One of the very few things I've realized about truth is that it has many versions. One of those many versions is the objective one backed by accurate evidence which derived from the first-hand experiences of the people. And the other is the version we peddle based on the interests it serves us. In a few words, we've always been living in - what we usually thought of as a 21st century phenomenon - the post-truth world.

Truth has always had these many versions in the past. It was the state monopoly on information which has - quite successfully - managed to keep those versions from clashing with each other. What the 21st century did, in my opinion, was to strip the state of their monopoly through the technological advancement of media. This removal of state monopoly on information has, for the first time, paved the way for those versions of truth to clash with each other which made the visible line between true and false blurrier.

Now why did I say blurrier and not just blur? Because I made no such implications that the state monopoly on information was a good thing and therefore, should be reinstated. The 'visible' line I've talked about in the previous paragraph was actually pretty blurred. And that line was already blurred by an erasure with the ability to manipulate. That line was the version peddled by the state in a way that serves their interests the most. Truth was never supposed to be altered, filtered, trimmed or in any way shaped for so called 'greater good'. In my opinion, truth was always supposed to be unfiltered. And that's the beauty of it. That's the purpose of truth.

What we're living in now, in my opinion, is the age of clashes of those many versions of truth. While the versions - mostly peddled by one group or the other for their own interests - clashing on the streets, the actual truth, experienced and faced by many on those streets, is the one visibly losing ground. These clashes now have turned into a game of chicken: Peddle as long as your opponent refuses to concede or lose and become irrelevant in the ongoing discourse. What this phenomenon has done is to risk removing the already blurring line between the truth and outright false. In this day and age, there's nothing called false anymore. It's just their 'version' of the truth. And in this grand conflict between the versions of the truth, the state apparatus has once again found its long lost glory of monopoly on information.

Does that mean people have stopped caring about the truth? In short, no they haven't. Even now, people do care about the truth even though it sounds too good to be true. People care about the truth and that's why they've consciously moved on from leaders like Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro. People care about the truth and that's why they're on the streets protesting against the oppressors who have peddled their versions of the truth long enough to try and destroy the truth of ordinary people.

We are diggers. We've been digging for our survival since the inception of humankind. Therefore, no matter how many versions of truth there are, we always tend to get to the bottom of it. But unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity or the motivation to do exactly that.

That's where the media comes in. In an ideal world, the media was supposed to dig and present the unfiltered truth to the public. It was only the unfiltered truth - the one people face and experience everyday - which was meant to strip the state apparatus and the corporations of its monopoly on information. It was only the unfiltered truth which was meant to challenge the existing versions that only serve our personal interest or fall in line with our personal views that are extremely filtered and constructed. But to our shame, the media has completely failed to do that. Maybe because we don't live in an ideal world.

State-imposed censorship as well as the everyday practice of self-censorship have made the media that ideally came into existence to become a check on those who sit on the highest level of power and as Trevor Noah once said, "to give voice to those who otherwise won't have one" - toothless. Does that mean, media doesn' tell the truth at all? Of course it does. But how often do we see the unfiltered truth about what's really happening around us? Media houses often can not afford to report on the rising inflation and how it's affecting our livelihoods without comparing it to the reality of our neighboring countries. Because that's what makes it look good despite what people's sufferings suggest.

It's not hard to understand. It's definitely becoming harder to inform our public in an environment where freedom of press is extremely limited. But "that's what the public demands," or "people don't want to hear the truth" is not the way to go. As a fourth estate, the Media should present the unfiltered truth in front of the people with evidence. It's our duty to keep speaking the truth even if someone tells us that's not something they want to hear about right now. Otherwise, it would be wise to name your allegiance on top of your front page or in your TV scroll and become irrelevant.

Alan Barth, an American journalist and author once said: "News is only the first rough draft of history".

This view was later echoed by Phil Graham of The Washington Post. In a rough draft, mistakes will be made. We'll hit roadblocks while pursuing the truth. But that's the game. We need to keep digging. We need to keep speaking the absolute and unfiltered truth. And most importantly, we need to keep the hands of state apparatus off the truth.

To win the fight against many versions of the truth in this great game of chicken, we must keep telling the one backed by evidence, the one which is not in any shape or form filtered, altered or trimmed. In short, by letting it have its day!

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