Hallucinations or Reality: The Media in the Age of Misinformation

By Eric Dillmann

I believe very strongly that newscasts should be devoted to news only, they should be concise and free of distracting, repetitive, and often misleading video clips. News outlets should bring important stories through real journalists, not propagandists, who in turn should abide by the pillars of journalism which are: being factual, being objective, and corroborate extensively their sources. Journalists are entitled to express their opinions but without spinning the facts. True journalism forms public opinion, but it should never seek to deform public opinion.

News outlets are service providers, their service is information and is one of the most relevant services that a society could receive. Therefore, it is very important that the press or the media stays rooted in a fact-based modality, especially now that we are living in a moment in history when truth and fiction are almost undistinguishable. We are witnessing this distortion evolving in front of our very eyes with the Covid19 Pandemic. Sensationalism and exaggeration have replaced objectivity and impartiality and the truth has been buried somewhere amidst the frenzy of propaganda.

The news media that we have today is, for the most part, a corporate-sponsored media, which is a news system that has progressively sold its soul to the corporate money to the point of becoming an echo chamber of “news” that cannot be verified but serves the purposes of the economic, social and political agendas of ruling elites. This was brilliantly exposed back in 1988 by the American philosopher Noam Chomsky. He called it “Manufacturing Consent”. He argued that the sole purpose of corporate-sponsored media was to defend and promote the agendas of their masters.

In my opinion, the mediocre by design media is incapable, or rather unwilling of producing a trustworthy newscast. We, therefore, must question more and in doing so we have no other recourse but to search far and wide sources on the internet in order to begin to grasp the truth. And even there we must be cautious because the digital platforms also are owned by a handful of corporations that control the distribution of news and information.

As it is, no matter what is the source of the information that we seek, the bottom line is that we are required to use our best judgment, placing our own biases aside in order to separate the hay from the truth. In other words, in order to break the cycle of misinformation and being well informed a serious intellectual effort is required from everyone of us.

Are we up to the task?

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