Thursday, 28 June 2007


Before funking off out of office, Tony Blair decided to have a go at the press - referring to them, Plato stylee, as a "feral beast". The gist of his rant is that mainstream news outlets are becoming increasingly commentary - as opposed to news - based, as a result of the fierce competition they face with the growing popularity of blogs. Blair's concern lay with how hard it was making life for him and other politicians - it can be pretty inconvenient when you're trying to cover up the fact that your government took bribes willy nilly, what with all that cash for honours business.

However, certain mofos are more worried about the whole affair for better reasons - the idea of having
no reliable news source - that we are losing the facts and are being served only opinion. Certainly it's true that most mainstream news outlets are losing their validity in an attempt to maintain reader numbers - but is this reason to be worried? Will the news become pure propaganda in order to survive?

The answer is no:
news outlets have always been biased thanks to economic reasons - eg Rupert Murdoch wants papers that attract all members of society so that he can advertise to them (left thinkers, right thinkers, centrists, the middle aged, teenagers) so he ensures he owns a newspaper/media outlet for each target market. All newspapers which contain adverts sell you as their product - not news - and they sell you to those who wish to advertise. The real product on sale is an audience with your stimulated brain. This means that news and accurate reporting is merely a secondary priority - maintaining a regular audience of people belonging to a certain school of thought is the real priority, and so the paper will purposely twist current events to appeal to these people, and twist events in a way that harm their advertisers as little as possible.

As these sources are already biased,
by making them recognisably propaganda, bloggers are actually improving the situation. Considering that one news outlet - the BBC - will always remain, and take efforts to remain , relatively unbiased, due to the fact that their revenue comes not from advertising, but near compulsory TV licenses that the majority of the UK pay for, we are not losing our source of 'pure' news, but shining a torch on it.

As all the other news providers battle for sales, the BBC will remain as it is -
and be noticeably more trustworthy to the general population.

I have no illusions as to the natural biases held by the BBC - the ones based purely on a reporter or establishment's sense of right and wrong and other vested interests (eg any story the BBC run around their funding) - but these biases are present in all news reporting, there is no way to avoid it. What makes the BBC preferable is that
it is not a slave to advertising agencies. The biases the BBC do hold are nothing in comparison to what other news corporations hold and will hold.

Although we may now watch the old media turn into a propaganda machine, we should not stop blogging to avoid this:
as long as the BBC remains impartial, we are purifying the world's news.


Josh said...

well put!

Bella said...

Nicely argued. I would add: when you sup with the devil you need a long spoon. I wouldn't exactly call Murdoch the devil but it was well known he played a hugely important (and under reported) role in Blair's life. Blair wanted him on his side (he needed Murdoch's propoganda machine) and Murdoch gives good propoganda in order to keep his commercial interests going. Murdoch is hugely powerful - more so than any PM. He stays, while Blair goes - no wonder Blair has turned on his master's beasts... But Blair was simply learning what many have learnt before him: play with feral beasts if you want, but expect them to turn on you when they've grown tired of the game. Hacks hunt in packs and they enjoy setting someone up to bring them down. Neither do they like being used - you can't court them one minute and then say 'leave me alone' the next. Any celeb - from Princess Di down - will tell you that. Blair came across as a petulant child, as always refusing to take responsibiity for how badly his adventures turned out (mostly for others) and blaming others (feral beasts) instead. He should grow up.

But also 'the media' is only a collection of individuals - they all have opinions rather than a party line. And, just because they are employed by a news corporation, it doesn't make them any more worthy of giving their opinions than the next person - or blogger...

What diffentiates whether someone is a worthwhile 'read' or not is soley whether the opinions are worth reading - it doesn't matter where you find them. If blogging maintains this high standard, then more people will turn to read it, because they know it is untainted by either commercial or political interest.

And - remember! - you get the newspapers (and programmes) you deserve. If readers refused to accept the 'ready to hand' proprietors would have to think again... Don't buy any newspapers for a year - that would be a real revolution. Bella

Drunken Editor said...

Perhaps England could use a George Bush for themselves. England is up to its neck in radical Muslims. Currently, the largest place off worship in the world is being built by a radical sect in England, to accommodate assemblies of 10s of thousands of radical Muslims, where they can unite and force England more and more into Islamic law.

Meanwhile, Tony has just been replaced with an absolute eunuch. This idiot, pansy, sissy joke of a prime minister will not even say the words "Islam" and "extremists" or "terrorists" in the same sentence. Like most of the butt slaves left in England, this appeaser won't even admit, or realize, that Muslims have anything to do with the current problems in England, Iraq, and all over the world.

Why doesn't he just lick some evil Muslim's butt right on international television? God, if any country ever needed a Bush, it is England. Without one, soon, England will be a country consisting of two factions. A ruling faction of evil, oppressive, women raping, savage Muslims.... and the larger, slave class that gave up their rule of law, way of life, balls, and freedom, because they were too blind - - or perhaps too cowardly, to make an ounce of effort to protect what is right.

In fact, as it stands today, the English attitude and strategy, is significantly facilitating the Islamic Jihad. The new cupcake of a Prime Minister seems poised to set the example for all Brits, of how they must all clip off their nuts, and lay down to evil.

Wilf said...

Drunken Editor: I have never read so much vulgar xenophobia in my life. I'm finding it very hard to write a retort, as I can't see what your racist rant has to do with news reporting.

I find it ironic that you blog about England in such a familiar manner when you criticize me on one of my earlier posts for blogging about the US because "they (English bloggers) assume they know America, and state things that are not true; the fact is, they don't know shit."

I haven't noticed myself "up to (my) neck in radical Muslims."

Your bizarre vision of the future seems groundless, repulsive, racist and disgusting.

However, I welcome you to post on my blog in the future, it's important to have political debate in life.


jjack said...

Pretty sharp article. I'll throw up a link to your blog on mine.