Merry Christmas everyone!
During the gulf war, thirty years ago or so, when al-jazeera was only broadcast in arabic on TV, it became pretty obvious to me that their visual coverage (because I don’t understand arabic) was significantly better than that of the bbc news and when they launched their english channel it was apparent where their sympathies lay – leaning more towards the palestinians than the israelis for example.
And, in my opinion, it’s only natural for news channels to have political leanings, and therefore to “spin” their news in a certain way. And, if you are wise to this you can channel hop between them and sometimes get a better picture of what’s really going on in the world.
France 24, for example did not reveal to me the malian suffering due to uranium radiation poisoning highlighted by al-jazeera; and why would they? France gets a lot of the uranium it needs for its nuclear reactors from that part of the world and at the moment they’re more concerned with keeping the lights on.
And in the usa the partisanship of the news channels is obvious to most people who have more than half a brain.
Over the years I’ve also had paid subscriptions to bloomberg.com, the financial times and the telegraph and I also use reuters on a daily basis.
So I endeavour to get my propaganda from a variety of sources, because there are always two sides to a story, and if you are willing to sift through these sources you can generally parse from them something approaching the truth.
But, I’m not normal, and most people don’t bother!
So, I think I’ve established that there are different “flavours” of news.
I’ve been registered on twitter since 2008, as I thought they were on to something.
However, as I may have pointed out in the past, I’m always early – to quote Taylor Swift, I was so ahead of the curve, the curve became a sphere – and I didn’t really start using Twitter until earlier this year, when I was pretty much instantly banned.
This is one of the reasons why I have my own website 😉.
But I’m a quick learner.
What I soon established is that twitter (unfiltered) is the polar opposite to the mainstream media (filtered), and as there is a lot of crap on there, you have to approach it (as I did) with a cynical “don’t believe everything you read” approach.
Therefore, I have been surprised when I have read about significant events erupting in the world first on twitter before the mainstream media have picked it up.
Probably the foremost in my mind was the open public rebellion that occurred in China recently over the SARS-CoV-2 lockdowns, that lead to the reversal in policy there.
You see, everyone with a smartphone these days can instantly become a world “scooping” journalist (not a high bar in my opinion – I have a very low opinion of journalists these days)
Also, I have found it to be quite amusing from time to time and also sometimes a source of useful information for my trading activities.
Your single source of truth
Whilst not quite being a single source of truth, like Jacinda’s government, twitter provides, for me personally, not only a useful source of information, but also a foil against news outlets that may not be being entirely honest about their own agendas and biases (also know as propaganda).
For the people around the world who have only been watching one news channel all their lives as their “single source of truth” there is a danger that social media will open their eyes to other viewpoints and agendas (and possibly put some journalists/newspapers out of work/business too).
Furthermore, as trust in governments collapses because of corruption, politicians fear losing the ability to control whatever the current narrative happens to be and are therefore striving to curtail what they call the spread of mis/dis information in order to “protect democracy”.
Just like they do in China🤔.
The irony here, is that, according to this article Twitter is the go-to social media site for U.S. journalists, but not for the public.
But to this, I say, “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander“.
And I’m not referring to gender here! That would be an entirely different blog post🙂👠👗.