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Tag: Media

Chomsky- the 10 Strategies of Media Manipulation

16 July 2021

Chomsky is one of the most important intellectuals alive. He has charted the ability of the State to control people without force, which is the key difference between us and the totalitarian states.

He has drawn up the list of the 10 strategies of manipulation through mass media.

1-The strategy of distraction

The primordial element of social control is the distraction strategy that consists of diverting the public’s attention from major problems and the changes decided by political and economic elites, through flooding by continuous distractions and insignificant information.

Distraction strategy is also essential to prevent the public from becoming interested in essential knowledge in the area of science, economics, psychology, neurobiology and cybernetics. Keeping the audience’s attention deviated from real social problems, imprisoned by themes without real importance.

Keeping the public busy, busy, busy, with no time to think, back to the farm like other animals (quoted in the text ′′ Silent weapons for quiet wars ′′).

2-Creating problems and then offering the solutions.

This method is also called the ′′ problem-reaction-solution “. It creates a problem, a ′′ situation ′′ planned to cause a certain reaction from the public, with the aim that this is the mandate of the measures they want to accept. For example: letting urban violence intensify or spread, or organize bloody attacks, with the aim of the public then requiring security laws and policies to the detriment of freedom. Also: creating an economic crisis to make social rights demotion and dismantling of public services accepted as a necessary evil.

3-The Strategy of Graduation.

To make an unacceptable measure accepted, you only need to apply it gradually, by dropper, for consecutive years. This is how radically new socioeconomic conditions (neoliberism) were imposed during the decades of the 80 s and 90 s: minimum state, privatisation, precariousness, flexibility, mass unemployment, wages that no longer guarantee dignified incomes , so many changes that would have brought about a revolution if they were implemented at once.

4-The Strategy of Deferring.

Another way to get an unpopular decision to accept is to present it as ′′ painful and necessary “, gaining public acceptance, in the moment, for future application. It is easier to accept a future sacrifice than an immediate sacrifice. First, because effort isn’t that taken immediately. Second, because the public, the mass, always tends to naively hope that ′′ everything will be better tomorrow ′′ and that the required sacrifice could be avoided. This gives the audience more time to get used to the idea of change and accept it resigned when the time comes.

5-Reach to the public like children.

Most publicity advertising uses speeches, topics, characters and a particularly childish intonation, many times close to weakness, as if the viewer was a few years old creature or a mental moron. When you try to deceive the viewer the more you tend to use a childish tone. Why? Why? ′′ If someone addresses a person as if they are 12 or under, then based on suggestionability, they will probably tend to a response or reaction even without a critical sense like that of a 12 person. years or less ′′ (see ′′ Silent Weapons for quiet wars ′′).

6-Using emotional aspect much more than reflection.

Take advantage of emotion it’s a classic technique to provoke a short circuit on a rational analysis and, finally, the critical sense of the individual. Additionally, the use of emotional register allows the unconscious access door to implant or inject ideas, desires, fears and fears, compulsions, or induce behaviors.

7-Keeping the public in ignorance and mediocrity.

Making the public incapable of understanding the technologies and methods used for their control and slavery.

′′ The quality of education given to lower social classes must be as poor and mediocre as possible, so that the distance of ignorance that plans between lower classes and upper classes is and remains impossible to fill from the lower classes “.

8-Stimulating the public to be complacent with mediocrity.

Pushing the audience to think it’s fashionable to be stupid, vulgar and ignorant…

9-Strengthening self-guilt.

Making the individual believe that he is only the culprit of his disgrace, because of his insufficient intelligence, skills or efforts. So, instead of rebelling against the economic system, the individual devalues himself and blames himself, which in turn creates a depressive state, one of whose effects is the inhibition of his action. And without action there is no revolution!

10-Knowing individuals better than they know themselves.

Over the past 50 years, science’s rapid progress has generated a growing gap between public knowledge and those possessed and used by dominant elites. Thanks to biology, neurobiology, and applied psychology, the ′′ system ′′ has enjoyed advanced knowledge of the human being, both in its physical and psychological form. The system has managed to learn better about the common individual than he knows himself. This means that, in most cases, the system exercises greater control and greater power over individuals, greater than that which the same individual exercises over himself.

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Noam Chomsky’s 10 Media Manipulation Strategies

10 May 2021

Noam Chomsky, one of the most important intellectuals in life today, has drawn up the list of 10 media manipulation strategies.Give 5 minutes and you won’t regret it.If only to expand your knowledge.

1-The strategy of distractionThe primordial element of social control is the distraction strategy which consists of diverting the public’s attention from major problems and the changes decided by political and economic elites, through the flooding technique or flooding continuous distractions and insignificant information.Distraction strategy is also essential to prevent the public from becoming interested in essential knowledge in the area of science, economics, psychology, neurobiology and cybernetics. Keeping the audience’s attention deviated from real social problems, imprisoned by themes without real importance.Keeping the public busy, busy, busy, with no time to think, back to the farm like other animals (quoted in the text ′′ Silent weapons for quiet wars ′′).

2-Creating problems and then offering the solutions.This method is also called a ′′ problem-reaction-solution “. It creates a problem, a ′′ situation ′′ planned to cause a certain reaction from the public, with the aim that this is the source of the measures they want to accept. For example: letting urban violence intensify or intensify, or organize bloody attacks, with the aim of the public being those requiring security laws and policies to the detriment of freedom. Also: create an economic crisis to make social rights demotion and dismantle public services accept as a necessary evil.

3-The Strategy of Graduation.To make an unacceptable measure accepted, you only need to apply it gradually, to dropper, for consecutive years. This is how radically new socioeconomic conditions (neoliberism) were imposed during the decades of the 80 s and 90 s: minimum state, privatisation, precariousness, flexibility, mass unemployment, wages that no longer guarantee dignified incomes , so many changes that would have brought about a revolution if they were implemented at once.

4-The Strategy of Deferring.Another way to get an unpopular decision accepted is to present it as ′′ painful and necessary “, gaining public acceptance, in the moment, for future application. It is easier to accept a future sacrifice than an immediate sacrifice. First, because effort isn’t that taken immediately. Second, because the public, the mass, always tends to naively hope that ′′ everything will be better tomorrow ′′ and that the required sacrifice could be avoided. This gives the audience more time to get used to the idea of change and accept it resigned when the time comes.

5-Reach to the public like children.Most advertisements directed at the large audience use speeches, arguments, characters and a particularly childish intonation, many times close to weakness, as if the viewer was a few years old creature or a mental moron. When you try to deceive the viewer the more you tend to use a childish tone. Why? Why? ′′ If someone addresses a person as if they are 12 or under, then based on suggestionability, they will probably tend to a response or reaction even without a critical sense like that of a 12 person. years or less ′′ (see ′′ Silent Weapons for quiet wars ′′).

6-Using emotional aspect much more than reflection.Take advantage of emotion it’s a classic technique to provoke a short circuit on a rational analysis and finally the critical sense of the individual. Additionally, the use of emotional register allows the unconscious access door to implant or inject ideas, desires, fears and fears, compulsions, or induce behaviors.

7-Keeping the public in ignorance and mediocrity.Making the public incapable of understanding the technologies and methods used for their control and slavery.′′ The quality of education given to lower social classes must be as poor and mediocre as possible, so that the distance of ignorance that plans between lower classes and upper classes is and remains impossible to fill from the lower classes “.

8-Stimulating the public to be complacent with mediocrity.Pushing the audience to think it’s fashionable to be stupid, vulgar and ignorant…

9-Strengthening self-guilt.Making the individual believe that he is only the culprit of his disgrace, because of his insufficient intelligence, skills or efforts. So, instead of rebelling against the economic system, the individual devalues himself and blames himself, which in turn creates a depressive state, one of whose effects is the inhibition of his action. And without action there is no revolution!

10-Knowing individuals better than they know themselves.Over the past 50 years, science’s rapid progress has generated a growing gap between public knowledge and those possessed and used by dominant elites. Thanks to biology, neurobiology, and applied psychology, the ′′ system ′′ has enjoyed advanced knowledge of the human being, both in its physical and psychological form. The system has managed to learn better about the common individual than he knows himself. This means that, in most cases, the system exercises greater control and greater power over individuals, greater than that which the same individual exercises over himself.

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Liberal Government Backflips

30 April 2021 Morrison is running a highly Presidential style of government such that the evening news is now more like ‘What Morrison did today’. This reminds me of when I was in Parliament and would try to sell an issue to the Parliamentary media, and they would say, ‘We’ve got our NSW story for today; it is Minister X opening Y’. I would say, ‘Yes, but that is staged and not really news and there will something else staged tomorrow and the next day and you are merely a government propaganda arm’. The journalist would reply, ‘Yes, probably, but if I don’t cover that story I will get my ass kicked’. These government backflips are mainly ignored by the mainstream media because of Morrison’s media management strategy. He hold media briefings in which he says what he is going to announce the next day, so those invited can have a ‘sneak preview’. He then announces whatever it was so gets two bites of the cherry. Of course any journalist who gives an unfavourable spin risks having their outlet not invited next time, so they will just be commentators 15 hours behind the story. Here is a story from Bernard Keane at Crikey, who is one of those not invited. http://www.crikey.com.au/…/china-backflips-media…/…
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Make Google Pay for Content? But who does the money go to? 29/1/21

I searched for something on google today and first up came a message from them on why they should not have to pay for content. Hey, it was like me telling a neighbour where a coffee shop was and then having to pay for having done so. Not quite!
There was no feedback to google- hey we are used to one-way communication these days. Most emails have a ‘No reply’ address and the rest of advertising has been one-way communication since BUGA UP stopped spraying on billboards in the mid-1980s.
But after the google position there was this video by Kevin Rudd, which talks about how the ACCC, which is now claiming to be doing this for media diversity, a.k.a. competition, happily approved Nine buying Fairfax and Murdoch buying almost all Australia’s rural newspapers to get an effective monopoly. They have not looked at media monopolies in Australia and do not seem to want to.
Rudd asks what has changed in media diversity and suggests that Scotty from Marketing is actually just collecting revenue to give to Murdoch. He points out that the legislation does not say where the money will go, and if it goes to existing media, principally Murdoch, it may do nothing at all for media diversity. He also points out that exempting the ABC from getting any money will mean that he can continue to defund them, while subsidising Murdoch, an American citizen who he just gave a gong to in the Australia Day honours. The message is clear from Scotty to Murdoch, ‘Those nasty Labor people want to investigate monopoly in Australian media, but we will support you and give you money- support us next election’.
Google and the multinational tech companies, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, Expedia, the gambling websites and the rest that live overseas and pay no tax should be taxed on their turnover in Australia. The ABC should be better funded, and I am open to suggestions as how to support media diversity. The worry is that the extra revenue could just to used to favour sources that suit the government.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_mSnAKWHZA

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Big Tech’s Media Monopoly 15/1/21

Google and Facebook are taking most of the advertising revenue, which is naturally undermining Murdoch as the biggest player in conventional mass media.

The question is how much money are they making? They can transfer money around and avoid tax, but if how much they are making is opaque, they cannot even be taxed properly on turnover.

Australia is leading the world in wanting to tax google to pay for other media that produce content. Who will be the main beneficiary of this? Murdoch; of course. So actually the Australian government is doing Murdoch’s bidding. This is unlikely to be a coincidence. We are having an inquiry into Murdoch’s power on one hand, and passing special laws to give him money on the other.

The key problem is that the media funding model is broken. Years ago media proprietors were willing to keep editorial and advertising departments separate. No more. At first we found there were fewer stories about smoking caused disease in the women’s magazines that took the advertising. Then we noticed that Murdoch’s coverage of Indonesia and China were slanted when he was trying to buy satellites or networks. Naturally his companies were well reported in his newspapers, then there was cross-promotion of his other businesses. So as well as restricting content critical of advertisers things progressed to having stories slanted to be more exciting rather than more accurate or relevant.

Now, as social media eats away at conventional media advertising revenue they sack journalists to save money and delete or slant stories even more.

Simply funding good people to produce news is what has been done with the ABC on the BBC model, and this is what should happen. But the current government wants to manage the media and so want to de-fund the ABC.

So while I favour simply taxing google on its income and using the money to fund the ABC there are a number of problems with this. Who will or can make google disclose how much money it makes and where? An international cooperative of taxation departments empowered to send in IT-savvy forensic accountants? Can governments ever be trusted to fund public media adequately and then not interfere in what they report?

www.crikey.com.au/2021/01/15/google-facebook-ad-regulation/?utm_campaign=Daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter

Written 15/1/21

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Media Diversity Inquiry 22/11/20

The inquiry into media diversity is now a reality, and submissions close quite soon- 11 December.

Please make a submission, even if it only short- we need to show that a lot of people care about this issue.

It seems to me that the funding model s broken. Years ago, the wealthy Fairfax family got all the ad revenue and were relatively happy to let the journalists write what they liked. When the ad revenue started to fall, the stories were more to please the advertisers so that they would use this paper. Of course stories that were against their interest simply did not happen, so self-censorship got worse. As the paper got thinner, there was simply not enough space for many stories, which worsened the situation.

Finally a senior financial journalist told me that rather then headline writers putting headlines on his finished stories, he was being told the (catchy) headline and asked to write the story to under it. There was naturally some pressure to make sure that the story was at least consistent with the arbitrarily chosen (click inviting) headline.

The rise of social media has of course siphoned off a huge percentage of the ad revenue, and stories can be posted and accessed free, so those funding journalists have a problem.

Democratic ideas and the social media have made many people think that an ignorant opinion has the same value as an informed one. The algorithms that are to keep us watching give us the friends who think like we do, so as we think we see the world, we actually see our own sub-cultural bubble.

Since the funding mechanism is broken, this must be admitted and a new model found. Putting money into existing structures that work, like the ABC and SBS is obviously a good start, but not popular with the commercial media, who see them merely as subsidised competitors.

The idea that google and Facebook should subsidise the commercial media is also a convenient one for Murdoch. It is a massive government interference in the market. Presumably if the ABC is not involved in this subsidy scheme the algorithms would favour free information sources, which would in itself not be a bad thing, though it may also favour blogs of indifferent quality.

It would seem that if Google and Facebook had to pay a ‘turnover tax’ based on their revenue from Australian consumers we could have a sensible debate about how the money should be allocated to inform the population. As well as the ABC and SBS, entities like the Australian Bureau of Statistics might be worth considering, so that they can generate information and then distribute it to inform debate. The idea of evidence-driven policy is not dead, merely very ill.

If the government believes in competition as it professes to do, it must make rules that level the playing field. Chapter One of the economics books tell of open markets, which are modelled on some sort of medieval village where many farmers come to the square on market day, and the consumers have to spend all their money wisely and choose how much of each product they will buy. This is a very limited model and the rest of the textbooks tell about the development of monopolies, oligopolies, collusion, barriers to entry and other distortions to this simplistic market model. It seems that the politicians never get past chapter one. They need to this time. If you want a competitive market there need to be regulations that just stop big fish eating little fish.

It is important that a lot of submissions are received, and it would be good if they had a range of suggestions. Please put one in.

www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/Mediadiversity

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To Make google and Facebook pay, or not to make google and Facebook pay?

6 September 2020

Presumably the whole world is watching whether the Australian government can make google and Facebook pay to carry news items.

The reason is quite clear. They gain customers for being able to point them to the news sources, and then they get the advertising revenue from people on their platforms, while the people who collected the news make no money for having done so, and then lose the advertising that used to come to them when people bought their papers or watched their TV channels.

So initially I was quite in favour of the idea. Here were big foreign companies, structured to pay no tax, grabbing all the advertising and the media was dying because of the lack of advertising revenue.  Strangely the ABC was not going to get any revenue- it was only going to the commercial media.  I wondered if this was a good thing. Would google and Facebook favour the ABC as it was free, and direct people there rather than to commercial media.  But if they did, would this produce a reaction from Murdoch, and would then the government do something more to favour Murdoch and disadvantage the ABC- hey, they are already cutting the ABC budget ?at Murdoch’s request.

But I was thinking that the rise of fake news and conspiracy theories, which threaten any rational voting or policy development is largely due to the social media behemoths.  Everyone is equal in that they can post what they like, and things that are more interesting and clickable are more equal than facts. Added to this, in order to get people to stay there and click around, they are connected up with things and people that they like and who think like them.  So we are all reinforced.  We friend the people we like, and they friend us. And we get our facts from them, and they from us.  So if we do not really chase facts in this candy store of pleasant experiences, we can soon have our own bubble, with no need for facts.  Pontius Pilate has been much quoted for asking, ‘What is truth?’  He did not want to know what the truth was, and many who quote him are of the same mind.  Exact truth may not always be clear, but you can get closer to it if you try, and hopefully that is what science and good journalism tries to achieve.

So when I saw the Australian government leading the world in trying to get revenue for the commercial media, when they had not even been able to get workable legislation to get them to pay some tax, I wondered who is driving this.  The companies that have bought our privatised toll roads have the government collect their tolls, and fine people if they do not pay.  So I wondered is this just Murdoch getting the government to collect revenue for him?  Murdoch was very much in favour of the market as he gobbled up smaller media players. The Rudd and Gillard governments were ruthlessly attacked and ultimately destroyed by Murdoch, and it was always my opinion that this was because they would not change the media ownership laws to allow Murdoch to have nearly all of it- the need for balance and diversity being totally irrelevant and profits the only objective.  As soon as Tony Abbott was Prime Minister this law was changed in Murdoch’s favour. 

Now the market has changed.  New technology has taken the money from newspapers and free to air TV, which were funded from their advertising.  The model had worked reasonably well when I was young.  The Fairfax family were rich from the advertising, and let the journalists write what they liked, or so we believed.  With Packer, it was not quite so clear. The slogan was ‘Publish and be Damned’, but while that may have been true for more salacious material or less powerful targets, there was a suggestion that some areas were off limits, like tobacco when there was a lot of cigarette ads in the paper.  Later, as Murdoch became more powerful, stories seemed to be changed a lot to suit his interest.  When Indonesia had a very authoritarian government Murdoch’s coverage of it was very benign as he sought to get a satellite TV licence.  This has advanced further so that now there is more advertorial content.  Before local papers closed, people bought a quarter page ad and got to write the article on the rest of the page.  Ideal for restaurants and clubs, but independent journalism?  I think not, but it was/is the norm. 

Once, stories were written first, then headline writers wrote the headlines for them.  Now even senior writers are being asked to write a story to fit under a pre-written, catchy headline.  Hey, we have to get a click to get the ad revenue.  Senior writers have told me that the headline may be misleading and they have to slant their stories so it is not seen as absurd.  What effect is this having?  What about people who only read the headline?  It no longer has substance- it was just put there so that they would notice it.

The ABC has been much criticised by the commercial media, and Murdoch in particular because it just gets money to provide a news and cultural service.  It has a different funding model, and if the commercial media has no money, they want the ABC to have none either.

But it is time to look at the root cause. The model of funding media and journalism by advertising revenue is broken.  It was fraying before google and Facebook etc came, and it is very broken now.  Murdoch was quite happy to let the market sort it out, when he was winning and buying up his competition.  Now he is getting the government to get him money from his technological competitors.  And the Australian government, which seems more beholden to him than any other national governments is doing his bidding.

If google and Facebook decide to offer less news and change their algorithms to favour ‘free’ news sources, is this likely to affect the content of our searches?  And will there be even more fake news and conspiracy theories than now?  Quite possibly.

I have no particular brief to act for google and Facebook, and find their ads telling me that the end of the world is nigh almost laughable.  I think that they must pay tax, and this must be based on their revenue, and not on the profits that can be so easily fiddled with foreign loans and transfer payments etc.  But it seems that there are 3 related problems:

  1. The government has a problem- how to get tax from these behemoths.
  2. The public have a problem how to get unbiased honest news and science facts. 
  3. The commercial media have a problem how to pay their journalists when the revenue has gone to social media to whom trivia and produces just as much revenue as news.  

We need to discuss this carefully, so that facts and public interest win.

www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-media-regulator/australia-to-force-google-facebook-to-pay-domestic-media-to-use-content-idUSKBN222066

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The Murdoch Party

1 May 2020 Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd do not agree on much, but both Malcolm and Kevin agree that Rupert Murdoch is effectively a political party in Australia and by controlling information gets whatever government and policies that he wants.Kevin Rudd may have been a religious, egotistical, micro-managing nerd, but probably what brought him […]

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A Coup in Bolivia- How it was Reported in Oz

21 November 2019

There was a coup in Bolivia which has had minimal coverage in Oz, but I have 3 worries:

  1. Australian media coverage is very distorted in the interests of US foreign policy
  2. Facebook bans sites that do not suit US interests and
  3. The pattern of the US waging economic war on South American countries that do not allow their multinationals to plunder the resources, and arranging coups seems almost standard.

The SMH coverage was from Bloomberg and seemed unable to figure out why there were two governments in Bolivia:

For all reasonable observers Morals won the election with 47% of the vote and with more than 10% lead over his nearest rival, should not have needed a run-off election.  Irregularities were alleged, (but then again they always are when foreign interests are threatened).  Morales offered a re-run, but was not allowed to stand by the guy who came second and the Army!!  So Morales fled, which is very odd thing for a President to do if it were not a coup.

But the SMH article is written as if the Bolivian coup is very hard to understand.

www.smh.com.au/world/south-america/bolivian-crisis-there-are-two-groups-of-people-claiming-to-be-the-government-20191115-p53b01.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_feed

Consider the following:
The article has two journalists, Matthew Bristow and John Quigley but is attributed to Bloomberg, a US media company. Bloomberg  owned by Michael Bloomberg, who is publicly contemplating standing as a Democrat presidential candidate, but is considered too right wing.
It talks about the ‘interim ‘President’ Jeanine Anez, who was an ‘Opposition Senator’. How did she get to be ‘interim President’ when the government has a majority in both houses? How is she ‘appointing her Cabinet’- with what legitimacy?
Why is the information sourced from the ‘Andean Information Network’, a ‘Think tank’? Who pays for ‘think tanks’? Are there no journalists in Bolivia?
Why were their riots just after the election, when the economy was doing quite well?
Why are the leaders of the government in power all resigning?
Why is Morales not allowed to stand for the run-off election?
Why is the army not supporting the existing elected government? Who trained them?
Why did the President Evo Morales, who just won the presidential election by more than 10% ahead of his nearest rival flee to Mexico? For no reason? He was standing for a 4th term. which had been challenged in the High Court but he had won there. Presumably the Army was against him and in favour of the opposition.

President Evo Morales had nationalised a big oil company, and wanted his people to get a larger share of the country’s big lithium deposits. He claimed that this was why he was deposed.

https://external.fsyd3-1.fna.fbcdn.net/safe_image.php?d=AQDRtvCEvRlzzso7&w=540&h=282&url=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FxMXmkbTRNw4%2Fhqdefault.jpg&cfs=1&upscale=1&fallback=news_d_placeholder_publisher&_nc_hash=AQDaylo2tk_5eS_X

A Venezualan perspective is given at

https://orinocotribune.com/the-coup-in-bolivia-five-lessons

I tried to post this on my Facebook page and it was denied as offending ‘Community Standards’!  I just put the name of the paper, Orinoco Tribune, not the url and it was still denied with the same- ‘Community Standards’.

So what with the major media giving very one-sided coverage and Facebook censoring material, presumably for being anti-US, how do the Australian public ever get to know what is going on. 

I will attach what I attempted to post separately..

I did manage to post some material critical of the SMH article and the RT article and they have remained there.

(A more radical view is at:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52534.htm)

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