Mainstream media prohibits legitimate room for alternative perspectives and discussions that challenge capitalist status quo and productive dialogue on social justice and societal change. They will try to produce credibility by explicitly repeating slogans to appear as “Your trusted news source” and “fair and balanced.” Yet implicitly they mean “As long as our notions lie within it.”
Their interests are their bottom line. We must never forget that they are corporations and conglomerates who have a legal obligation to their stockholders to chase profits; making more money from entertainment and sensationalism than investigative journalism revealing corruption and oppression from the capitalist status quo. Recent examples of this “Corporate Journalism,” which again strives for profit and ratings rather than investigative and legitimate journalism, have been: The vast amount of free airtime for Trump during the 2016 election and the lack of substantive “debates” (it was all about ratings, amassing max viewers); Not immersing reporters at the front lines, let alone barely allotting any airtime, with Water Protectors at the Dakota Access Pipeline protests; Overlooking the importance of Black Lives Matter and systemic racism; and essentially disregarding the disgusting surge of ICE deportations. These are only a few recent examples of what has become the corporate journalistic norm of prioritizing profit over their duty to inform.
Intellectuals Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman, co-wrote Manufacturing Consent in the late eighties. Their brilliant expose blew the whistle on corporate news, and argued that mass media’s primary role was not the creation of an informed public, but the manufacturing of public opinion in support of the status quo and corporate interests.
Watch the excellent graphic summarizing Manufacturing Consent, narrated by Amy Goodman, host of independent news outlet Democracy Now!
In order to strive genuinely towards social justice and liberation, we must turn to, and support, independent news which isn’t under the thumb of corporate interests. Instead, they strive for investigative journalism and giving social justice perspectives a voice in a society which refuses genuine critique in favor of profit.
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