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View Poll Results: Western Mainstream Media is?

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  • Fair and Balanced

    0 0%
  • Relatively Fair and Balanced

    14 35.00%
  • Largely Propaganda

    26 65.00%
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Thread: Western Media

  1. #1
    Senior Member Members Only's Avatar
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    Default Western Media

    So what is everyone's opinion on the current legitimacy of Western Main Stream media as a source of news?

    I'm speaking of the whole system here, TV news, Newspapers, Tabloids etc... As a whole, do you trust them to feed you correct information on the current state of the world?

    If you wish to single out a like or dislike for a particular source of information, please list it in the thread.
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  2. #2
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    Sensationalist garbage. Find an angle on something and play it up for dramatic effect. Design cool logos and blare music and have constant "updates" that repeat the same non-stories. Spend more time talking about people who are famous for being famous than anyone who's actually accomplished a damn thing. When you cover politics, focus only on those that are already rich and well-known, so the cycle just repeats with little-known candidates never having a chance to make a name for themselves. Present only one side of every story as often as possible to create the false perception that any other view is "fringe" or "outside the mainstream." Repeat the same labels and buzzwords about people regardless of whether they have any substance at all, latch on to new trends like blogs and attempt to "mainstreamize" them and turn them into another part of your sensationalist, greedy, oversimplified, condescending, full-of-crap empire.

    I'm not sure exactly what your definition of "Western" is, but that's my take on most US media. I think I held back a little, though.
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  3. #3
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    I voted "Relatively Fair and Balanced," because, well, our media is fair and balanced RELATIVE to most places in the world. They don't present every perspective and they are too cozy with the government, the military, and major corporations, but they do research their subjects and try to sniff out scandals and generally do the things the majority of the public wants out of their newspeople. I seek out different perspectives online, though.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Dark Razor's Avatar
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    To see how media is influenced you always need to look at how they are funded. Most western media must cater to the interests of advertisers. At least they have to do so in the range of opinions and interpretations of events they may present. This manipulation or bias is subtle and indirect, but it certainly exists.

    To be truly independent a media would have to be somehow directly funded by all citizens, but at the same time not be dependent on any specific group of citizens, such as a special interest group or any corporation or politicians.

    Another form of influence exists seperately from the funding issue though, which is access to information. Someone might for example promise a journalist access to information that is difficult to obtain ( for example admit him into special political circles) in exchange for the promise that the journalist tailors his article in a certain way. This problem is difficult to address however.

  5. #5
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Razor View Post
    To be truly independent a media would have to be somehow directly funded by all citizens, but at the same time not be dependent on any specific group of citizens, such as a special interest group or any corporation or politicians.

    This is A) impossible; and B) not really true. You do not need to have the media funded by all citizens to be independent. I can't even imagine how that would be true. I can be an independent media via the Internet, if I cared to be. Or via bullhorn.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Razor View Post
    To see how media is influenced you always need to look at how they are funded. Most western media must cater to the interests of advertisers. At least they have to do so in the range of opinions and interpretations of events they may present. This manipulation or bias is subtle and indirect, but it certainly exists.
    The media may be funded by advertisers, but the advertisers are funded by the viewers. The advertiser would not advertise unless they expect their investment to be repaid by the extra sales generated by advertising, ultimately making the customers of both the advertisers and the media the people who have influence. Therefore, the customers determine the range of opinions and interpretations which are presented, or at the least they place constraints on the manipulation and bias which other parties can exert.

    To be clear: I am not disagreeing with you that advertisers may attempt to manipulate and bias the media, but simply explaining that other groups are also involved. The end result is a an emergent product of many different influences, and rarely conforms to what anyone would have wanted or predicted. That one group or another might benefit as a consequence seems to me to be nothing more than a happy accident most of the time, albeit not always so happy for everyone else.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  7. #7
    Senior Member V Profane's Avatar
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    It's not just a matter of how a media outlet is funded, it's also the subjects that it chooses to cover, the subjects it does not, and the accuracy of reporting. Even a non-profit outlet with no intentional agenda can be biased.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I voted "Relatively Fair and Balanced," because, well, our media is fair and balanced RELATIVE to most places in the world. They don't present every perspective and they are too cozy with the government, the military, and major corporations, but they do research their subjects and try to sniff out scandals and generally do the things the majority of the public wants out of their newspeople. I seek out different perspectives online, though.
    I agree. The western media is 'relatively fair and balanced'. There are few places where I can so readily purchase newspapers, magazines and books, watch television news and documentaries, or access websites which offer such a broad range of views, ideologies, ideas and differing interpretations of current events as the western world (for all its flaws).
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  9. #9
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    I don't think it's fair and balanced... like most people here... but I don't think it's all or even largely propaganda... it's relatively f&b... I mean, how can I honestly take the cool tack of saying "Western" media's mostly propaganda when there's a wealth of well-disseminated information that's almost entirely critical of everything "Western"?
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  10. #10
    Senior Member V Profane's Avatar
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    The idea of being 'fair and balanced', Fox News aside, is a minefield in itself. For instance, take the anti-vaccination movement vs. reality. What is the 'fair and balanced' way of dealing with this (or any other faux controversy like creationism, geocentrism, flat earth theory), give both sides with equal time? That clearly would not be helpful because it gives a false impression to the layperson that there actually is a real dispute amongst rational, knowledgeable people when there is not.

    The anti-vaccination reporting has been particularly destructive in my country; a single individual with a plainly faulty study managed to get widespread, credulous press coverage, which undermined parental confidence in childhood vaccination, and has subsequently resulted in easily preventable deaths and compromised heard immunity.

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