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Misconceptions About the MSM

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posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 10:18 AM
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I was a reporter when I was younger. 1 year writing for AP, 2 years on a medium market radio station, 2 years on a medium market TV station and 3 years on a top 25 market TV station. I have been a college professor since 1988 teaching mostly television production and broadcast journalism.

What drives the content of TV news is ratings.

Let me repeat that:

What drives the content of TV news is ratings.

Ratings mean money. MONEY.

The agenda of just about ANY news organization is MONEY. Print, internet, broadcast -- it doesn't matter, it's always about money. Ratings, circulation, number of hits on a web site. MONEY, MONEY, MONEY!

There is no conspiracy to "hide the truth." During the entire time I was a reporter I was never asked to significantly change the content of a story except once -- when it involved a relative of the station's general manager. I WAS asked to cover stories that I thought were absolute BS -- little news value, just an attempt to increase our numbers. And I was asked to give a story here or there a modest slant because that's what people wanted to hear. But I was never asked to lie. I was never told to bury a story and just forget about it. Ever.

I say this because I have read post after post after post about MSM conspiracies to "hide the truth" and "promote an agenda." I have to laugh at these assertions because not only did I not see any evidence of these conspiracies, none of my colleagues at the university did either. And none of my colleagues from my reporting days did either, and many of them have reached the big time now.

And graduates of our program who have gone into news (and some of THEM have reached the big time as well) think this is silly. Amusing, but nonsense. The product of a paranoid mindset -- or at least a highly imaginative mindset.

To be sure, I'm not saying there is nothing wrong with the MSM. There is a LOT wrong with it. And I'm not sayint it can't be manipulative or can be but rarely is. But that is beyond the scope of this discussion.

However, when I hear people saying "the powers that be in the MSM want you to believe _______ "(fill in the blank) I think, "what is this based on? Do you have any solid proof?"

I mean you'd think all the media moguls get together with other shadowy, powerful people and discuss it. "Okay, what are we going to make the common man believe this year? How are we going to manipulate 'the people?' What lies and half truths are we going to tell?"

It's absurd. It makes me think these people need medication. Do they even realize that they're only connecting 9 or 10 dots together (when there are THOUSANDS of dots) and coming up with their own self-serving conclusion? I guess it clearly demonstrates the psychological principle of closure and what happens when it is combined with paranoia or ignorance or both.

The people who believe this nonsense seem to take this attitude that anybody who "doesn't see it" just isn't as smart as them.

So I guess I'm exactly the kind of person they're talking about. Despite a doctorate in mass communication, despite working in the media since the mid-1970s both in the industry and in academia, yeah, I just don't see it. Neither do any of my colleagues.

I guess we're all stupid.


edit on 9-9-2010 by ClintK because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 10:42 AM
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I would agree that there is no overriding secret group controlling every single organization, but there are a very few people in charge of most of the huge media groups in the world and it's not even a secret. Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, owner of the Sun and the Times in the UK, Fox and the Wall Street Journal in the States for example is openly biased towards the right wing donates millions to the Republican party and with rare exception his media outlets report the news with a right wing bias.



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 10:48 AM
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Originally posted by davespanners
I would agree that there is no overriding secret group controlling every single organization, but there are a very few people in charge of most of the huge media groups in the world and it's not even a secret. Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, owner of the Sun and the Times in the UK, Fox and the Wall Street Journal in the States for example is openly biased towards the right wing donates millions to the Republican party and with rare exception his media outlets report the news with a right wing bias.



I don't disagree, but this is NOT the MSM, just individual news organizations. Sure, THEY might have an agenda. In the case of FOX it's obvious. But they pursue that agenda for ratings purposes. Look at the ratings of FOX as compared to the other two cable satellite networks.



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 10:57 AM
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Well I guess there is also a debate about how much of the main stream media you have to own before you can be considered to be more or less all of it (this is not counting small independent news papers etc).
As far as I know it's split between about 7 companies

Rupert Murdoch as an example owns


* Fox Television: includes 22 stations, 50% of US households.
* Fox International: extensive worldwide cable and satellite networks include British Sky Broadcasting (40%); VOX, Germany (49.9%); Canal Fox, Latin America; FOXTEL, Australia (50%); STAR TV, Asia; IskyB, India; Bahasa Programming Ltd., Indonesia (50%); and News Broadcasting, Japan (80%).
* The Golf Channel (33%).
MEDIA HOLDINGS:
* Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight.
* 132 newspapers (113 in Australia alone) including the New York Post, the London Times and The Australian.
* 25 magazines including TV Guide and The Weekly Standard.
* HarperCollins books.


I might believe that Mr Murdoch's political leaning were just "going with what the public wants for profit" if he didn't keep giving his profits back to political parties in the form of huge donations.

Like I said I don't think it's some form of conspiracy. just that more or less every single media outlet is owned by the same 7 or 8 companies.


edit on 9-9-2010 by davespanners because: bad english



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 11:05 AM
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Thank you for posting this!

But I must disagree in some cases...look at the Gulf oil disaster. That alone shows that the journalists are either being very lazy or intentionally leaving things out. I always hated watching news that and heard them say "we'll update you as we have details" only to never hear the story again. That ties into ratings though I suppose, they can't cover everything all the time in full detail.

News should be found on sites like ATS and not spoonfed if you ask me.



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 01:44 PM
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reply to post by davespanners
 


Rupert Murdoch's contributions to politicians is nothing compared to what he's making. The idea that he's giving ALL his profits to political people and parties...I'm not sure where you got that from. Like any rich person, he can buy influence -- to make more money. Which is exactly what he does. He is the only person I've ever known who didn't have to go through the regular naturalization process to become a U.S. citizen.

Why? Because you have to be an American to own to own a radio or television station in America. It's a long-standing FCC rule. Rupert used his influence with Republican politicians to circumvent the the normal immigration process. He bought up as many stations as he could own, in turn started a network and has made BILLIONS from them.

Believe me, it's all about the MONEY.



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 01:52 PM
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I didn't say he gave ALL of his profits to the media.. You put the word ALL into the statement and then dismissed it as silly when I never said it, This is a perfect example of a Straw Man argument.



A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position


How can making a donation of a million dollars to the party that isn't even in power buy him influence?

So what is the difference in your view between pushing a certain view because is agrees with your political opinion and pushing a view because it makes you profits, if popularism guides the bias of your stories it's just as bad (or maybe even worse) then if a political agenda does.
It's still pushing a certain world view in pursuit of something other then the truth which is what journalism is supposed to be about isn't it?

During the 80's you couldn't find a single Murdoch owned newspaper in England that ever had a bad word to say about Margret Thatcher even though it was in direct opposition to the opinion of the vast majority of the working class readership of the paper, how is that about populism and profit?


edit on 9-9-2010 by davespanners because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 02:03 PM
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"What drives the content of TV news is ratings. Ratings mean money. MONEY. Believe me, it's all about the MONEY. "

"I mean you'd think all the media moguls get together with other shadowy, powerful people and discuss it. "Okay, what are we going to make the common man believe this year? How are we going to manipulate 'the people?' What lies and half truths are we going to tell?"

I don't have to be a journalist to figure out that you blatantly contradicted yourself in the above two paragraphs. What better way to make tons of money than to collude with the six other media owners in your industry to sell the people a load of hogwash like swine flu, for example.

How do these media companies make money? They make money by selling advertising space to other corporations like huge pharmaceutical companies? Do you really think that these same pharmaceutical companies would advertise on these news programs if these same media outlets were being critical of their questionable practices?

And speaking of FOX, how about this story regarding the killing of a Monsanto story? How do you explain this? It appears that not all of your colleagues subscribe to your see no evil, hear no evil approach. But then again, this is your only choice if you want to keep your job and paycheck. Like YOU said, it's all about the money.





posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 02:06 PM
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I don't think the people who run these things have these sinister, grandiose plans to manipulate this and that.

But birds of a feather flock together. When you have an organization full of people who, for example, while they may have their differences agree on the idea that it's the job (not to mention the capability) of the government to solve social problems, you will never see stories done from a libertarian standpoint because the people just don't think to. Their minds don't work that way.

That's just one possible example. And just from experience, watch any major cable news network for a while or read the New York Times, then read current events stuff on websites like antiwar.com or mises.org, and tell me there isn't a huge difference in content. It may not be anything sinister, but that doesn't make the MSM the place to get all your news.



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 02:12 PM
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Originally posted by SphinxMontreal
"What drives the content of TV news is ratings. Ratings mean money. MONEY. Believe me, it's all about the MONEY. "

"I mean you'd think all the media moguls get together with other shadowy, powerful people and discuss it. "Okay, what are we going to make the common man believe this year? How are we going to manipulate 'the people?' What lies and half truths are we going to tell?"

I don't have to be a journalist to figure out that you blatantly contradicted yourself in the above two paragraphs. What better way to make tons of money than to collude with the six other media owners in your industry to sell the people a load of hogwash like swine flu, for example.

How do these media companies make money? They make money by selling advertising space to other corporations like huge pharmaceutical companies? Do you really think that these same pharmaceutical companies would advertise on these news programs if these same media outlets were being critical of their questionable practices?

And speaking of FOX, how about this story regarding the killing of a Monsanto story? How do you explain this? It appears that not all of your colleagues subscribe to your see no evil, hear no evil approach. But then again, this is your only choice if you want to keep your job and paycheck. Like YOU said, it's all about the money.




Okay, let's hear your evidence collusion. I'm open-minded. Give evidence of collusion and I'll consider it.



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 02:20 PM
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Look, folks, before this thread gets derailed...

I said before, I'm talking about the MSM and conspiracies to manipulate the public. NOT an individual new organization.

Repeat: NOT an individual news organization.

If you're incapable of making those distinctions, please don't comment. Because this thread in NOT about an individual news organization. It's about the MAINSTREAM MEDIA (that's what MSM stands for, see?)



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 02:25 PM
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"Okay, let's hear your evidence collusion. I'm open-minded. Give evidence of collusion and I'll consider it."

OK, I cannot give you evidence but I can give you examples which point towards collusion.

1) WMD. Remember that little thing about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq a few years back, prior to the war? Did any of the mainstream media outlets bother to investigate this lie or did they all take the false information from the Government and shove it down the public's throat like it was fact?

2) 9/11. With all of the conflicting information with regards to the Official Story, has one mainstream media outlet bothered to do one hard hitting investigative piece on the subject or do they all sheepishly stray away from the issue? In fact, they attack people who investigate the official story, something which they supposedly get paid to do.

I can say similar things about Swine Flu, SARS, AIDS, War on Terror, Patriot Act, Immigration Reform and all the other vital issues where the media has failed the public.

Does the lack of hard hitting investigation by the MSM on these issues point to coincidence or collusion?



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 02:33 PM
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If the MSM are not used to further a greater agenda by and for TPTB , then why did Rockefeller make a speech in which he thanked them for keeping the global elite's meetings and agenda out of the news?


The FIRST Minute is where the meat of the video lies as far as this discussion is concerned, to be honest i just went searching for the audio of rockefeller and this was the first video that popped up.



Respectfully,

~meat.

ETA yes I do realize it is a voice simulation of a speech he made




edit on 9-9-2010 by Mike Stivic because: ETA yes i realize it is a voice simulation taken from an excerpt of a speech he made.




edit on 9-9-2010 by Mike Stivic because: Fixing edit



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 02:37 PM
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"I said before, I'm talking about the MSM and conspiracies to manipulate the public. NOT an individual new organization."

Only a couple of posts in and you're already splitting hairs and backpedaling. It is interesting to get some insight into what kind of people these disreputable treasonous media outlets like to hire. Not surprising in the least.



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 02:38 PM
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The MSM is made up of individual news organizations, how are we supposed to comment on one without commenting on the other. That's like asking us to comment on a forest without talking about trees.

Most people apart from you haven't said anything about secret meetings or clandestine organizations in fact people have said that they don't believe this happens.
Extrapolating the point that all business is profit driven to make the point that media organizations don't have any political bias or interest in a particular political point of view at all is a stretch that is impossible to make and is demonstratively false. News papers like the Guardian aim themselves at a left leaning audience and publish stories to back up this position while "The Daily mail" goes for a right wing audience and publishes stories that go along with that bias, I don't know anyone that would deny that this occurs as it's plainly obvious.




edit on 9-9-2010 by davespanners because: My spelling is terrible



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by SphinxMontreal
"Okay, let's hear your evidence collusion. I'm open-minded. Give evidence of collusion and I'll consider it."

OK, I cannot give you evidence but I can give you examples which point towards collusion.

1) WMD. Remember that little thing about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq a few years back, prior to the war? Did any of the mainstream media outlets bother to investigate this lie or did they all take the false information from the Government and shove it down the public's throat like it was fact?


Exactly how were the media supposed to investigate it? I was a reporter and I have no idea. Tell me what they were supposed to do. How could they get classified intelligence info from the government (and that info did not dispute that Iraq had WMD anyway)? How were they supposed to get into Iraq and start snooping around -- especially with Saddam Hussein in power?


Originally posted by SphinxMontreal

2) 9/11. With all of the conflicting information with regards to the Official Story, has one mainstream media outlet bothered to do one hard hitting investigative piece on the subject or do they all sheepishly stray away from the issue? In fact, they attack people who investigate the official story, something which they supposedly get paid to do.


Yes, it has been investigated. I remember distinctly less than a year ago, Jesse Ventura did an entire program on it a cable network -- I think it was discovery. I can tell you that I don't know a single reporter who wouldn't like to blow the lid off the whole thing. That would make them the most famous investigative journalist of their age.

I'm not saying I believe the official story. There are a LOT of unanswered questions. There is a LOT, frankly, that makes me suspicious. But that doesn't mean there's a media conspiracy. It simply doesn't equate to that.


Originally posted by SphinxMontreal
I can say similar things about Swine Flu, SARS, AIDS, War on Terror, Patriot Act, Immigration Reform and all the other vital issues where the media has failed the public.

Does the lack of hard hitting investigation by the MSM on these issues point to coincidence or collusion?


Some of these things have been investigated thoroughly. You think immigration reform doesn't get an avalanche of coverage? Geez. I'm actually getting sick of the issue.

AIDS was investigated thoroughly in the 1980s. And how can you "investigate" the Patriot Act?

Being upset with the shortcomings of the media is one thing. There are shortcomings, problems, etc. and they get talked about quite a bit. I'm cynical myself about many things the media does. And that's fine. I'm glad you are as well.

But these things you mention simply don't equate to a conspiracy.



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 02:56 PM
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Originally posted by davespanners
The MSM is made up of individual news organizations, how are we supposed to comment on one without commenting on the other. That's like asking us to comment on a forest without talking about trees.

I don't see how that's the case at all. Faulty logic. There are ten green people in town. Joe is one of them. Joe committed murder. Therefor ALL green people commit murder? That seems to be what you're saying.



Originally posted by davespanners
Most people apart from you haven't said anything about secret meetings or clandestine organizations in fact people have said that they don't believe this happens.
Extrapolating the point that all business is profit driven to make the point that media organizations don't have any political bias or interest in a particular political point of view at all is a stretch that is impossible to make and is demonstratively false. News papers like the Guardian aim themselves at a left leaning audience and publish stories to back up this position while "The Daily mail" goes for a right wing audience and publishes stories that go along with that bias, I don't know anyone that would deny that this occurs as it's plainly obvious.




edit on 9-9-2010 by davespanners because: My spelling is terrible



Maybe read the OP. I NEVER said individual news organizations don't have bias. I know they do. That's one of the most common topics among journalists. What I said is that there is no conspiracy by the MSM as a whole. I don't doubt you can find instances of news organizations killing stories or reporting with a subtle or even extreme bias. But that means nothing with respect to this topic.


edit on 9-9-2010 by ClintK because: Left out a word



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 02:59 PM
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BTW, gotta go to a meeting and then an appointment. Won't be able to return to this thread until much later.



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 03:32 PM
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Originally posted by ClintK

Originally posted by davespanners
The MSM is made up of individual news organizations, how are we supposed to comment on one without commenting on the other. That's like asking us to comment on a forest without talking about trees.

I don't see how that's the case at all. Faulty logic. There are ten green people in town. Joe is one of them. Joe committed murder. Therefor ALL green people commit murder? That seems to be what you're saying.



Quite the opposite in your original post you said



The agenda of just about ANY news organization is MONEY. Print, internet, broadcast -- it doesn't matter, it's always about money. Ratings, circulation, number of hits on a web site. MONEY, MONEY, MONEY!


Then when I pointed out a particular organization that makes decisions on political bias, sometimes above it's profit margin you said "I'm not talking about individual news organizations"

Thats the same as you saying.

All trees have green leave
Then me pointing to one thats doesn't and you saying "I'm not talking about that tree"

To relate it to the example you gave
Your original point would be "no people ever commit murder"
Then I point out that Joe is a murdered
and you say "Well I wasn't talking about individual people but people as a whole"




edit on 9-9-2010 by davespanners because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by SphinxMontreal It is interesting to get some insight into what kind of people these disreputable treasonous media outlets like to hire. Not surprising in the least.


Well it's all about the money!

He almost had me until he started ranting about paranoia.



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