The Media Monopolies


gcarth Plus
16 3.7k 1 United Kingdom
3 Jul 2020 3:48PM
The independent Media Reform coalition’s most recent report on UK media ownership, published in 2019, revealed that the just three companies – Rupert Murdoch’s News UK, Daily Mail Group and Reach (publisher of the Mirror titles) dominate 83 per cent of the national newspaper market (up from 71 per cent in 2015).
So we should hardly be surprised if the media is full of bias!

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gcarth Plus
16 3.7k 1 United Kingdom
3 Jul 2020 3:55PM
As Media Lens says: “In reality, ‘mainstream’ ‘news’ is chock full of Pavlovian bells, trigger terms designed to shape and control public opinion. When journalists use terms like ‘secretive’ and ‘hermit’ to describe North Korea, they mean ‘Evil’. When Venezuelan presidents Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro are described as ‘leftist’, it means ‘Evil’. When Julian Assange is described as the ‘controversial’ WikiLeaks editor, it means ‘Evil’. No news reporter would refer to the ‘secretive’ US. None would label George W. Bush the ‘hardright’ US president. Barack Obama is never described as ‘controversial former US president Barack Obama’. Obama bombed seven Muslim countries, destroying Libya, but the word ‘controversial’ is not prefixed to his name in news reports. The same is true even of Trump. But why not?”

We are our already fast moving toward an Orwellian world where truth is lies and lies are truth; black is white and white is black – depending on Big Brother’s latest decree.
I always find it unbelievably outrageous when the Mainstream Media has the brass neck to describe left wingers supporting Corbyn as the “militants”
in the Labour Party while the right leaning warmongering Blairites are described as “moderates”!
So voting to engage in illegal wars that create terrorism and deaths of genocidal proportions is being “moderate”?
So voting for welfare cuts for the poor while the rich get richer is being “moderate”?
So deliberately breaking international law is being “moderate”?

Dave_Canon Plus
14 1.8k United Kingdom
3 Jul 2020 5:04PM
You should get a column in one of those newspapers!

However, I have not taken a daily Newspaper for decades. Apart from lacking the time to read them (before I retired), I was also finding them becoming more and more loose with the truth. You do have choices and can look on the internet and find a variety of views. I doubt that Newspapers have anywhere near the influence they had twenty years ago. I suspect many form views from Facebook and other social media (not for me though). Since retiring, I have taken more interest in history and using the media to mislead and promulgate untruths is not a recent phenomena.

Dave

gcarth Plus
16 3.7k 1 United Kingdom
3 Jul 2020 7:00PM

Quote:You should get a column in one of those newspapers!
Don't encourage me in my rants! Wink

Quote:You do have choices and can look on the internet and find a variety of views. I doubt that Newspapers have anywhere near the influence they had twenty years ago.
I may be wrong but I think newspapers still have a considerable influence - depending on the particular issues being discussed. However, as you point out, I'm sure the internet has lessened the impact of the newspapers somewhat.
The problem is that the media generally, is owned and controlled by very rich people who ensure that the media constrains and frames the debate within narrow limits - limits that favour those with power. Even the BBC which is supposed to be neutral is heavily influenced by whichever government is in power.

Quote:You do have choices and can look on the internet and find a variety of views.

That's right. I suppose the problem is that those choices may be good or bad choices - It's not always easy to know how reliable or trustworthy a website is.Sad
Like yourself, I use the internet for a variety of views but it's not that easy to find one you can trust.
That said, I used to think I could trust a "respectable" newspaper medium like the Guardian but really I think it has been taken over by those who mainly share Establishment views. That said I read a few good articles in the Guardian from time to time.
I think the best Guardian journalists are ex-Guardian journalists like Jonathan Cook who has his own excellent website now.
AlexE 3 160 United Kingdom
3 Jul 2020 7:29PM
I think the problem is possibly a bit of perspective - people see things differently. I have no doubt that most politicians want the best for their country, but they all have different ideas about how to go about it. The same would surely apply to the press who might be unwittingly putting their own opinions into their writing.


Quote:Even the BBC which is supposed to be neutral is heavily influenced by whichever government is in power.

I'm surprised that you think the press's view changes based on who is in power. I thought that they always had the opposite view to me...

Then there is also the question of what is truth?
gcarth Plus
16 3.7k 1 United Kingdom
3 Jul 2020 9:46PM

Quote:I think the problem is possibly a bit of perspective - people see things differently. I have no doubt that most politicians want the best for their country, but they all have different ideas about how to go about it. The same would surely apply to the press who might be unwittingly putting their own opinions into their writing.
I think some politicians want the best for their country but many are more interested in what they think is best for them and their Party. That of course applies to all political parties. Maybe I'm getting too cynical in my old age.SadSmile

Quote:I'm surprised that you think the press's view changes based on who is in power. I thought that they always had the opposite view to me...
Well, I don't think the BBC's views change much whoever is in power. That's the problem - they seem to me to follow the Establishment line whoever is in power. Whoever is in power is Tory or New Labour "pink" Tory anyway.Wink
There are countless examples of biased or unquestioning reporting by the BBC and the media, generally.
When China or Russia commit acts that infringe human rights the UK media (and US) are quick to jump on the fact - and yet we also commit breaches of human rights and International law all the time.
Just one simple example of BBC bias is when it reports that the US and UK coalition were intervening in Iraq and other nations to spread "democracy" when clearly that was not the main goal at all. Oil and strategic power were the real aims.
Now, the point I'm trying to make is that the BBC should always report that the coalition said they were intervening to spread
democracy.
It is not for the BBC to assume what the goals of the coalition were. It is for the BBC to report the alleged aims of the coalition and let us decide if the coalition was exporting democracy or not. Of course, the obvious and disgraceful bias of the BBC and the rest of the media against Corbyn and alleged anti-Semitism is a recent example.
Well, that's the way I see things. However, my views very much tally with websites like Media Lens so you won't be surprised with much of what I say if you read their topics!Smile

Quote:Then there is also the question of what is truth?
Oh! Now that is like asking "What is the Meaning of Life?" Wink
Naturally, in my smugness, I have the answer for that too: There is no meaning to life. As for Truth: I suppose the only truth we can really know is when we are true to ourselves.
But seriously, we can probably agree that there is not enough tolerance of views on either the left or right.Smile
gcarth Plus
16 3.7k 1 United Kingdom
4 Jul 2020 5:36PM

Quote:Since retiring, I have taken more interest in history...
Well Dave, like yourself, I have taken more interest in history since I retired. I don't know about you but in my ignorance, I used to think history was a fairly useless subject because it deals with the past and not the more relevant present and future.
That was my attitude until well into adulthood. But as I got older I realised that history can teach us such a great deal about modern living and why and how society operates as it does.
I suppose there is one important caveat to remember when reading history - that only parts of our history are reliably documented and even some of the documentation doesn't always give a full picture of events.Smile
Just one rather frivolous example can be found in the case of Sir Francis Drake: According to at least one modern historian, he was nowhere near a bowling green in Devon and the British were in fact not able to sail to face the Armada immediately because of the weather. Wink
PS. Apparently, there is talk of pulling down the statue of this bloodthirsty, plundering, slave trading pirate - and quite right too.Wink

Quote:I think the problem is possibly a bit of perspective - people see things differently.

Well, of course, that is a fair comment but sometimes seeing things differently can be a case of asserting that mere opinions are facts.
But to discuss your point to about "perspective" from a philosophical angle: I suppose it can be argued that the Neo Con Free Market - which I despise - has been a success for the rich in society even though it could be seen as been a gross failure for the poorer strata of society. So I suppose, if we consider humans to be like the rest of the animal world - red in tooth and claw - amoral and self-seeking - then yes maybe these matters are simply subjective. However, I certainly couldn't live in a world like that and I like to think that most decent people feel the same.
Of course, I would also argue that in reality, the continual divisions of society and irrational gobbling up of finite resources that are promoted by the so-called "Free Market" cannot be sustained. In other words, unless the super-rich promoters of the current brand of capitalism are seeking self-destruction then they are a bunch of lunatics and their policies are manifestly wrong-headed.SadWink
I think the trouble with the mainstream media is that it rarely addresses the real problems that the world faces: When do we see the media question the morality or indeed common sense in selling arms to the murderous Saudis, for example?
When do we see the media even dare to tackle the Israeli government on it's racist, murderous apartheid policies against the Palestinians?
All the shallow mainstream media seems to do is make a big hoo ha about personalities and changes in politics that really amount to very little - whether "left" or right.
i think we need more "people's media" - cooperatives - for example that counter the monopolies of the handful of billionaire owned papers we have at present.
5 Jul 2020 8:02PM
From the perspective of a Yank here in the 'States, it seems to me that typically a person subscribes to that media that best 'parrots' his particular views. Thus readers tend to shape the news print media more than the reverse. For example, a 'neutral' or balanced publication struggles mightly to survive in this day and age. Whereas publications which can be classified as either left or right do well by their following who loyally are their subscribers. So, you can't really blame the media for trying to stay in business. Rather we should blame ourselves who will only read or listen to those who support our views.
gcarth Plus
16 3.7k 1 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2020 10:33PM

Quote:From the perspective of a Yank here in the 'States, it seems to me that typically a person subscribes to that media that best 'parrots' his particular views. Thus readers tend to shape the news print media more than the reverse. For example, a 'neutral' or balanced publication struggles mightly to survive in this day and age. Whereas publications which can be classified as either left or right do well by their following who loyally are their subscribers. So, you can't really blame the media for trying to stay in business. Rather we should blame ourselves who will only read or listen to those who support our views.
Yes, I think there's a lot of truth in what you say. However, I feel rightly or wrongly, that the right leaning media i.e the dominant media also tends to shape many people's views - just as advertising does. Of course, there is also the point that the dominant media can omit or play down vital information and vital truths.
I'm sure of course that a left leaning oppositional media would probably do the same if it had the same sort of excessive power.
An independent media is absolutely essential and yet almost impossible to implement.
In the UK we have the "Independent" online website which used to be a newspaper. It does cover a wide range of views but too often, it still compromises its genuine independence because of the need to make a profit (as you point out).
The "Canary" is a rather good UK left-leaning website for alternative views on news and current affairs - paid for by subscribers. I probably like it because as you say, it parrots my views.Wink
Though the "Canary" is quite popular, it still doesn't have anything like the readership or influence of the mainstream media.
7 Jul 2020 3:52AM

Quote:
Quote:From the perspective of a Yank here in the 'States, it seems to me that typically a person subscribes to that media that best 'parrots' his particular views. Thus readers tend to shape the news print media more than the reverse. For example, a 'neutral' or balanced publication struggles mightly to survive in this day and age. Whereas publications which can be classified as either left or right do well by their following who loyally are their subscribers. So, you can't really blame the media for trying to stay in business. Rather we should blame ourselves who will only read or listen to those who support our views.
Yes, I think there's a lot of truth in what you say. However, I feel rightly or wrongly, that the right leaning media i.e the dominant media also tends to shape many people's views - just as advertising does. Of course, there is also the point that the dominant media can omit or play down vital information and vital truths.
I'm sure of course that a left leaning oppositional media would probably do the same if it had the same sort of excessive power.
An independent media is absolutely essential and yet almost impossible to implement.
In the UK we have the "Independent" online website which used to be a newspaper. It does cover a wide range of views but too often, it still compromises its genuine independence because of the need to make a profit (as you point out).
The "Canary" is a rather good UK left-leaning website for alternative views on news and current affairs - paid for by subscribers. I probably like it because as you say, it parrots my views.Wink
Though the "Canary" is quite popular, it still doesn't have anything like the readership or influence of the mainstream media.



In the 'States for many years there was a Federal law that all media had to present both or all sides in their writing or broadcast. Exactly what that means and how it was supposed to be enforced was left open. But, for the most part national television and radio networks did work to present an even hand in their reporting. Unfortunately, our Congress voted this law out of existence during of the recent Republican administrations and it has been a free for all ever since. Today, cable news like Fox and MSNBC dominate the airwaves. Fox is your Murdoch's system and MSNBC is an NBC affiliate. Each being right and left leaning respectively and just as shrill as the other in advocating their views. So take your pick. But, at least one has an identifiable choice. Would really worry if there was only one with no choice.

For myself I use online newspapers that present a balance between them. Not within each one, but between them. Thus I can get a grip of what balance means. The problem of course is that I can't point to any one source as better than the other. So, I can never 'prove' my perspective to anyone who questions the validity of one of my 'sources'. That more than anything else is the frustrating part about political discussion. No one can prove their source is more valid than all the others. So around and around we go, endlessly bickering about who is correct. The reason we do today is, strangely, we are just more politically educated than we were in the past. It is as if the current media situation makes us more democratic than ever before. No one would agree to a dictatorship by either side or perspective. And, that may be a good thing.
gcarth Plus
16 3.7k 1 United Kingdom
7 Jul 2020 12:29PM

Quote:For myself I use online newspapers that present a balance between them. Not within each one, but between them. Thus I can get a grip of what balance means. The problem of course is that I can't point to any one source as better than the other. So, I can never 'prove' my perspective to anyone who questions the validity of one of my 'sources'. That more than anything else is the frustrating part about political discussion. No one can prove their source is more valid than all the others. So around and around we go, endlessly bickering about who is correct. The reason we do today is, strangely, we are just more politically educated than we were in the past. It is as if the current media situation makes us more democratic than ever before. No one would agree to a dictatorship by either side or perspective. And, that may be a good thing.
Yes. I suppose no newspaper or on-line medium can claim to be truly independent - or at least truly unbiased.
I think the best we can hope for is that there are roughly equal numbers of opposing views aired: But I don't see that because of the massive, concentrated monopoly of big business interests in the news media industry.
In the UK, a great many top journalists in the media, particularly the BBC, were educated in elitist universities or schools and so they are in a bubble of rather privileged individuals who don't understand or care about ordinary people.
This contributes to an attitude of "group thinking" across most of the media, in my opinion.

Quote:So, I can never 'prove' my perspective to anyone who questions the validity of one of my 'sources'. That more than anything else is the frustrating part about political discussion. No one can prove their source is more valid than all the others.
Yes. As soon as anyone questions the status quo or establishment narrative, they are accused of being a conspiracy theorist!
However, it has been documented that many so-called "conspiracy theories" have been found to be true.
And of course, governments themselves, sometimes create their own conspiracy theories to promote their propaganda. Sad
So I think we are both saying that quite often, we can only trust in our own judgement as to what to believe.
That said, because of the corruption that is rampant in both the UK and US, I tend to lean to the left.
It seems clear to me that Big Business rules the world and has a hideous control over governments with its offers that politicians "can't refuse". It doesn't matter much which party is elected in either the US or UK - they all have to toe the "Establishment" line...Sad
thewilliam2 3 1.4k United Kingdom
7 Jul 2020 1:03PM
I was lucky enough to go to a grammar school where we did "critical reading" as part of the curriculum. We were taught to read and think about something without believing it or dismissing it.

I'm very grateful for this and understand why both Left and Right wanted to remove it from the curriculum!
gcarth Plus
16 3.7k 1 United Kingdom
7 Jul 2020 3:28PM

Quote:I was lucky enough to go to a grammar school where we did "critical reading" as part of the curriculum. We were taught to read and think about something without believing it or dismissing it.

I'm very grateful for this and understand why both Left and Right wanted to remove it from the curriculum!

I wish all schools taught "critical reading" as part of the curriculum. I obviously lean to the left but I would hate to think that left or right-leaning topics were banned from discussion.

As someone who is interested in "armchair" philosophy, I once thought that if everyone did some basic philosophy they might become more fully rounded human beings - less biased and more rational in their approach to life. However, in reality, I don't think its necessarily true. I've since read that many world leaders and influential opinion leaders studied philosophy and yet they seem to me terribly biased and even psychopathic in their views and behaviour.
I suppose philosophy, like psychology, can be used as a tool with with which to manipulate people and events...SadWink
Deiqkier 10 48 United Kingdom
7 Jul 2020 7:21PM
The only people who believe that the papers have any real power are the publishers themselves. I only seem to hear about them when they are in court defending themselves against slander, untruths or phone tapping. Too many are taking the easy route with stories and no longer "crusade "
What worries me is how common false stories are on Facebook and other social media. People will always go wth whoever sings there tune- how else did a despot like Trump get to be president.
Colin.
gcarth Plus
16 3.7k 1 United Kingdom
8 Jul 2020 7:12AM

Quote: Too many are taking the easy route with stories and no longer "crusade "

I think that's very true. The mainstream media nowadays seems to share the same - often unnamed or very dodgy sources - and that includes the supposedly "neutral" BBC. No further investigation is carried out or questions asked.

Quote:What worries me is how common false stories are on Facebook and other social media.
Colin.

Yes. Social media seems to be a mixed blessing! I don't use it - I think it makes life too complicated! After all, the main objective of social media like Facebook and Twitter is to make money and create power and influence for the likes of Mark Zuckerberg.

Quote:People will always go with whoever sings there tune- how else did a despot like Trump get to be president.
The same reason that Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany - through propaganda and promises to make their country great again.
Trump, of course offered the great sales pitch of "draining the swamp" of the US establishment: I can see how people were attracted to that sales pitch when the alternative was the war mongering and alleged corrupt financial deals of Hilary Clinton.
It seems to me that both Trump and Clinton are both deeply involved - with Wall Street and that "swamp" will never be drained...

It is of course the same in the UK. We have the populist, incompetent Boris Johnson - often accused of lying - who seemed to be able to charm the working class into voting for him to become Prime Minister. The mainstream media helped him to gain power by constantly smearing Jeremy Corbyn with mainly false accusations of rampant anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

There appears to be a red line drawn by the Establishment in both the US and the UK - and voting for people like Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn is crossing that red line.
The Establishment has a good deal of control and influence in the media - in both TV and newspapers (bearing in mind that the rich owners and controllers of the media are favourable to the Establishment).


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