As you’ve probably already heard, several different alternative media outlets have been dubbed as ‘fake news,’ according to Facebook, who recently teamed up with Snopes and the Walt Disney Corporation (ABC News), among others, to determine what exactly this is. This sparked outrage among many, because Facebook is now taking the steps to censor information and what people see within their news feeds. Who are they to determine what is real and what is fake? Are people not capable enough to determine this for themselves? NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden put it best, that the solution here is not to censor what people read but rather teaching people how to think critically.(source)(source)
What also resulted from this announcement was an influx of criticism towards mainstream media, as millions of readers of alternative media had already dubbed them the real ‘fake news.’ For example, three time presidential candidate Ron Paul released a list of “journalists” who colluded with the Clinton campaign. You can view that list HERE. Multiple mainstream media journalists have also come forward explaining how corporate/government owned mainstream media constantly dish out lies and propaganda to serve their own interests.
Dr. Udo Ulfokottee, Sharyl Attkisson, and Amber Lyon, among many others are a great example. This began with the inception of mainstream media as illustrated by Operation Mockingbird, a CIA campaign to influence media in the US as well as internationally decades ago. It seems that this type of thing hasn’t stopped, which was also made more evident this year as millions followed the elections and became aware of all the fraud via Wikileaks,’ not that Wikileaks was even needed to confirm this.
Here is a great article on this subject by Professor James Tracy, first published in August 2015, it is of particular relevance in relation to the “fake news” campaign directed against the alternative media.
You can view/read more examples about that, as well as more on this ‘fake news’ debacle in a previous article we published here.
Alternative media has collectively amassed billions of views over the past few years, and this is something our world has never seen before given the fact that only a handful of people and the corporations they run own all of the media and news networks. For years, these corporations have been giving us our news, and are also owned by the same group of people who control almost all aspects of our lives, from food, to health/finance, education and more. All you have to do is take a look at the share-holders.
Now that people are looking for alternative sources, and seeing through many of the problems associated with corporate media, it seems the elite are panicking. They want all eyes on them, and when those eyes start drifting away, they will do anything to try and bring them back.
This clip from the Thrive documentary is a great example of the consolidation of power today, and how we don’t really live in a democracy, but a ‘corporatocracy.’ The mainstream media is a central hub for this type of powers structure, unfortunately.
The Pope on Journalism
Not long ago, Pope Francis met with Italy’s national council of journalists at the Vatican’s Clementine Hall, calling for the importance of respect and human dignity, urging journalists that the profession can never be used as a weapon or to nourish fear.
“There are few professions which have such influence on society as does journalism. The journalist has a role of great importance, and at the same time a great responsibility. In a certain sense you wrote the ‘first draft of history’…introducing persons to the meaning of events.” (source)
The Pope makes a good point here, and gives us all something to think about when it comes to media. We must put our critical thinking caps on and learn to examine information from multiple outlets if we are truly interested in determining what is happening in our world. We cannot continue to rely on only a handful of media outlets for our source of information.
Reuters and The Huffington Post points out that, “In Italy, a number of newspapers are highly politicized and are regularly used to discredit those with different political views, sometimes reporting unsubstantiated rumors about their private lives.” A great example would be the mainstream media outlets there in 2009 which were owned by the prime-minister. Conflict of interest wouldn’t you say?
The pope also went on to point out that journalism today is used as a “weapon of destruction against persons and even entire peoples.”
The first thing that comes to my head here is ‘Islamaphobia,’ and all of the false events that mainstream media continues to report on and perpetuate. This is what the pope, in my opinion. is hinting at, the culture of fear that’s been created.
Perhaps the best example in recent history was 9/11. Even today, studies are being published that pretty much make it clear that all three buildings were destroyed by controlled demolition. Here’s a great example that was published last year in the magazine of the European Physical Society.
“Journalism based on gossip or rumors is a form of terrorism and media that stereotype entire populations or foment fear of migrants are acting destructively.” (source)
This is why it’s always encouraging to hear those with a big reach ‘condemn’ mainstream media, and Pope Francis was one of them, emphasizing how he often speaks of gossip as a form of “terrorism” which kills with the tongue. He said that “if this applies to individuals with family or at work, it applies all the more to journalists, because their voice reachers everyone, and this is a very powerful weapon….I hope that more and more journalism everywhere is a tool of construction, a factor for the common good, an accelerator of process of reconciliation; that it may know how to reject the temptation of stirring up confrontation, with language that fans the flames of division, instead favouring the culture of encounter.” (source)
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