Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Propaganda vs News

I have been reading a lot of reporting of late. I am trying to read reporting from liberal, conservative, foreign, and moderate sources to gain perspective on the the issues. 

In reading the different sources, I am discovering trends that help me identify factual reporting versus slanted reporting (propaganda) playing on emotions or designed to incite a portion of the population.

An example from recent reporting:

If there is a reference to another news organization as "the fake news . . . " or "a reporter from the fake news . . . " I am probably reading heavily slanted reporting or propaganda. I offer an example from the reporting about the CNN Reporter that was arrested in Minneapolis. One sentence that stuck with me: Fake news CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez was broadcasting from the riots in Minneapolis . . . You can find the story at this link. Why is this clearly slanted reporting? Because the story was not about the particular news outlet, it was about a First Amendment Right being abridged in the arrest of a reported doing his job. 

Factual reporting is just that--facts without the inflammatory verbiage. When inciting language is contained in the articles, then there is likely a propaganda intent behind the reporting. 

Labeling everyone protesting as a terrorist is another tactic that I noted. During the past few days when there has been little violence, it has become clear that the peaceful demonstrators are citizens exercising their right to protest issues to the government. Yes, there were examples of looting early on, but they were not necessarily terrorists, they were criminals. Adding the terrorist designation without supporting evidence is an example of propaganda reporting designed to inflame a segment of the population. Tear-gassing and shooting demonstrators exercising their first amendment protected rights and following the directions of law enforcement is wrong--unless of course you decide that they are terrorists. 

Beware what you read--there are forces out there trying to shape what you believe.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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