It is likely that most of you receive your news from what is generally called the ‘mainstream media’.
It is also likely that you are under the impression that journalists thoroughly investigate the material for their stories and then write their articles or present their news programmes truthfully telling us what is happening around the world in a clear and unbiased manner.
Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth.
Most of the mainstream media most of the time produce what can only be described as propaganda.
This is no exaggeration, we are being fed ‘news’ items that are selected for publication rather than being truly informed about a wide range of events.
More frequently the ‘news’ seems to include many reports of a nature that ought to be categorised as ‘entertainment’ rather than news and presented by ‘personalities’ rather than journalists.
The reason for this appalling situation is that the mainstream media is currently run by just a few very large corporations; the media has indeed become ‘big business’.
The result of this corporate ownership of the media is that the information we receive as ‘news’ is very much dependent upon the agendas of these corporations and will inevitably be heavily biased in favour of their specific vested interests, their business profits, political connections and any other issues that are of benefit to them.
The corporations decide what information is published and what information is suppressed and sadly informing the public of the truth does not seem to feature highly on their agendas, if at all.
Writing in his book, The New Media Monopoly, about the five corporations that own most of the media outlets in America, the award-winning American author, journalist and media critic, Ben Bagdikian said,
“The Five have become major players in altering the politics of the country. They have been able to promote new laws that increase their corporate domination and that permit them to abolish regulations that inhibit their control. Their major accomplishment is the 1996 Telecommunications Act. In the process, power of media firms, along with all corporate power in general, has diminished the place of individual citizens.”
Under this corporate-dominated regime, compliant journalists are told what to report and of course what not to report.
In England for example, it was discovered by journalist and author Nick Davies in a research study he commissioned for his book, Flat Earth News, that many stories are just copied from News Agencies or from Press Releases without any corroboration of the material before being published.
But that is not the correct role of a journalist. Journalists should not be subjected to an authoritarian agenda, they should be independently gathering information about events and reporting to the public through newspapers and magazines or via television and radio programmes.
Although far too many journalists currently tow the corporate line, there are still some journalists who remain true to the purpose of their profession, to investigate and report real stories.
One of the most outspoken of these real investigative journalists is the very highly respected John Pilger.
This is what he has to say about the current state of the profession of journalism,
“In one sense, the Wikileaks revelations shame the dominant section of journalism devoted merely to taking down what cynical and malign power tells it. This is state stenography, not journalism.”
As a journalist whose books, articles and documentaries are usually about events within fields of conflict, John Pilger’s reference to Wikileaks is pertinent because most of the recent Wikileaks revelations have been about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Wikileaks has made this important information available directly to the public, unlike the controlled mainstream media outlets. And, unlike the mainstream media again, Wikileaks acts responsibly by verifying the authenticity of any information received before it is published.
John Pilger has recently made another revealing yet disturbing film called The War You Don’t See that includes an interview with Julian Assange, the editor in chief of Wikileaks. They discuss, amongst other matters relating to war, how Wikileaks collects information and how it safeguards the identity of whistleblowers. They also talk about the leaked video of the Apache helicopter attack on civilians that included the deaths of two Reuters employees, which is the video referred to as ‘Collateral Murder’.
You can watch a clip of the film, The War You Don’t See, and read an article by John Pilger about it from the link HERE
An extended version of the interview with Julian Assange, which is compelling viewing, can be watched from the link HERE
If you are not familiar with Wikileaks or you have only read about the website and Julian Assange in the mainstream media, please watch this video.
If you have any doubts about the importance of the work of good, independent, investigative journalists and the very real threats to their existence from corporations and government agencies, please watch the following video clips of John Pilger’s presentation at the Sydney Peace Foundation award ceremony in March 2011.
Part 1 HERE
Part 2 HERE
There is also a full version of this presentation at the Foundation ceremony at which they awarded their “gold medal for peace with justice” to Julian Assange HERE
Although in his presentation John Pilger is referring specifically to Australia, his words apply to all of us everywhere.
If you value your freedom to information and the freedom of the media to report the truth, please watch and read everything available from the links in this blog.
It is only through gaining knowledge about the true nature of reality that we can free ourselves from the attempts by the corporate-controlled media to disseminate propaganda to control our perception of reality.