Wednesday, October 28, 2015


MainStreamMedia - the business practice has evolved over the years.

When folks had access to just a couple of newspapers, a couple of radio and TV stations, news services were valued for timely informational content, for clarifying things.  When hundreds of channels and internet sites appeared, competing news services began adjusting their focus and presentation, targeting ideological segments of the market.

Revenues depend on ratings which depend on engagement which requires selective and emphasized presentations designed to appeal to and capture a particular audience.

This isn't really freedom of the press, is it.  Perhaps MSM is really MildlyStupidMusings or MoreSlantedMush, but it's not 'just the news' any more.  We all know that.

Actually, it's advertising.
If you were to use the same visual and narrative framework from MSM for, say, a new car model, it would look like today's advertising. The elements are the same, offering the appearance of information but actually designed and presented to appeal, to persuade, to reinforce a particular slant.  Whether the content is political, ideological, or cultural, it's a slanted sales pitch.  (That's the description of propaganda, by the way.)

Watching the news, the only thing we know for sure is that none of the MSM providers are 'fair and balanced'.  Knowing the direction and degree of bias for a provider helps.

The result of competitive propagandizing is the polarization we see today, a marked increase over recent decades.  Republicans and Democrats are farther apart than at any time in history, and both are extreme or nearly so.  Liberals and conservatives have little middle ground they share.

Most of us have deliberately chosen to distrust advertising.  We understand it's more persuasion than information.  We might reconsider our preference in information sources and our willingness to accept content just because it matches our preferences.   That isn't objectivity.  It isn't even honesty, is it.  Wouldn't we be better served by a more thoughtful consideration of all sides of an issue?

Def/Ref:  Media bias occurs when the media systematically emphasizes one particular point of view in a way that contravenes the standards of professional journalism. Claims of media bias include liberal bias, conservative bias, mainstream bias, and corporate bias. To combat this, a variety of watchdog groups research and report the facts behind both biased reporting and unfounded claims of bias.  Research about media bias is now a subject of systematic scholarship in a variety of academic and business disciplines.  Note: that includes how to do propaganda effectively.

28 OCT 17 - Note: as an outsider observed today, MSM bias limits their content to fit their narrative.  The issues are much more complex than the simplistic headlines provide.
The problem, perhaps, is that there is much in government, politics, and business that needs to be transparent. Obama personally advised Trump not to appoint Michael Flynn as national security advisor, a warning Trump ignored. Flynn sat in on classified briefings with Trump while he was at the same time employed by foreign interests. Flynn's 24 day tenure is the shortest in the history of the office; he turned out to be both untruthful and deceptive, and was asked to resign. Later, we find out he was involved in political efforts in the U.S. by Russia and Turkey.