Media War

exposing media bias in Thailand

“Evolition” of journalism – or its degradation ?

thinking about  the role of   Media again …

Here is an article which provides a glimpse upon how/ why  journalism has changed and turned int what is now called  Corporate Media,

which helps to understand  the Thai media as major player  in what is going on in Thailand today.

written back in 2000

What the MEDIA won’t tell you

“Print journalism was once synonymous with reporting, but a great deal of bread-and-butter reporting is now in the hands of lowly paid anonymous practitioners

There is less checking of facts all round…  There’s more dependency on PR guff.  Press releases can provide a cheap source of copy, and companies can helpfully eliminate the time and cost of research.  PR companies provide free travel to exotic locations for their friends in the media…

Struggling to maintain their revenues, newspapers can at times become more preoccupied with concocting new liftouts and obsessively redesigning their pages than with solid journalism. Good sub-editing is perceived to be so unimportant that it is often confused with pedantry. Over-reliance on computerised spell checks does not help…

Desperate for circulation, even the best papers succumb to a kind of creeping tabloidism…

To boost their revenue in a world of declining circulation and overweening advertisers, the media look avidly for supplementary sources of income. Traditionally this took a variety of forms and led to that well-known enemy of good journalism, the cross promotion…  papers involved suddenly discover a preternatural interest in matters alimentary that defies real news values…

THE DECLINE in profitability of traditional media, with all its adverse effects already noted, has led to a significant investment by the main companies in new media

So this is the way the news, as we once knew it, ends. In traditional media, journalism has evolved from a mystical craft of unbylined subversives to a profession dominated by a well-rewarded elite protecting their share pricesIn the new media, the information gatherers are almost as anonymous as they were half a century ago, but certainly not as reliable…  If, as it seems, there are not enough discerning readers/viewers out there to reward quality and to cause unprofessionalism to wither, we may well be experiencing the slow death of the journalism …”

the above article is by Aussie author, country-man of Rupert Murdoch (who is actually a central persona in this article) –

now one of the biggest magnates owning giant Media empire,  – and John Pilger, one of the last remaining true journalists.

I want to quote here J. Pilger again, he is my favorite, and I think he points out a lot of things very relevent to Thai media too :

The politics of bollocks

“It is time those paid to keep the record straight gave us the opportunity to debate informatively. In the 21st century, people power remains a huge and exciting and largely untapped force for change, but it is nothing without truth. “In the time of universal deceit,” wrote George Orwell,telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Beware of the Obama hype. What ‘change’ in America really means

… This was journalism as it had been before corporate journalism was invented, before the first schools of journalism were set up and a mythology of liberal neutrality was spun around those whose “professionalism” and “objectivity” carried an unspoken obligation to ensure that news and opinion were in tune with an establishment consensus, regardless of the truth

liberalism as a narrow, supremely arrogant, war-making ideology is destroying liberalism as a reality…

As for historic moments, there is another that has gone unreported but is well under way – liberal democracy’s shift towards a corporate dictatorship, managed by people regardless of ethnicity, with the media as its clichéd façade. “True democracy,” wrote Penn Jones Jr, the Texas truth-teller, “is constant vigilance: not thinking the way you’re meant to think and keeping your eyes wide open at all times.” “

Setting the limits of invasion journalism

unprecedented study by three UK universities which found that, contrary to myth, 80 per cent of the media followed “the government line” on Iraq and only 12 per cent challenged it… What is refreshing about the new British study is its understanding of the corporate media’s belief in and protection of the benign reputation of western governments and their “positive motives” in Iraq, regardless of the demonstrable truth… “humanitarian rationale” became the main justification for the invasion of Iraq and was echoed by journalists. “This is the new ideological imperative shaping the limits of the media

it is time those who run media colleges began to alert future journalists to their insidious grooming.”

The invisible government

The title of this talk is Freedom Next Time, which is the title of my book, and the book is meant as an antidote to the propaganda that is so often disguised as journalism. So I thought I would talk today about journalism, about war by journalism, propaganda, and silence, and how that silence might be broken. Edward Bernays, the so-called father of public relations, wrote about an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. He was referring to journalism, the media. That was almost 80 years ago, not long after corporate journalism was invented… As the new corporations began taking over the press, something called “professional journalism” was invented. To attract big advertisers, the new corporate press had to appear respectable, pillars of the establishment—objective, impartial, balanced. The first schools of journalism were set up, and a mythology of liberal neutrality was spun around the professional journalist. The right to freedom of expression was associated with the new media and with the great corporations, and the whole thing was, as Robert McChesney put it so well, “entirely bogus”.

For what the public did not know was that in order to be professional, journalists had to ensure that news and opinion were dominated by official sources, and that has not changed… That is the essence of professional journalism…

Consider how the power of this invisible government has grown. In 1983 the principle global media was owned by 50 corporations, most of them American. In 2002 this had fallen to just 9 corporations. Today it is probably about 5. Rupert Murdoch has predicted that there will be just three global media giants, and his company will be one of them…

Impartiality was a principle certainly: a principle to be suspended whenever the establishment was under threat. And that principle has been upheld ever since…

normalizing the unthinkable… that’s what media clichéd language does and is designed to do—it normalizes the unthinkable…

journalists had betrayed the public by not doing their job and by accepting and amplifying and echoing the lies…

Harold Pinter’s subversive truth, I believe, was that he made the connection between imperialism and fascism, and described a battle for history that’s almost never reported. This is the great silence of the media age. And this is the secret heart of propaganda today

… most journalists, whether they realize it or not, are groomed to be tribunes of an ideology that regards itself as non-ideological, that presents itself as the natural center, the very fulcrum of modern life. This may very well be the most powerful and dangerous ideology we have ever known because it is open-ended. This is liberalism. I’m not denying the virtues of liberalism—far from it. We are all beneficiaries of them. But if we deny its dangers, its open-ended project, and the all-consuming power of its propaganda, then we deny our right to true democracy, because liberalism and true democracy are not the same. Liberalism began as a preserve of the elite in the 19th century, and true democracy is never handed down by elites. It is always fought for and struggled for

as for the Democrats, look at how Barak Obama has become the voice of the Council on Foreign Relations, one of the propaganda organs of the old liberal Washington establishment…

Real information, subversive information, remains the most potent power of all—and I believe that we must not fall into the trap of believing that the media speaks for the public

In all the years I’ve been a journalist, I’ve never know public consciousness to have risen as fast as it’s rising today. Yes, its direction and shape is unclear, partly because people are now deeply suspicious of political alternatives, and because the Democratic Party has succeeded in seducing and dividing the electoral left. And yet this growing critical public awareness is all the more remarkable when you consider the sheer scale of indoctrination, the mythology of a superior way of life, and the current manufactured state of fear…

public was beginning to see the concealed role of the media, and that people were beginning to read between the lines they need truth, and journalists ought to be agents of truth, not the courtiers of power

I believe a fifth estate is possible, the product of a people’s movement, that monitors, deconstructs, and counters the corporate media. In every university, in every media college, in every news room, teachers of journalism, journalists themselves need to ask themselves about the part they now play in the bloodshed in the name of a bogus objectivity. Such a movement within the media could herald a perestroika of a kind that we have never known. This is all possible. Silences can be broken

The challenge for the rest of us is to lift this subjugated knowledge from out of the underground and take it to ordinary people.
We need to make haste.  Liberal Democracy is moving toward a form of corporate dictatorship. This is an historic shift, and the media must not be allowed to be its façade, but itself made into a popular, burning issue, and subjected to direct action…

well, I don’t know …  There is just too much relevance to Thailand and its media in these words, I think.

I wish at least some of Thai reporters  could read them, as well as ajarns, other intellectuals and all thoughtful people out there (like, perhaps – the “Cyber Warriors” ?).

Because resistence to the Propaganda of Corporate media isn’t impossible with  modern technology as internet.

Establishment is very well aware of that and that’s why they are in hurry to block / control/ censor  all those alternative sources of information, which challenge the “Official Truth”.


April 19, 2009 - Posted by | Anti-establishment | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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