My facebook news feed keeps lighting up with comments about what gets printed in newspapers. I can understand it, totally. Corporations run many of Australia’s newspapers, and these corporations have a political agenda that is not in our best interest. They are based on greed; they are based on misleading Australian citizens in to believing that we are threatened by all kinds of things we don’t need to be threatened by, to hide the truth about the political and diplomatic connections throughout the world that dictate how our country is run.
I have barely looked at an Australian newspaper or their accompanying websites (at least not in any depth) for the better part of 12 months. They have absolutely no relevance to me, because I recognise the distorted version of “the news” that they provide. And if I, as a 25-year-old internet denizen living in an urban centre, am in any way indicative of the attitudes of modern, forward thinking Australians, then it is not a good sign for the future of old-world media. I have no interest in getting sucked in to conservative game-play.
First of all: Hi, I’m back, it’s nice to see your shining eyes again.
Secondly: you may have read some of my earlier Steady Eye rants, and from these you might be aware that I occasionally go through periods of not being able to handle knowing about current events in too much detail; that politics- both national and international- has had a tendency to overwhelm me. I have often been confused by this societal reality we exist in, and I’ve come to realise that most of this confusion is based on the disparity between what happens in the world, and how it is portrayed by western corporate media. I didn’t know what to do with these feelings before. I spent too long letting my idealistic frustrations dictate periodic descents in to despair and hopelessness.
Not anymore. So, journalism.
In “Journalism: Principles and Practice” (2009) Tony Harcup says that “journalism is intended to inform society about itself and to make events public that would otherwise remain private”. If we take this definition, and use it to look at newspapers vs. independent (predominantly digital) media, it would appear that, in these days of communication through technology that is close to telepathy, we are at an interesting point: traditional, old-world news media has all but proven itself to be fucking failing at the ethical implications of the journalist’s task. It generally does not give citizens a helpful perspective on events and situations they are not intimately involved in, and the information they provide is fueled by goals of economic gain and political connection.
A true democracy encourages informed voters; it is not a big brother being all “No no, youngling, you don’t need to know that. It will only upset you”, while they wrap us tightly in cotton wool. Perhaps you think it to be clichéd, but this literary metaphor should be taken seriously. It’s there. Some of us are living that life. We, dearest human family, are having an attempt made by shitty, shitty journalists and their shitty, shitty profit-driven bosses to quell our independence. We are being molly coddled in to ignorance; and it is neither blissful, or for our own good. Mainstream media is being selfish.
I chose to stop looking at these things (newspapers) on the reg because it pissed me off, straight up. It doesn’t feel right to be taking stock in what is written in publications owned by huge corporations, and this is a very easy conclusion to come to. I know of many people who read them to keep tabs on what’s going on, which is good. Someone has to do it, because we need to be vigilant, need to be aware.
And by “what’s going on”, I mean: what’s being fed to the humans in Australia who are content swallowing whatever authority gives to them; the Australians who can’t fathom anything outside of the status quo. The ones who who don’t like to share.
Biased and (mis/)leading articles, pointless information and fluff stories make up so much of what these citizens are fed as media consumers, and it encourages them to blindly follow the economic and political agendas of people with way too much money and not enough humanism.
Media as product: the people in old-world media who create this content are in the habit of shaping information to be suited to taste, like fairy-bread to appease a sugar craving, instead of a healthy meal to nurture brain and muscle development, the way true journalism should.
There are three main reasons that someone with the responsibility to provide a meal- i.e. a journalist- will make it an unhealthy one:
1. They cannot source healthy ingredients.
2. They are lazy.
3. They do not care about the health of the people they are feeding.
If a journalist can’t source healthy ingredients, then they are in the wrong fucking job. One does not have to rely solely on the statements prepared by P.R. and marketing people, as there are countless other ways to gather information from different perspectives; broad perspectives at that. The healthy stuff is always available; you’ve just got to put effort in to finding it… which leaves us with the alternatives of laziness, and, more importantly, not giving a shit about our nutrition. In this context, laziness is shit, and not giving a shit is shit. They show a total lack of respect for – and ignorance of responsibility for – the citizens of our country. We deserve well-balanced journalism, and journalism that isn’t paid for by assholes.
In essence, the old-world media hangers-on have given up on health. They don’t WANT a healthy, open-minded public. They want us to starve intellectually. And for those of us who feel this resulting malnutrition slowing us down and fucking up our internal organs, we are left with no option but to cut those media systems loose, to find a more balanced meal elsewhere. Their product is dividing the market, creating two distinct consumer groups defined by their inclination towards independent thought.
A healthy mind can contribute to the positive future of a society, while an unhealthy, unexercised mind perpetuates the accrual of trash, in all environments. Damn right we should get pissed off at shitty newspapers and their shitty journalists. These news corporations are actively encouraging misinformation on national and international events, purposefully skewing information so that it works in favour for the head/s of their companies, as well as their political allies.
If they and the news-reading habits they encourage weren’t around, our citizens would have a much better chance of voting in a way that accurately reflects their independent needs, attitudes and desires for the future. Australia could be run the way we ACTUALLY want it to be run.
Why is the establishment so afraid to let this happen? Is it because they won’t necessarily have more money than everyone else anymore? Are they afraid that this imaginary money system will become more balanced?
The world now changes rapidly, with it’s output of new technology, and so too must everything else change. The battle against positive and intelligent change results in carnage of thought, and a whole bunch of wasted time. This time would be better spent learning and teaching the world to think freely again, without overt capitalist pressure. Boycotting mainstream media, while publicly critiquing it, is an action that is slowly becoming more popular. Keep it going. We don’t have to put up with the out-dated media systems which perpetuates a culture of dumbing down the public.