Meghan Markle 'misses' social media says royal expert
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Meghan Markle’s stance on the media has been rejected by leading CEO Melody Hobson, who argued that both the mainstream media and social media platforms could help encourage young people to be “ambitious”. In an in-depth conversation with The New York Times DealBook Online Summit, the Duchess of Sussex argued that “click-bait culture” was damaging for women and young girls, and was focused more on “creating the news than reporting the news”. Both Meghan and Prince Harry have been outspoken on their views of the media, accusing it of the spread of misinformation and division.
During the conversation, which was titled: “Minding The Gap”, Meghan told host Andrew Ross Sorkin “The entire environment of social media, not just social media but media in a broader sense as well, I think there is really legitimate media but at the moment, you see in many ways social media feeding into that.
“So it becomes a race to the bottom because this clickbait culture has made it so that something that’s salacious is more interesting and gets more pickup and can be monetized.
“So that ends up being the thing that feeds the entire environment of the media.
“I think the challenging piece there is that in many ways because it is so quick and rapid in how it’s being delivered, it’s about creating the news rather than reporting the news.
“The damaging effects of that, specifically for women, especially for young girls is impossible to even quantify.”
The conversation, which was conducted alongside Mellody Hobson, was focused on how women can achieve professional and economic parity and saw Meghan discuss her recent campaign to Congress for a national paid leave policy.
Ms Hobson, the co-CEO and president of Ariel Investments, hit back at Meghan’s summary of the media, saying: “It can be harnessed for good, it can be harnessed in the other way.
“I’ve been watching the Muhammad Ali documentary by Ken Burns, that’s a classic example of a look back at an individual who was extraordinarily controversial at the time and just being able to see the totality of their impact on a society and understand the greatness that was there.
“So the question is, how can we very, very carefully curate some of those messages especially for young people in a way that will them again to be this ambitious and aspire for that same kind of greatness.”
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The Duchess of Sussex has spoken out against the media on a number of occasions since leaving the Royal Family.
During her and Prince Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, Meghan spoke of the “media frenzy” she had endured and its impact on her mental health.
The couple also spoke of the “invisible contract” between Buckingham Palace and the British press, with the duchess claiming: “There’s a reason that these tabloids have holiday parties at the Palace. They’re hosted by the Palace, the tabloids are. You know, there is a construct that’s at play there.”
Harry meanwhile, has spoken several times of his fear that history was “repeating itself”, a reference to Princess Diana who died in a car crash whilst being pursued by the paparazzi.
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Whilst Meghan was conducting her discussion with the New York Times, Harry was appearing on a panel for the Internet Lie Machine, organised by US magazine Wired, which was focused on social media and the spread of misinformation.
The former royal revealed that he had warned Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey the day before the January 6 Capitol riots that “his platform was allowing a coup to be staged”.
He also branded misinformation a “global humanitarian crisis” and spoke of his and Meghan’s efforts to tackle social media negativity.
The couple have been increasingly busy over the last few months, with Meghan entering the political sphere with her lobbying efforts for a national paid leave policy and Harry writing his memoir and working his role as Chief Impact Officer at BetterUp.
The Sussexes stepped down from the Royal Family in January 2020 in order to pursue more independent lives, and have since relocated to California.
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