It seems to have become commonplace to talk about violence and insecurity in our daily lives. The news that reach us, while reinforcing this sensation, naturalize wars, murders, aggressions, when they insistently expose us to details and images with which, after the initial impact, we become familiar with it all. The speed with which news and facts are published in the media, always in search of novelty and exclusivity, dehumanizes relationships, privileging the fact to the detriment of the suffering of the people involved, whether in wars, environmental or family tragedies. In search of testimonies in moments of extreme fragility something is rationalized that it was not even possible to process internally. The same occurs with family members who have lost their elders in homes for the elderly, forced to externalize their pain to avid spectators of images and news, as we saw during the most acute phase of the pandemic in the media in various parts of the world. It was not a constant in the media because in some territories, news and facts about the pandemic and even talking about a pandemic were banned, censored and self-censored so as not to inform and report the facts.
It is also up to the media to “choose” what will or won’t be on the news the next day. And often that choice is global, news agencies determine what is and isn't important to people in their locations. The multiple forms of violence are simplified when the press privileges only crimes. However, for the social sciences it remains a challenge to understand the phenomenon of violence and the multiple facets that fit under this label. We must necessarily consider the existence of numerous components in the violent scene: the victim, the aggressor, the relatives and friends of both, the police officers and all the public that consumes the daily facts in its multiple media platforms, as well as the own platforms. Who are the victims of violence? And your aggressors, why do they do it? Dialectically, victims, aggressors, spectators and the media leave marks on each other, as they participate in the same socially constructed process.
Considering that the dialogue of cultures should be one of the characteristics of our time, it is worth emphasizing that a new way of living alterity would be necessary, with the affirmation of the exteriority of the other that comes along with its recognition as a subject. This time would cry out for self-improvement, which would imply the epiphany of the other. In this aspect, the question that arises is how can the media, which, in a broad sense, range from interpersonal relationships to massive processes, contribute to propagate respect for the other, for the different, for the strange, for the foreigner?
The theme “Media, violence and otherness. The multiple facets of a global reality” is in line with the research themes developed by the Latin America, Europe, Caribbean International Network (ALEC), which seeks to work for human rights; to build specialized knowledge about the realities and forms of discrimination that affect vulnerable populations, in the different continents and territories in which it operates, in the family, at work, in society, in the educational, health, social fields and in the context of diversity, the environment , of conflicts; contribute to cultural and social change, as well as advise and support the construction of public policies through viable alternative solutions and differentiated practices between men and women, based on respect, equity, recognition and development of rights, empowerment, resilience and inclusion of vulnerable populations, among others.
In this context, articles related to the current global, social and financial crisis due to the pandemic are welcome. However, we seek to focus more broadly on the media phenomenon as an everyday experience in which global hegemonic powers confront local resistance in the search for the recognition of the Other.