The Global Council for Media Transformation will initiate the transformation of media by introducing a charter designed to encourage media to turn away from reporting in the national interest and embrace a new style and perspective of reporting that places the collective human interest as its center. Beginning at CGI, the Global Council will collect feedback and endorsements on the draft charter (available during the conference in September) from members and other attendees. The charter will then be shared publicly - online and through events and discussions worldwide - and endorsements by individuals and organizations will be collected from around the globe. The Global Council will collect endorsements from 10,000 individuals in the first year and will be adopted by media operating in 25 countries by CGI 2010--reflecting wide geographic and linguistic diversity. Over five years, the Global Council will collect endorsements from ten million individuals and will be adopted by media operating in 100 countries. Through the reach of those media who adopt the charter, we anticipate over 100 million individuals will be impacted.
In addition to building support for the charter, the Global Council will work to increase the public's comprehension of the need for a new media structure that highlights human interconnectedness. The Global Council will accomplish this in several ways: By convening discussions among media and community leaders; by issuing guidelines relating to implementation of the charter; and by designing an accountability structure that will call attention to those outlets that have been most successful in making this transition. These activities will begin after the goals outlined for the first year of the project have been met.
Media serves two functions: It enables us as human beings to grasp the world around us as it changes and serves as a method of engaging the public in issues and events as they occur. In broad terms the existing media structure came of age in the era of the nation state - causing media outlets, regardless of size, location, obscurity or reputation, to instinctively take a local or national posture in their reporting of events. The result is that globally, the public consumes a story (the same story) that has been interpreted through dozens of different national and geographical prisms giving it as many different meanings. If media instinctively takes a posture where its coverage highlights the local interpretation of any given issue, then it fundamentally fails to reveal the more profound meaning of events in regards to humanity as a whole. Simultaneously such coverage serves to reinforce an 'us/them' attitude, a self-interested mind-set, rather than a cooperative 'we' mentality where the consumer comes to identify with the overarching human challenge in question. Once people repeatedly receive information from the media that establishes the reality of our interdependence they will begin to understand its implications. And at that point they will act with the global community in mind, driving change.
These comments are not intended to decry existing media organizations. Existing media is simply functioning along lines of reason that were perfectly appropriate and acceptable when it came of age in the 19th and 20th centuries. However, this is in a new era of transnational challenges. This era is marked by a single, global, human community defined by profound interdependence and interconnectedness. The media must bring itself into the 21st century. The media must update its voice and perspective by embracing the global reality of human interdependence. In this one, global community, the media must fulfill its responsibility, unique to journalism, to inform and educate the public by fostering the global citizen's capacity to successfully recognize, understand and manage the world's very real human interdependence. Only media plays this kind of cross-cutting role. Journalism is able to educate, build perception and shape understanding of this new-found reality and it must be updated to address this dramatic change in the human condition. That is why the Global Council for Media Transformation seeks to transform the media. This commitment is designed to initiate that change.
ORBmedia is seeking partners that can help it achieve its ambitious goals. It plans to serve a global audience with reliable, independent, accessible content on topics that are of interest to a global community. In particular, ORBmedia seeks funding and access to tools to facilitate or scale its work.