Friday, 20 October 2017

How mainstream media churnalism works

One of the most common complaints about the mainstream media is the way that instead of holding the powerful to account, a significant proportion of these so-called journalists are more than happy to act as mouthpieces for governments, corporations, bankers, arms dealers, and billionaires.

Here's a fantastic example of a mainstream media hack lazily regurgitating a press release from a press agency representing the interests of the multinational biotechnology corporation Monsanto, and presenting it to readers as if it's news.

Here's a screen shot of the press release (link here)

And here's a screen shot of the article published in The S*n (no way am I posting a link to that vile right-wing propaganda rag, Google it yourself if you really want to look at the whole thing)

Notice how the S*n article copies the rhetoric of the press release word for word. If you take the time to look at the whole article, the entire thing is cut n' pasted from the press release, without the slightest effort to introduce any balance or critical analysis whatever.

Aside from the fact that the S*n writer Carl Stroud is absolutely taking the piss claiming a salary for apparently doing nothing more than cut n' pasting press releases instead of actually writing articles himself, this is about as clear a demonstration of what is wrong with modern mainstream media journalism as it's possible to see.

If mainstream media journalists are prepared to simply cut n' paste press releases from major corporations, then it's beyond obvious that they do it with press releases from the government too.

Tony Blair and Alistair Campbell were masters at manipulating the press, because they realised that if they fed journalists press releases in the form of pre-written articles, they'd just lazily rehash the government message instead of doing any real investigative work.

The Tories continued this tactic when they came to power, and that's why it was so uncommon to see anything resembling sustained criticism of the Tories' economically ruinous obsession with hard-right austerity dogma, because loads of so-called journalists were just lazily rehashing government press releases instead of actually doing the hard work of trying to hold the ruling class to account.

There's a growing level of groupthink amongst mainstream media pundits to furiously attack independent media or anyone who dares criticise the woeful standard of so much mainstream media journalism, but rather than bitterly attack their critics and self-righteously pose as the poor innocent victims, maybe mainstream media hacks should take a good long look at examples like this to get an idea of why more and more people are getting completely hacked off with mainstream media outlets, and are turning to independent media sources for their political analysis instead?

Credit to George Monbiot for originally spotting that the press release and the article in The S*n were identical.
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