Meghan Markle decries the ‘toxicity’ that she and Prince Harry have faced in the media – insisting that people need to focus more on ‘compassion and empathy’ to ‘change’ the world
- The Duchess of Sussex, 38, took part in a virtual summit today in which she interviewed The 19th* co-founder and CEO Emily Ramshaw
- The 19th* is a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom focused on gender and politics
- Meghan discussed how ‘clickbait’ headlines have influence, calling out news organizations that print what is ‘salacious versus what is truthful’
- ‘You want to have trust in journalism, and you want to have trust in what you’re reading, and hope that it’s fact,’ she said
- Said we’ve become ‘comfortable’ with ‘noise as opposed to truth’
- Finding Freedom author Omid Scobie discussed Meghan and Harry’s relationship with the media, saying that they felt ‘unable to defend themselves’
The Duchess of Sussex decried ‘salacious’ journalism in a new video interview today, stressing the importance of reporting done through a ‘compassionate and empathetic lens’ — while slamming what she and Prince Harry describe as the ‘toxicity’ in the ‘economy for attention.’
Meghan Markle, 38, was the finale event for The 19th* Represents 2020 Virtual Summit this week, sitting down for a one-on-one virtual interview with The 19th* co-founder and CEO Emily Ramshaw.
But the former Suits star also offered her own opinions on the state of journalism, opening up about how her ‘personal experience in the past couple years’ has changed her view on the media, noting that both she and Prince Harry share the view that there is too much emphasis based on ‘salacious’ details.
Interview: Duchess of Sussex, 38, took part in a virtual summit today in which she interviewed The 19th* co-founder and CEO Emily Ramshaw
During the Q&A, Meghan discussed how much influence that media can have — and that quite a bit of that influence can come from a single person or a single place.
‘What’s so fascinating, at least from my standpoint and my personal experience in the past couple years, is the headline headline alone, the clickbait alone, makes an imprint,’ she said.
‘That is part of how we view the world, how we interact with other people.
‘There is so much toxicity out there in what is being referred to as, my husband and I talk about it often, this to the economy for attention,’ she went on. ‘That is what is monetizable right now.
‘So if you’re just trying to grab someone’s attention, you’re going for something salacious versus what is truthful.
‘And I think that once we can get back to the place where what you’re creating is so important, where people are just telling the truth in their reporting, and telling it through a compassionate and empathetic lens, it’s gonna help bind people.
‘It’s gonna build community in a way I think that at the moment we’re feeling much more of a disconnect in a space where it could be one more of connection.’
She hopes that The 19th*, which bills itself as ‘a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy,’ will help lead the way in the kind of reporting she wants to see.
‘People are craving a change,’ she said. ‘I think in the place that we’re all in right now, people are starting to question the systems that we’ve always believed in, where we are getting our information from as well.
‘I think, you know, you want to have trust in journalism, and you want to have trust in what you’re reading, and hope that it’s fact.
‘We’ve become so, sadly, comfortable with the idea that we are just getting all this stuff and it becomes noise as opposed to truth and accurate journalism, so I think, if this can be the catalyst for reset for other news organizations, my goodness, it’s going to change the game so much.’
‘We’ve become so, sadly, comfortable with the idea that we are just getting all this stuff and it becomes noise as opposed to truth and accurate journalism,’ she said
On the subject of influence in the media, Meghan said she was recently reading an article about suffragettes, and how the term was initially coined by a man in 1906 to belittle the women involved.
‘What I find so fascinating is that was then, before digital media, before the online space, before things could travel around the world with rapid fire. And the American women who started the suffrage movement didn’t want to be called suffragettes.’
Yet the term, she said, stuck.
‘When you look at that, and when you look at it through that lens of the power of one person’s influence in the media, to be able to shape an entire movement, or way of thinking, or an ideology, or an identification, if women have their voice heard as equally, how different that would have been,’ she said.
What stuck with her about the article was ‘the ability of influence, and if it’s only coming from a patriarchal lens, how that’s shaping everything that we see.’
Meghan currently lives in Los Angeles with Prince Harry and their 15-month-old son Archie
Last week, the Duchess, who lives in Los Angeles with Prince Harry and their 15-month-old son Archie, said in a statement to Glamour: ‘The 19th*’s commitment to reporting and storytelling that lifts up those who are too often underrepresented in the media has never been more important.
‘I’m looking forward to asking the co-founder what it means to build a media outlet with gender equity, diversity, and community at its core.’
Ramshaw said the Duchess ‘reached out’ to the organization after learning of its work.
‘She [Meghan] told us that our vision for The 19th* — building a truly diverse and representative newsroom that covers women with nuance — spoke to her immediately.’
Ramshaw admitted the idea of being interviewed by Meghan is ‘surreal’.
The 19th*, which launched just two weeks ago, describes itself as ‘a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy.’
Streaming: She has made only a handful of virtual appearances since the LA move, and in July joined Prince Harry for a virtual roundtable discussion with young leaders from around the Commonwealth (pictured)
Pictured: Meghan’s address to young women around the world for the UN initiative Girl Up
Its website description reads: ‘We aim to empower women — particularly those underserved by and underrepresented in American media — with the information, community and tools they need to be equal participants in our democracy.’
The entire 19th* summit, which was held through the week, featured an impressive line-up including US Senator Kamala Harries, Melinda Gates, Hillary Clinton, and Meryl Streep.
The interview today marked Meghan’s second appearance at a virtual summit in recent weeks, following her address to young women around the world last month for the UN initiative Girl Up.
In the months since moving to Los Angeles at the start of lockdown, the Duchess of Sussex has made only a handful of virtual appearances.
In the immediate wake of the death of the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, Meghan delivered a speech to the graduating class of her former high school about racial equality and justice.
She also joined Prince Harry for a virtual roundtable discussion with young leaders from around the Commonwealth.
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