The news media are not public interest organizations

We turn to the news media when we want to know what’s happening in the world.  They provide coverage of immediate and dramatic events. If there is a plane crash or an earthquake, the news media are there with their cameras and reporters.  They can put a camera in front of something and describe what is in front of their camera.  The news media are best suited to cover stories that require little context or explaining.  For stories that develop slowly or have a long history that requires a placement in context, the news media are inadequate. For those stories, we need a variety of sources that can provide a variety of view points so that we can identify the experts and listen to what they have to say.  The news media usually only provide one source and one view point and can only describe what is immediately happening. 

When the news media attempts to provide context by linking events together into a narrative (such as the threat of communism or terrorism), that narrative is orchestrated or at least filtered through the top executives in the media company.  These top executives may not have the public interest in mind when choosing their narratives.

For example, if the tobacco companies owned the media, there would be little chance that the dangers of cigarette smoking would get reported. There could be a media black out of all discussion of smoking health risks. The media could find some experts somewhere that would support their stated view that cigarettes are safe. Anyone that criticises that view could easily be dismissed or ignored. Media companies operate for profit. The narratives and world views expressed by the media companies must fall in line with the profit motive. It’s simple economics.

If we want to stay informed on developing stories, the big media companies are never a good choice. The film Orwell Rolls in his Grave offers a good critique of the news media.  Watch it on FreeSpeech TV or on my main page Freedom Channel.


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