The prevailing message of mass media is much more controlled in Western democracies than most people realize.
The prevailing message of mass media is much more controlled in Western democracies than most people realize. To only a minor extent is this control exercised directly by governments. Most of the control is exercised by the small number of large corporations that own the mass media.
I have a University degree in Journalism. I was a full time writer, photographer and editor for 21 years. I’ve attended many media conferences and I’ve studied and taught Media Literacy. So I think I’m qualified to say that the mass media is being used to try to control how people think, what opinions they express and how they behave.
Although, there are a variety of viewpoints expressed in the mass media, you will find, through critical analysis, that the large newspapers, large newsmagazines and television networks present a fairly homogenous message — that human reason, operating through a democratic process, in an environment that maximizes human liberty, can be counted on to create a better, more perfect world. It is a message that promotes, quite consistently: government control, population reduction, women’s rights, gay rights, racial equality, secularism, internationalism, hedonism, materialism, consumerism, religious pluralism and environmentalism. It is pro-choice, anti-censorship, anti-Christian, anti-nationalism, and is against promoting traditional marriage, the traditional family and traditional morality.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that television networks such as Fox News and Sun TV are considered to be conservative compared to most other networks. And, I know that even on Left-leaning news shows, conservative commentators are allowed (more or less) to express their views. I’m also quite aware that there are many hundreds of smaller, alternative magazines, newspapers, websites and radio stations in the U.S. and Canada and in many other “free” nations that promote radical conservative or Leftist viewpoints. However, after scrutinizing the media for years, I’m convinced that all of this is allowed in order to strengthen the mass media’s prevailing, “politically correct” message.
Fox News and Sun TV only promote an “acceptable” form of conservative opinion, and they tend to do so in an obviously biased and often rude manner. This tends to lend credibility the opinion of Leftists — that conservatives are narrow minded, insensitive bigots. I’m also aware that conservative commentators such as Kevin O’Leary are featured on programs such as the Lang and O’Leary Exchange (CBC). The effect this has on the public’s mind is generally the same as the one previously stated. It is true that a lively Right versus Left dialogue is encouraged in the mass media; however, opinions outside of the “acceptable” spectrum of debate (as defined by the mass media) are avoided or condemned. And, in most mass media, the field of play is tilted to favour the Left. Small, radically alternative media have only a very minor impact on public opinion. This is because of their small audiences and because they are considered biased and radical by the vast majority of the public whose minds have been molded by the mass media and by up to 20 years of indoctrination in our publicly funded schools. The fact that these small, truly alternative media are tolerated actually lends credibility to the large mass media:
“See, there is freedom of expression in this country. Everyone has a voice. Even the crazy people are allowed to express their radical, ignorant and dangerous opinions. That’s democracy in action. You are free to listen to these crazies, but we trust that you will ignore, ridicule and condemn them, because you are intelligent, open minded and well-informed. Watch our sitcoms, reality TV, sports events, documentaries and news programs. We will just offer our unbiased factual analysis and entertainment, trusting that you intelligent people will rightly decide what to believe.”