Hello Folks,

A fellow blogger left a comment on my article:

Good writeup. Journalism and news reporting are dead. The lines between truth and fantasy have been blurred by incorporating entertainment as news. Media organizations will argue that it’s ratings driven; that people don’t want to hear about real news, but would rather see what’s going on with Paris Hilton. But witnessing how Ron Paul’s message has taken off on the Internet indicates otherwise.


thanks.

The media is a business like any other. Like any other business, it tries to maximize revenue and minimize costs. It’s chief sources of revenue is advertising and to a lesser extent, subscriptions. It’s major operational costs, besides the usual things businesses pay for like payroll/supplies/rent/equipment is the cost of producing the content sandwiched between the advertisements.

Narrowing our focus to simply advertisement revenue and content costs, it behooves the media outlet to increase the revenues of the former (ads), while reducing the costs of the latter (content production). Too many advertisements and not enough content will “turn off” the reader/viewer and they will go somewhere else. If this happens, the advertisers will sooner or later catch wind of this via their metrics (i.e. “where did you hear about us?”), and cancel their advertising contracts.

Therefore, the statement can be made that the media’s function is not to educate and inform the reader, but rather it’s Prime Directives can be summed up by the following statement:

  1. To bring the audience to the advertiser.
  2. To serve as a propaganda agent for the state.

Focusing on the first point (for now), the media’s executives are always trying to reduce the cost of content production. One of the ways they do this is to pay to subscribe themselves to a news feed such as Reuter’s or the Associated Press, where they get a constant stream of “news” – pre-censored, sanitized content. They can cherry-pick what they want from this feed, and their subscription service gives them the right to reprint whatever is being fed to them. This way, a media outlet can supply content without having to hire additional full time staff to write up a story.

However, most larger media corporations do have full time reporters that are assigned to reporting on local or national stories by their internal “news desks”. These folks go out and report on stories that they think will be “interesting” to the public. This is often the answer you hear when you question a reporter why they are doing a particular story.

In reality, there is something else going on. Remember the Prime Directives and the ongoing mandate to reduce the costs of content production. They need stories that:

  1. Do not require extensive investigation.
  2. Are quick to compile to meet deadlines.
  3. Easily verified to avoid lawsuits.
  4. That will be “interesting” to the viewer/reader.
  5. Not jeopardize current or potential advertising contracts that may paint their sponsors in a negative light.
  6. Not anger their editors or corporate owner’s views.
  7. Never challenge the requirement for government. They will report on “controversial” topics, scandals or other drivel, but they will never say, “Who needs government?”.

Why would a media outlet assign 3 full time reporters to a story that would take 3 months to draft, require extensive time and resources to validate and verify, and have a painstaking legal review process to ensure no lawsuits would be triggered from the piece (usually slander and/or libel)? Why would they do this when they could write up a story about Paris Hilton, O.J., Lindsay Lohen, Brangelina, the latest crimes, the ubiquitous “man on the street” interviews, or other such pablum when it will attract the same number of viewers to the advertisements? Think about it. They have no reason to do so, and the public refuses to demand better from them, as they have been conditioned to unconditionally accept government. Government education with government mandated curricula ensures it.

This is why we have so many stories about nothing. Government and corporations have long understood that the media needs content. In the past, reporters used to have to dig for a story by breaking into files or lurking outside a posh restaurant waiting for a VIP to come out with a few drinks under his belt and blurt out something startling under the influence. In other words, media used to have value.

Those days are gone. They learned how to supply the media with content via this thing called the “Press Conference” and have internal departments set up called “Media Relations” which is how they manage the news they want the media to report on. The media loves this because since it is from the “horses mouth”, they don’t have to research it, but merely quote it. If a reporter says something the government or corporation doesn’t like, the reporter’s employer will be punished by banning the media agency from sitting at subsequent press conferences.

Therefore, to expect MSM to educate the masses is, at best, a fleeting hope. The Internet is the last best hope today of information sharing. If you relied on the MSM to learn about Ron Paul, you wouldn’t even hear about him. If you relied on the MSM to educate and inform you about 9/11, you would never have learned about all of the outstanding questions not being answered by the government under conspicuously suspicious circumstances. I am not what you would call a conspiracy freak, but there are valid questions being asked to our governments, corporations, and various other “power centers” that are not being answered about various topics, nor is the MSM doing the job we think they should be doing, and we are not asking for better.

Ugh.

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