history of our country. We have two options: to celebrate our rich history or to wait for others to distort it.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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