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Is Autonomy the best answer to combat balkanization? How has satellite television brought about cultural change in Indian mindsets. BPO boom in India. So, in a sense allowing journalists to get closer meant the military had more chance to try and manage the message. This documentary looked at Coalition media management for the Iraq war and noted numerous things including the following:.
In summary then, the documentary concluded and implied that the media had successfully been designated a mostly controllable role by the military, which would no doubt improve in the future. With military conflicts then, reporting raises an interesting dilemma for some; one the one hand, the military wish to present various aspects that would support a campaign, while on the other hand, a journalist is supposed to be critical and not necessarily fall in line.
Shortly after the end of the American Civil War, journalist F. Colburn Adams wrote, The future historian of the late war will have [a] very difficult task to perform … sifting the truth from falsehood as it appears in official records.
The journalist, on the other hand, is a skeptic if not a cynic and aims to seek, find and report the truth — a mission both parties often view as incompatible with successful warfare, which depends on secrecy and deception as much as superior strategy, tactics, weaponry and manpower. Often, especially when covering conflicts, the media organizations are subject to various constraints by governments, military, corporate pressure, economic interests, etc.
Sometimes, however, the media are more than willing to go along with what could be described as self-censorship, as highlighted vividly in the following:. We live in a dirty and dangerous world.
I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows. Other times, the sources of information are limited.
For example, Information warfare of a military or government might be targeted at enemy nations and groups, but often affects their own populations:.
In [many cases], the U. And when the information that military officers provide to the public is part of a process that generates propaganda and places a high value on deceit, deception and denial, then truth is indeed likely to be high on the casualty list.
Journalist Harold Evans addresses the issue of war correspondents duties, as being the challenge of patriotism versus professionalism:. The history of warfare suggests this is not a false antithesis. Governments, understandably, put a priority on nurturing the morale of the armed forces and the people, intimidating an enemy with the force of the national will They have few scruples about whether they are being fair and just as their propaganda demonizes an alien leader or even a whole population.
The enemy is doing the same to them. That is the emotion wars generate, inviting a competitive ecstasy of hate. There is a duel in vicious stereotypes in propaganda posters, illustrations and headlines; populations would be astounded if they could see how they and their leaders are portrayed by the other side.
Authority resents it when a newspaper or broadcast shades the black and white. History knows now that the Germans did not, as charged in World War I, toss Belgian babies in the air and catch them on bayonets, nor boil down German corpses for glycerin for munitions—a story invented by a British correspondent being pressed by his office for news of atrocities.
The French did not, as the German press reported, routinely gouge out the eyes of captured German soldiers, or chop off their fingers for the rings on them. Iraqi soldiers invading Kuwait did not toss premature babies out of incubators, as The Sunday Telegraph in London, and then the Los Angeles Times , reported, quoting Reuters.
It was only two years later that the whole thing was exposed for the fraud it was. But the myth galvanized public opinion at a critical moment on the need to go to war, as it was intended to. Who is the more patriotic—the government that conceals the blunders its soldiers endure, the cruelties they may inflict, or the correspondent who exposes them so that they might be rectified?
The journalists were told the families were all to be shot because someone in the street had identified them as communists. Dower, who was a commando before he was a reporter, was carrying a carbine. He used it to bully his way into the jail, where the trio of journalists found that the women had been made to kneel with their babies in front of an open pit, two machine guns at their backs. There Dower aimed his carbine at the governor and threatened: Dower, making another threat, that of publicity, secured a promise from the United Nations command in Seoul that it would stamp out such practices.
Did Dower break the normal limits of journalism? Yes, and he was right to do so. Phillip Knightley, in his award-winning book The First Casualty traces a history of media reporting of wars and conflicts and towards the end says:.
The sad truth is that in the new millennium, government propaganda prepares its citizens for war so skillfully that it is quite likely that they do not want the truthful, objective and balanced reporting that good war correspondents once did their best to provide.
The proper procedure is to drill them home by constantly presupposing them, so that they become the very condition for discourse.
It is easier to dominate someone if they are unaware of being dominated. Colonised and colonisers both know that domination is not just based on physical supremacy. Control of hearts and minds follows military conquest.
Which is why any empire that wants to last must capture the souls of its subjects. But the issue of propaganda can go beyond just war, to many other areas of life such as the political, commercial and social aspects:. When there is little or no elite dissent from a government policy, there may still be some slippage in the mass media, and the facts can tend to undermine the government line.
It is much more difficult to see a propaganda system at work where the media are private and formal censorship is absent.
This is especially true where the media actively compete, periodically attach and expose corporate and government malfeasance, and aggressively portray themselves as spokesmen for free speech and the general community interest. What is not evident and remains undiscussed in the media is the limited nature of such critiques, as well as the huge inequality of the command of resources, and its effect both on access to a private media system and on its behavior and performance.
The use of words is integral to propaganda techniques. Aaron Delwiche, at the School of Communications at the University of Washington, provides a web site discussing propaganda. Delwiche recounts how in , in the United States, the Institute for Propaganda Analysis was created to educate the American public about the widespread nature of political propaganda.
Made up of journalists and social scientists, the institute published numerous works. One of the main themes behind their work was defining seven basic propaganda devices. While there was appropriate criticism of the simplification in such classifications, these are commonly described in many university lectures on propaganda analysis, as Delwiche also points out.
Delwische further classifies these and adds a couple of additional classifications into the following:. See the previous link for descriptions of these devices. A vivid example of such use of words is also seen in the following quote:.
Since war is particularly unpleasant, military discourse is full of euphemisms. During war-time, civilian casualties are referred to as collateral damage, and the word liquidation is used as a synonym for murder.
Political Scientist and author, Michael Parenti, in an article on media monopoly , also describes a pattern of reporting in the mainstream in the U. He points out that while the mainstream claim to be free, open and objective, the various techniques, intentional or unintentional result in systematic contradictions to those claims. Furthermore, with concentrated ownership increasing as is discussed in detail in the next section on this site a narrower range of discourse can arise, sometimes without realizing.
The consequences of which are summed up by the following from UK media watchdog, MediaLens:. It involves repeating the government line without comment, thereby allowing journalists to claim neutrality as simple conduits supplying information. But it is not neutral to repeat the government line while ignoring critics of that line, as often happens. It is also not neutral to include milder criticism simply because it is voiced by a different section of the establishment, while ignoring more radical, but perhaps equally rational, critiques from beyond the state-corporate pale.
A big lesson of history is that it is wrong to assume that power, or respectability , confers rationality. Media analyst Sharon Beder describes the reality of much mainstream reporting:. Balance means ensuring that statements by those challenging the establishment are balanced with statements by those whom they are criticising, though not necessarily the other way round. Blair desperately hopes to build bridges in the Middle East. This is also a kind of propaganda based on false assumptions.
Machiavelli was kind enough to explain what every politician knows, and what almost all corporate media journalists feign not to know:. It is not essential, then, that a Prince should have all the good qualities which I have enumerated above [mercy, good faith, integrity, humanity, and religion] but it is most essential that he should seem to have them; I will even venture to affirm that if he has and invariably practises them all, they are hurtful.
In another article, MediaLens also highlights this and the impact it has on how global issues are perceived:. One of the secrets of media manipulation is to report the horror and strife of the world as though Western power, interests and machinations did not exist. Vast poverty, injustice and chaos in the Third World are depicted as unconnected to the cool oases of civilisation in Europe and the United States, which look on benignly but helplessly, or pitch in heroically to right wrongs as far as they are able.
The idea, for example, that the vast economic and military might of North America might in some way be linked to the vast poverty and suffering of neighbouring Central and South America is unthinkable. This is called honest, factual reporting.
Furthermore and while not a complete study of the mainstream media , media watchdog, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting FAIR did a study showing that there can be heavy political biases on even the most popular mainstream media outlets. They found that 92 percent of all U. Propaganda in totalitarian regimes is easy to recognize for its blatant and crude methods.
In democratic societies, propaganda exists, as most of the above attests to. But, it is harder to see. As a result, it is important to keep such elements of propaganda in mind when we see coverage of conflicts or even other issues in the media, regardless of the media organization and their apparent reputation.
In many democracies, people hold dear the freedom of speech that they are supposed to have. Yet, propaganda is to democracy what violence is to totalitarianism, notes Noam Chomsky. Public accountability of major institutions and of the government must be constantly maintained to avoid propaganda. In , the famous American journalist Walter Lippmann said that the art of democracy requires what he called the manufacture of consent.
This phrase is an Orwellian euphemism for thought control. The idea is that in a state such as the U. The Soviet Union is at the opposite end of the spectrum from us in its domestic freedoms. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the propaganda system to which we are subjected and in which all too often we serve as unwilling or unwitting instruments.
Power must be held accountable. The mainstream media is a pillar of a functioning democracy, and one of its roles therefore, is to hold power accountable.
In democracies, people like to believe that they and their countries are generally good, for if it was any other way then it brings into moral question all they know and hold dear. The histories of some nations may have involved overcoming adversaries for legitimate reasons e. Such important history is often recounted and remembered as part of the collective culture of the country and those same values are projected into modern times.
Propaganda sometimes works by creating the fear of losing such cherished values. All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it…. Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.
The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than to a small lie. For they themselves often tell little lies, but would be ashamed to tell big lies. Guiterrez, mentioned much further above, also interviews Dr.
Nancy Snow, once a propagandist for the U. According to Snow, the U. When a country goes off to war, so goes its media with it.
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