The Hijacking of Journalism is, plain and simple, the Hijacking of Facts. Either through presenting ideology or opinion as truth, or by refusing to expose those who are doing this. Journalism is supposed to be a free society’s main form of Adult Education, not a prisoner society’s main way of spreading opinion that’s cloaked to look like reporting.
The Hijacking of Facts: What is presented as fact is usually spin. In today’s instant communication world, spin posing as fact spreads like wildfire long the truth does. And even when the truth does finally get spread, it’s usually long after the lie has already been embraced — and acted on — as if it were the truth. This is precisely what propagandists hope will happen when they start spreading their propaganda — they’re counting on an army of well-intended people to NOT fact check what they see before they spread it around.
Is this the fault of the propagandists or the well-intended propaganda spreaders? Well, it’s not a matter of fault. It’s a matter of synergy: propagandists will likely always be around, and they will always remain dedicated doing their best to make propaganda appear to be truth. Is this a major integrity deficit? You bet. However, there’s only one reason they have power: the willingness of well-intended people to spread around information they didn’t fact check first.
So, if you’re a propagandist, shame on you. Just because propaganda is powerfully effective doesn’t mean it should be used, any more than just because nuclear weapons exist this means they should be used. If you employ propagandists to market your product, service, cause or candidate, shame on you. If your product, service, causes or candidate deserves to thrive, it will do that on its own merits, without exaggeration, distortion or other lies. If it isn’t strong enough to thrive on its own merits, find something or someone else to bring to the market that is. It’s time to finally accept that the ends don’t justify the means.
And, if you’re a well-intended person who doesn’t responsibly fact check what you receive before deciding whether to forward it — even if it’s from people or causes or philosophies you believe in — stop laying blame for spin at the feet of the propagandists. We the people are the ones with the power to render propagandists powerless. If we wait for them to stop using we are simply choosing to remain their victims. And victims either give up their Thrill of Living or they feel justified in becoming the perpetrators they feel controlled by.
More coming soon.