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Perhaps the most astonishing thing is how few have studied machinations of the most immediate force shaping society-the news media. In ‘democracies’, these organs of the powers that seem beyond the check of anyone. Quoted from the book:
“They will do anything to keep the public from realizing that the establishment dominates society through its direct and indirect control of the nation’s communication system.”
Manipulations, omissions, fabrications, etc. that go on daily behind the scenes would convince anyone what they are fed on television is not unbiased, rather a carefully painted mirage.
‘Timeless’ shots of steam (global warming); a crying baby (starvation or war), happy needled children in day care (vaccinations); homosexual activists (gay marriage) are repeated ad-nauseam. This shows up a lack of originality.
Not everything is purposed as there are true economic realities which impact story choice: cost centre budgets, opportunity costs, and keeping the federal licence.
The author’s research effort (late 1960 at NBC) also yielded interesting stats:
*Newsmakers give one day notice to staff of 90% of the day’s stories.
*The prepared-to-delayed story ratio is ~50%.
*By 1938 in the U.S. 97% of night-broadcasting was oligopolised by three national networks.
*News was ~5% and public affairs 1% of total air time.
In the 2000 introduction he admits theories aren’t perfect (justified by the rise of cheap instant communication and alternative media). Notwithstanding many principles are unchanged: e.g. executive’s top-down morality and hiring filters.
This book will give more than enough for you to know how things are manipulated, and permanently change (for the better) how you see ‘news’.