Break the Power of the Media
Statement from foundation ethecon‚s board of trustees
ethecon Foundation ethics and economics strongly criticized the national and international mass media at a meeting of the board of trustees on Saturday, March 24. „Mass media are utterly at the mercy of the profit-orientation of the small group of the ultra-rich who as major stockholders own the publishing companies,“ according to ethecon board member Axel K÷hler-Schnura. When used by these media, words such as „democratic“, „independent“ and „non-partisan“ are nothing but window dressings.
Today the main goal of publishers and share-holders is no longer quality journalism, but rather maximum return. At the same time, mass media have a system-stabilizing function, as the well-known American MIT professor Noam Chomsky ascertains, „The essential task of the mass media in the proper sense is to keep people from doing more important things.“ The public is kept quiet and detracted from the prevailing conditions, and given no cause to protest against social injustice nor to offer resistance.
Ethecon advocates for the cause of basic ethical and human principles and demands that the primacy of profit be exchanged for the supremacy of solidarity and international friendship. The board of trustees calls for the implication of democratic control of the mass media instead of letting them remain subject to capitalistic dictates. The full statement may be found in the „declarations“ section of the foundation‘s website www.ethecon.org.
The ethecon Foundation is above all known through the annual bestowal of its International ethecon Blue/ Black Planet Awards in Berlin. With its positive prizes ethecon honoured in past years Diane Wilson/USA (2006), Vandana Shiva/India (2007), JosÚ Abreu und Hugo Chßvez/Venezuela (2008), Uri Avnery/Israel (2009), Elias Bierdel/Austria (2010) as well as Angela Davis/USA (2011). The censure awards went to the owners, shareholders and executive management of the following companies: Monsanto/USA (2006), NestlÚ/Switzerland(2007), Blackwater (Xe)/USA (2008), Formosa Plastics Group/Taiwan (2009), BP/Great Britain (2010) and TEPCO/Japan (2011).
In contrast to many corporate, family, church, political and state foundations, ethecon is one of the few foundations empowered by ordinary citizens. There are currently 27 endowment contributors. Following the credo „for a world without exploitation and oppression“, it see its mission in its responsibility toward coming generations. The young foundation is financed through endowment contributions, donations and sustaining memberships.