How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Media's Unnatural Selection
Guest articles > Media's Unnatural Selection
by: David Friesen
Mainstream news has evolved from it's once truth-motivated deep-digging
journalistic past into a conglomerate of sensationalized narrative pushing
pundits. During the era of respectable news reporting there would be attention
directed towards the different perspectives one could have on a specific issue
and discuss the validity of each perspective based on fact, whereas now they
cherry pick stories that will generate a desired reaction from their viewers. If
the story is innately in contradiction to their narrative they will spin it by
manipulating the context and muddying the issue with semantic babble to distract
it's viewers from the incompatibility between the facts and their stance on the
Now you might be asking, what kind of journalist or reporter would endanger their credibility by partaking in this? Well, not a lot of them. The truth is there are still lots of journalists and reporters doing great work in the field. The problem is just they don't get the platform in which they can reach the amount of people that entities like Fox News, CNN, The Sun, or The Daily Mail can.
This is where the systemic filter comes into play. The journalists, reporters, and anchors I would categorize as 'good' get discarded in the job interview process. I'll use the beloved Fox News as an example. It's pretty well accepted that they're a mouthpiece for the Republican party, if they're interviewing a guy/girl who is a self respecting deep digging journalist who expresses interest in investigating Bush's invasion of Iraq, he would be dismissed and discarded like yesterday's news because that information would hurt the Republican Party who have a vested interest in people thinking the war was justified. This type of dismissive attitude in employers is great if it were dismissive of anything that wasn't truthful because you would sift through dishonest or dubious people and end up with only the most honest and truth motivated employees which is what journalism is all about. But you take truth out of the equation and replace it with say the livelihood of the Left Wing Party you very quickly find yourself spitting out false, bias, out of context information to the detriment of the Right Wing party.
NOTE I am using Right/Left politics merely as an example as it is easiest to articulate. I am not saying these are the only people at fault. Celebrity gossip for example is just as guilty of manipulation and sensationalism as are many many more subjects of reporting.
What you ultimately get from these news entities with a vested interest in anything other than the truth, is a group of people who share a common interest and argue within certain pre established parameters so as not to disrupt or conflict with that common interest. Media entities evolve not through survival of the fittest, but rather the preservation of an interest in an Unnatural Selection of sorts (Darwin would be proud…). Whether the interest be Right or Left Wing, sensationalism and fear, or maximum audience growth you get a dubious factory in the business of manufacturing false information. False information leads to an uneducated society and as I've said before, an uneducated society leads to opportunity for corruption and destruction of democracy.
Author: David Friesen
Contributor: David Friesen
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