Meghan Markle says ‘economy for attention’ online and in the media is ‘toxic’

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The 19th via AP
The 19th via AP

The Duchess of Sussex has spoken about the “toxicity” that exists on line and in the media, explaining what she and the Duke of Sussex described as an “economy for attention”.

On Friday 14 August, the duchess spoke at a virtual summit organised by The 19th, a non-profit, non-partisan newsroom based in the US.

While interviewing The 19th co-founder and CEO Emily Ramshaw, Meghan outlined how often “salacious” stories are used to “grab someone’s attention”, rather than stories embedded in truth.

“There’s so much toxicity out there is what’s being referred to, my husband and I talk about it often, this economy for attention,” the 39-year-old said.

“That is what is monetisable right now when you’re looking at the digital space and media.”

The duchess continued, stating: “So if you are just trying to grab someone’s attention and keep it you’re going for something salacious versus something truthful.”

Meghan said that “once we can get back to the place” where reporters are “just telling the truth” and “telling it through a compassionate or empathetic lens”, doing so will “help bind people as community”.

“I think at the moment we are feeling more of a disconnect in a space where we could be feeling more of a connection,” she added.

The Duchess of Sussex, who recently moved to a new home in Santa Barbara, California with the Duke of Sussex and their one-year-old son, Archie, stated her belief that many people have become so “comfortable” with the information circulated in the media that it “becomes noise as opposed to truth and accurate journalism“.

In this image provided by The 19th, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, right, appears during an interview with Emily Ramshaw, co-founder and CEO of “The 19th.” (The 19th via AP)
In this image provided by The 19th, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, right, appears during an interview with Emily Ramshaw, co-founder and CEO of “The 19th.” (The 19th via AP)

“You want to have trust in journalism and you want to have trust in what you are reading in the hope that it’s fact,” Meghan said.

“We have 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.”

During the summit, the duchess opened up about how it felt to have returned to the US, saying that it is “good to be home”.

Meghan said it was “devastating” to see the state of the US, also addressing the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred after the murder of George Floyd in May.

“In the weeks that were happening after the murder of George Floyd, in the peaceful protests we were seeing, in the voices that were coming out, in the way that people were actually owning their role and acknowledging the role that they played either actively or passively in the discrimination of other people, specifically the black community, it shifted from sadness to a feeling of absolute inspiration because I could see that the tide is turning,” she said.

“And being a part of using my voice in a way that I haven’t been able to of late,” the duchess added. ”So, yeah, it’s good to be home.”

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