The rapid course of events unfolding upon today’s international stage is being heavily covered by countless media sources, both mainstream and alternative. In an effort to attract the attention of readers certain journals choose to betray the objectivity of their narrative, which is truly regrettable. Widespread exaggerations, overt propaganda, and what is even worse - sometimes mainstream media sources simply fabricating news, have all always been unacceptable for professional journalists.
Distorted representation of reality that people in the West are being fed on the daily basis often leads to the misunderstanding of modern politics, which makes both citizens and politicians unable to make reasonable decisions. By blindly obeying the orders of certain military manufactures and bought off by pro-Washington circles, Western media sources are engaged in propaganda so heavily that they forget about the problems that their fellow citizens endure daily, in particular, such as the struggle against extremism and terrorism and the struggle for a better life that most common people share.
People are usually repaying this kind of treatment with disrespect and distrust they show to their national media. For instance, according to Gallup, over 60% of Americans don’t trust official media sources. The confidence of Americans that official channels and journals won’t lie to them has been eroding over time, since back in 2003 53% of respondents believed those media sources. This trust among middle aged Americans (between 18-49 years) has recently hit a record low.
As it has been noted by numerous journalists and commentators, this phenomena can be explained by the fact that at some point American media sources have deviated form objective coverage of the facts that their journalists witness, replacing it with blatant political propaganda, ignoring the true plagues of American society altogether. They prefer not to mention the grave social situation ordinary Americans are to endure on a daily basis, the continuous drone assassinations that the US government has made routine, which over the last couple of years claimed the lives of at least 2,500 civilians outside officially declared war zones. According to independent estimates, at least 90% of those killed in those strikes had nothing to do with the declared targets whatsoever. None of these cases have resulted in any legal actions. There is a constant steam of blatant and even absurd accusations against Russia, which, in particular, confirmed the political motivation of the Litvinenko case and baseless accusations being made daily against Russia’s President, stating that he could somehow have been involved in this case. This new campaign is clearly orchestrated by Washington, just like all the previous ones. Now the New York Times and The Washington Post have also embarked on the mission to demonize Russia by all means possible.
Instead of providing a fair analysis of the actions being taken by Western politicians, the US media time and time again tries to create an artificial image of the enemy that should be rallied against, helping the US government escape punishment for its own crimes.
As it has been noted by the American alternative media source AlterNet, over 45 million poor Americans are not interested in paying attention to baseless propaganda and even the presidential election campaign. It took more than a year of continuous protests, led by members of the movement Black Lives Matter, for the US presidential candidates to be forced into discussing the problems of racism and the need for criminal justice reform. Without a similar effort to raise awareness about the hardship of common Americans the corporate media will hardly mention their problems.
However, the decline of public confidence in the national media hasn’t been plaguing America alone, since the recent study conducted by TNS-Sofres for the French newspaper La Croix indicates that the French have little trust in official media sources as well. A total of 60% of respondents are convinced that mainstream journalists are unable to resist the political pressure and the power of money, since they are more inclined to be a part of Washington’s propaganda campaigns rather than drafting objective articles on the topics that are of utmost interest to the public.
Under these circumstance, France is losing the propaganda battle against ISIS hands down. And this is no small tragedy if one is to consider the fact that over 1,700 French citizens have joined the ranks of ISIS making the country the largest European “supplier” of terrorists to Syria and Iraq. For over 20 years France has been infiltrated by a handful of various terrorist networks and cells, wrote the expert on terrorism and a former agent of Swiss secret services Jean-Paul Ruye for Le Temps. The absolute majority of large terrorist organizations in the world have French subdivisions. Even though some terrorists have been killed and others were put to jail, for the majority of them, France remains a reliable base of operations.
As it has been noted by the Liberation, the country with a handful of major media sources has miserably failed to raise anti-ISIS awareness which resulted in terrorist attacks in Paris. In January French Minister of Internal Affairs stated that the fight against terrorist propaganda has become a top priority for the country. The newspaper notes that the inability to choose priorities and blatant shortsightedness of the government have led to disastrous consequences.
It’s curious that a French government website Stop Djihadisme, launched at the end of January 2015 is being completely outranked by terrorist propaganda sources, they do even have more content. Only at the end of December, nearly a year after the launch of this project, Stop Djihadisme appeared on Facebook and Twitter. For comparison, ISIL over the same the year uploaded 800 videos in 11 languages, 15,000 photos and has been running over 20 online journals.
That is why major media sources should be used in the West to pursue the interests of those political circles that represent the needs of citizens. There’s little doubt that those would be better off rallying the people for the fight against the real enemy of humanity – terrorism – instead of endless and futile attempts to paint the East black.
Martin Berger is a Czech-based freelance journalist and analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.