This looks normal, this one picture shows several of the news media flaws. Can you spot them? There’s at the least 4 or 5. Answers at the end of the article.

Major Flaws in Journalism

Why good news media become #fake by default.

Floris Koot
May 26, 2019 · 12 min read

Let me explain why the receivers of the news, receive it as fake.. and give you, the news media, some tips about how you may turn that around.

#Fakemedia. The term is used a lot. Trust in the media regularly hits a new low. Many hard working journalists feel they are losing credibility and may wonder why. They do their best. That I believe. The flaws in journalism however are fundamental. These flaws actually damage its standing. These flaws make it fake and may even have disastrous effects in the world. Let me explain. News should not be treated as a product. It should be a sharing of what everyone needs to know. Yet what people get is not that.

Dear Journalists, consider also that the following fundamental mistakes come on top of, or as consequence of, these terrible drivers of most mass media, which are (you know these 2, don’t you? If so skip ahead to the flaws) :

“1. Scandals & Sensation (read need to attract audiences)

More drama means more viewers, means more advertisements. This made Trump big and Bernie boring. Emotions outweigh facts. Explosions outweigh peaceful transition movements just doing their thing. So guess what you get to see too much of and what too little of.

2. Owner & Advertisers interests.

News is too often treated as a product. Almost all news is political agenda driven or keeps to boundaries to not upset advertisers. Protecting interests outweighs truth and nuance. If the boss of the company supports certain political stances, then those get way better positive coverage. Interest of clients count too. Even, or especially, the government may buy airtime, and everyone pretends it’s fair news.”

~ quote taken from Dealing with Fake & Manipulative Media

Being too friendly with the military industrial complex isn’t news. It’s commercial manufacturing consent read: straight out propaganda for certain interests.

Flaw 1: Reality isn’t segmented.

Example

*)this link is actually from a few days after I wrote this.

An item on legalized gay marriage may feel like a good story. For all gay people not having the money to afford a wedding, let alone no money to buy medicines, it feels like distraction. And why spoil the good news item with such ‘nuances’? Because reality is complex and news in strictly segmented items makes the news look like it’s leaving stuff out on purpose.

People live in an interconnected reality, not in neat topics.

I once made a list of all scams by the US elite, like corporations and billionaires. While we see an item about Trumps taxes, stuff like false flag wars, corporate imprisonment, increased hate speech, diminished rights for protests and journalist are all happening at the same time, and are all connected. Fragmentation therefore doesn’t show what really is going on.

Conclusion:

TIP: The news should consider the bigger picture on a daily basis.

Flaw 2: the Biggest Drama isn’t the Biggest News.

How it works

Example

1. What moves, what is shown gets the most attention. Thus often, items that have moving images are picked up and facts only reports dropped. That’s because, hey, the amount of viewers, readers determines income. You need as many as you can get. But knowing photographs trump text only, editors can make bad decisions. This can be used to distract, but also been done because of the need for viewers. The consequence may very well be that the more important news, like in this case the contra-dictionary report by CIA & FBI, doesn’t get the attention it needs. Result, we got lied into a war and blame the media. Even when it may also have spoken the truth.

2. Sensational titling warps the truth. Journalists quote. Quotes become headlines. And thus the truth. People read: “INVASION NEEDED!” The much smaller “Bush says,” above it is forgotten. Yeah. Right. My ass. Any journalist at that press conference should have confronted Bush with his own intelligence agencies. Any good Dutch journalist should have written the following front pager: “USA intelligence agencies contradict president Bush.” let alone the smaller drama: “Bush wants to go to war.” See, that last headline would have been more true, but way less dramatic.

Conclusion:

TIP: The news should seek to make the truth more interesting, not the available noise around it. Headlines must make people read further, not think they know it all, just by hearing the headline.

Flaw 3: News isn’t filler time for the people.

Also often these heads talk like everything people do are strategic steps that need to be applauded or countered. “Yes, we may expect X to react in the coming days.” That’s not like life, nor life like. Only strategists talk like this like politics is a game of chess, not a means to serve the people. We don’t care who wins, or how they play each other. We care about the impact on our lives.

Example

Conclusion:

TIP: Involve more street people for perspectives that also matter. Focus on what directly influences the lives of most people and less on bombs far away or opinions by people.

The unwritten rules of the news don’t report this every day, yet it should.

Flaw 4. The Biggest News Is the Same Every Day.

Climate change is getting worse daily. Some news outlets even changed the word to Climate Crisis, or Climate Urgency. The massive extinction of animal and insect life is a deadly disaster for human extinction in the making. And even the papers headline it once and later may refer to it, while the emotion over it gets buried with new screaming headlines, like Brexit and Trumps actions. Extinction Rebellion protests are filmed as disturbances, yet their message often seems to be forgotten over the hidden news. Corporate lobbies bribe politicians everywhere to not take drastic measures that would end their profits, which will end up that we all pay the price/damage in money and lives lost. This corruption in their favour is killing our ecosystem. News about the sickness going on should make all our other squabbles feel like peanuts.

The news should daily report on actions taken, or worries about inaction, much like the weather report. I’d say it’s even more important than the daily weather. And everyone should start to realize and act on that! There should be reports on what many people, however peaceful and seemingly boring, are already doing. Show organic farmers innovating. Show agroforestry. Show the terrible damage Monsanto’s approach to food production is doing for the long term of food production. Top soil experts have been telling about it for years, but financial interests still rules over the publics interest. It’s endangering whole populations and yet, only alternative media will discuss this. Time mainstream media does so too, or you’ll end up reporting human downfall. Don’t believe me? Check the science. Tell the truth.

“Only when the last tree is cut, and the last fish is eaten will White men discover you can’t eat money.” ~ Native American prophecy

Conclusion & TIP:

Astronauts looking a earth from space experience the ‘overview effect’. They realize it’s one beautiful fragile pearl we live on, that needs all our care. National dabbles have no meaning any more. We can only win we help all of us win.

TOWARDS NEWS IN SERVICE OF US ALL

Work for the world, not for interests.

Don’t quote lies. Fact check in the face with modern technology.

The role of journalism in saving human life on this planet.

Note. When you fear for your job, seek to act with as many colleagues as possible. When a colleague is forbidden access to press conferences for asking real questions, walk out with them. In the end power is just a story, that needs people to serve it, in order to work. When you are a student in journalism ask your professors questions about the role of the news media. Ask them how to avoid the traps mentioned above. Don’t take any ‘be realistic, play along’ answers. It’s as Greta Thunberg said. The adults thus far haven’t been adult enough in dealing with the climate crisis. You should be.

Oh, and the flaws? On the side we see corporate product placement (Lego), whimsical non news (confetti test), nationalism (Colorado Strong), the anchor being a white well dressed man could be a coincidence, but he’s the rule, not the exception. Well dressed anchors seem civilized, well mannered normal people. Are they the voice of reason? The median of civilization? Or salesmen for corporate interests? The 9news logo speaks news for profits. And just like US health care that has an impact on costs, availability and priorities. Like not one real big issue is mentioned, all flimsy topics even ignoring crucial issues plaguing every state, like homelessness, poverty, lead in drinking water, poor education, infrastructure weaknesses, corruption in politics, etc. And he sits there, like what he’ll tell you about is important enough to get covered. Oh my.

The Gentle Revolution

Towards a revolution we all want to dance in, for a flourishing planet.

Floris Koot

Written by

Play Engineer. Social Inventor. Gentle Revolutionary. I always seek new possibilities and increase of love, wisdom and play in the world.

The Gentle Revolution

Towards a revolution we all want to dance in, for a flourishing planet.

More From Medium

More on Politics from The Gentle Revolution

More on Politics from The Gentle Revolution

An Online ‘Discussion’

More on Politics from The Gentle Revolution

More on Politics from The Gentle Revolution

Want Sane Politics? Address The Inner Monkeys!

Also tagged News Media

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade