Monday, December 1, 2008

The Main Stream Media of Today and Yesterday

There are often negative blogs written about the current state of the Main Stream Media (MSM) about their lack of objective journalism and reporting. I would have to agree with this general observation commented on by so many on the Internet.

It is said there was a time in the history of radio and television news that the broadcasters were much more objective and factual in reporting the news. It seemed a simple one or two person show that presented the days news absent the "stay tuned through this much too loud and obnoxious commercial" break to hear the rest of this important story.
The important story most likely being an Alert or Breaking News which now seems incessant no matter how long or important a story has been in either state in reality. George Orwell (1984) is probably laughing and crying as this is happening today, or maybe he was more insightful about the history of mass media news, its end purpose, and was only being pragmatic in his novel.

So I wondered about the MSM of the 19th century and early 20th century, the non radio and television sources being the state of the art of the day. Newspapers carrying both local stories and telegraphed or word of mouth information for politics and national information.
One of the first things I learned was that 19th century newspapers were very political and biased toward or against political parties very openly. One case in point is the New York Tribune (1864) which spoke for the Republican Party.

Later in time, William Hearst's The New York Journal published a hard approach to the U.S.S. Maine sinking. Later in 1900 the same newspaper was devoted to supporting the Democrats in the election of 1900.
The Hearst dynasty was of course a very wealthy and influential entity and to lots of people has had a very dubious impact on certain freedoms.

The Federalists, Republicans, Democrats and other political parties all used the MSM to spread and influence the populace with their own ideas and propoganda since the dawn of America and the 1st Amendment. There is no constitutional demand that MSM be unbiased and accurate - in fact the MSM is free to slant political opinion in any way they wish from a legal point of view I suppose.
For some reason the MSM seems to obscure that fact and present themselves as unbiased, presumably thinking it is lending more credibility to their propaganda.

Thankfully the Internet has become an important avenue for differing sources of news and information. I hope the world will be very vigilant in keeping it that way.

I also hope the Internet continues to keep more people away from the MSM strategists, experts, analysts, and that ilk who invariably work for institutes, foundations, lobbyists, and others like them who have a strong interest in the status quo.

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