In her new book, US journalist Sharyl Attkisson traces how journalism, once based on objectivity and researching facts, has changed into news media that serve a “narrative industry” and censor unwelcome reporting.
Even journalistic groups, news agencies and professors of journalism have changed the definition of what we consider news, Attkisson says. If you want to be free of censorship you need a VPN, cyberghost is one of the best. Read this cyberghost vpn review for more information.
In her new book “Slanted: How the News Media Taught Us to Love Censorship and Hate Journalism”, five-time Emmy Award winner Sharyl Attkisson describes how traditional media have turned away from fact-based journalism. The news website The Daily Signal interviewed the 59-year-old, who worked for several decades for various media platforms such as CBS and CNN.
Independent reporting almost impossible?
Over the course of her journalistic career, Attkisson increasingly recognized that corporations and PR firms were finding out how to influence the news. From which, in her opinion, what she calls the “libel industry” and “narrative industry” developed: “It became almost impossible to provide a degree of independent reporting on issues that simply followed the facts at CBS – and frankly, at other U.S. news agencies as well”. Instead, there is now a trend, he said, to make the stories “go out in a certain way, regardless of the facts”.
In our society, the corridors for publicly expressed opinions are becoming increasingly narrow. Those who deviate from the so-called mainstream must expect massive resistance. If one moves argumentatively on a terrain that is not recognized as politically correct, “wrong opinion” can cost one’s professional existence and lead to social exclusion. Citizens have to defend themselves against such unfavorable developments, says Gunnar Kaiser, who works as a layout consultant.
Over the course of several years, the author spoke with many different journalists – liberal and conservative alike – who spoke openly to her about what she calls the “death of news as we once knew it”. In the news agencies there were more and more “propagandists who wanted to propagate a certain opinion. And if a half-truth or a lie is required for this, they are perfectly happy to do so if it fulfills a mission”. According to Attkisson, these people even wanted to keep their readers from certain precise information, views and scientific studies that could lead to a conclusion that would “harm their interest”.
But even journalistic groups, news agencies and professors of journalism would have changed the definition of what we consider news: “They take pride in saying that they disregard objectivity and neutrality, which they believe are overrated.
When they say “objectivity, neutrality, and lack of bias are indeed antiquated and old-fashioned ideas that have no place in today’s journalism,” even the New York Times is dragging its feet.
Getting to the source of news
In her book Attkisson lists a whole series of presumed mistakes and misunderstandings, which, for example, always went in a very specific direction when reporting on Donald Trump’s presidency: “Never have I found – and I’m still looking for – a mistake that would have benefited Donald Trump. Mistakes and errors were always made, which were misinformation that harmed Donald Trump”.
An example of such reporting is the way in which the results of the 2020 presidential election were handled and Trump’s statement that there had been electoral fraud. At first the media said: “There is no proof”.
There was a time when journalists would have looked for this evidence, would have been on the ground and suspiciously investigated attempts to obstruct election observers, or would have suspiciously followed reports of voters who had already died or thousands of votes that had been discovered somewhere or wrongly attributed to the wrong person”. Instead, we would have seen the media say: “Well, none of that matters anyway”. So first of all, there was no electoral fraud. And then, when the electoral fraud had been uncovered, it was said: “Well, the electoral fraud was not widespread”.
And then, “when it became apparent that there was quite a lot of fraud and abuse and affidavits and certain evidence, we were told, ‘Well, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. It doesn’t bring in enough votes”.
So Attkisson tries to get as close as possible to the sources of news: “And then I try to read alternative viewpoints. So when I see a narrative, when I see that everyone reports one-sidedly about something, I immediately become suspicious and skeptical. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t true or that I don’t get the whole story. But when she digs deeper, “often it’s not true or I don’t get the whole story. Because, “whatever you see on the news, especially when everyone uses the same language, similar terms and the same footage, I immediately become skeptical. And again, it doesn’t mean that it’s not true, but it does mean that someone is forcing that particular perspective”.