A recent poll suggests that more than 40% of Americans believe the mainstream media regularly reports news that they know to be fake or misleading. A 2012 Gallup poll found that Americans' distrust in the mainstream media was higher than it had ever been, with 60% saying they had little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Although the vast majority of people still get their information from the mainstream media - often unwittingly and inadvertently - it is clear that a growing number are growing to mistrust it.
One big factor contributing to this mistrust is the wealth of alternative journalism that is available on the Internet. I would contend that, even though the info coming from alternative media cannot always be trusted and that it has its own biases, it is much closer to the truth than the propaganda that passes for news in the mainstream. Think of Pravda and the state funded 'journalism' that came out of the Soviet Union - did we believe for a second that it was not propaganda? Is it not more than a little naïve to think that the 'news' that comes from the corporate world is not also propaganda?
How can we trust news outlets that have been caught lying so many times - everything form 'weapons of mass destruction' to the pathetic reporting in the 9/11 incident. For example, how can we trust journalism that fails to report that a third building in the World Trade Centre Complex, Building 7, fell exactly like the other two, but were not hit by a plane!!! (If you're not aware of this, by all means, look it up.) The reporting on 9/11 in general was absolutely ridiculous.
The mainstream media has many methods by which to manipulate us. Possibly the main one is just to avoid mentioning things that are embarrassing or challenging to the powers that be. For example, mention is rarely made about the crop circle phenomenon, or the chem-trails or anything that challenges the dominating info paradigms. Another method is to distract us with red herrings, non-news, celebrity gossip and things that trigger our emotions - especially fear. They are very good at manipulating language, such as dismissing any dissenting voices as 'conspiracy theorists' or terrorists, promoting labels such as 'free trade' or 'the Patriot Act', etc.
Another more sophisticated tactic is to feed us misinformation. This is defined as info that is maybe 80 or 90% true, with the remaining 20% being designed to take us off course. When stuff comes along that must be reported on, they are very skilful at misdirecting our gaze or diluting the essence of the info. There are too many examples of these methods to mention in this brief article, but I encourage you to do some investigating in order to become more familiar with these tactics.
It's good to know that in 1983, 90% of the media was owned by about 50 corporations. Nowadays it's down to 6 mega-corporations, often called the Big Six. By 'media', we're talking about TV, film, newspapers, magazines, video games and just about anything that carries any kind of information in any way. Here's a list of them:
- National Amusements owned by Sumner Redstone (Viacom, CBS, etc)
- Disney Corporation, CEO is Bob Uger (ABC, A&E, etc.)
- Time Warner - Ted Bewkes (recently purchased by AT&T) (CNN, HBO, etc.)
- Comcast - Brian L. Roberts (NBC, Universal, etc.)
- News Corp - Rupert Murdoch (Fox, National Geographic, etc.)
- Sony - Kazuo Hirai (Tri-Star, EMI, Columbia, etc.)
For a more complete profile on these companies and the many smaller companies under their massive corporate umbrellas, click here: THE BIG 6
Things are always changing, however, and there are some big players who have changed the landscape in ways that are difficult to comprehend and monitor, such asNetflix, Apple, Amazon, YouTube and Google.
Although it is 6 yrs old, this is a good video talking about the Big Six by the indomitable Abby Martin: ABBY MARTIN
Thanks to the internet (which the powers that be are trying desperately to control), and to the courage and dedication of many, there are more and more alternative news outlets that are trying to bring us a more accurate picture of things. Here is an incomplete list of some of them: ALTERNATIVE NEWS
In this age of information wars, it is difficult to know what to believe. I find it easier to know what not to believe. I've spent about 40 years looking into things and have developed my own filters. While I'm not naïve enough to think that my filters are infallible, I've learned to trust my instincts when I encounter info that feels 'fishy'. I encourage everyone to develop their own filters and to think with the heart as much as the mind.