Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Western Media Propaganda Arm of Empire

The evidence should be clear more now than ever. News organizations are tools of specific segments of ruling class political opinion. The only reason to "read" them is to understand what agendas are being advanced and foisted upon the general public.

It is here that the truest form of democracy we have access to in late capitalist society exists - the "democracy" of the commodity purchase, in this case the purchase of propaganda. The news we buy and read tilts the economic landscape this way and that. So it seems that all we have left is to "vote with our dollars."

That, or reject the entire corrupt edifice wholesale.

From an excellent article by Toni Solo:
The main reason now to read most Western Bloc corporate media is to discover what lies they are spreading on behalf of their countries’ governments and corporations. In the case of Venezuela, Carlin’s piece indicates that one can expect a ratcheting up of the propaganda war against Venezuela over the next year or so.


But perhaps the most relevant point about Carlin’s particular brand of misreporting is that it confirms the intimate links between European mainstream media and European country governments and security services. Carlin’s piece is very much in the style of an older UK anti-journalist called Chapman Pincher. Pincher used to make a comfortable career writing screeds just like Carlin’s, based on unattributable sources, smear and guilt by association, regurgitating whatever the official propaganda line of the day may happen to have been.

Solo, Toni. The Observer Exclusive: Hugo Chavez is President of Venezuela. Venezuela Analysis. 03-Feb-2008.
From the Project for Excellence in Journalism:
Journalists are unhappy with the way things are going in their profession these days. Many give poor grades to the coverage offered by the types of media that serve most Americans: daily newspapers, local TV, network TV news and cable news outlets. In fact, despite recent scandals at the New York Times and USA Today, only national newspapers ­ and the websites of national news organizations ­ receive good performance grades from the journalistic ranks.

Roughly half of journalists at national media outlets (51%), and about as many from local media (46%), believe that journalism is going in the wrong direction, as significant majorities of journalists have come to believe that increased bottom line pressure is "seriously hurting" the quality of news coverage. This is the view of 66% of national news people and 57% of the local journalists questioned in this survey.

Journalists at national news organizations generally take a dimmer view of state of the profession than do local journalists. But both groups express considerably more concern over the deleterious impact of bottom-line pressures than they did in polls taken by the Center in 1995 and 1999. Further, both print and broadcast journalists voice high levels of concern about this problem, as do majorities working at nearly all levels of news organizations.

The notable dissent from this opinion comes from those at the top of national news organizations. Most executives at national news organizations (57%) feel increased business pressures are "mostly just changing the way news organizations do things" rather than seriously undermining quality.

Bottom-Line Pressures Now Hurting Coverage, Say Journalists. The Pew Research Center. 23-May-2004.
Of course the executives don't feel quality has gone down. Quite the contrary, from their perspective, quality has gone UP. Because the product they wish to generate has nothing to do with a free press, but with satisfying their class interest in order to secure their continued advancement upward in bourgeois society. Nevermind those pesky journalistic ideals. From a capitalist perspective, these are nothing more than product defects. The removal of which need not even be (consciously) poltically motivated.

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