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  1. #1
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    Mind Trapped by: Major News outlets are now propaganda agents

    Major news outlets are now degrading into the worst versions of themselves. Specifically that they have become peddlers in personal opinions and agendas, and rely on spreading Gossip over reporting in a real newsworthy way.

    The most egregious is the reliance on "anonymous" sources. This is basically the short cut way of getting a story out without doing the actual homework to expose the story. This is what has killed "investigative journalism". For the most part, if you see an anonymous source, you should immediately dismiss the story as being a serious attempt at news, and view it as the gossip page. Another side effect is that it is allowing for "leaks" in our gov. Which is, that there are things which people are legally obligated to not discuss, but because they can be quoted as an "anonymous" source they find cover to discuss it. This is actually detrimental to actually achieving justice, because it takes gossip, and parades it about as though it is actual news.

    For example, The Vice president of Disney saying that the President of Disney was sexually harassing the secretaries.. is news.
    an "anonymous source close to president of Disney says there is rampant sexual harassment" .. is not news. Because.. how credible is the source? Is it the VP? or the disgruntled ex-employee.. or the Janitor who is trying to move up in the world?

    We are harmed from getting justice, because if a reporter had received the anonymous source, and done an actual investigation, then they could break actual news, instead of just spreading Gossip.

    We have consumed this low quality of news so long, and it has become so much the norm, that people are not able to recognize Gossip when they hear it, and give it far more credibility than it deserves. As opinion takes the place of hard facts, we lose access to real news that effects our lives.

    This practice makes the news outlets propaganda agents, as they are used to manipulate public opinion with selective leaks. We see this every time there is an "congressional investigation". One side will leak the most damning points, and the other side will react by decrying the leaks.. and then leaking their own counter information. That is nothing short of propaganda as we are denied the whole story and all the facts. This isn't even to speak to the intentional distortion of the news by the major outlets.


    --Discuss--
    Have news outlets finally devolved into propaganda stations?
    Do news outlets engage in Gossip over real news?
    Are you losing the ability to recognize the difference?
    To serve man.

  2. #2
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Major News outlets are now propaganda agents

    I think actually, you have been brainwashed by a concerted effort by alternative media sources that make money by discrediting more reputable organizations.

    There are plenty of useful and valid critiques to make about news organizations, but your talking points are those that show a lot of ignorance about the history of journalism and its current practice.

    Anonymous sources have been part of Journalism for ages. Deep Throught being the most famous in "recent" history (though before I was born). And they go back well before that as well. There are simply times when sources do not wish to be named and will not provide information if they are named. It is up to the Journalsit to vet their source and make sure they are trustworthy enough to report on. For political stories, anonomous sources are pretty normal since folks want to tell a story but know they risk their possition if they do so openly.

    The proper use of anonomous sources (and all sources for that matter) is a very important and well covered topic in Journalsim. Here is an example article on the subject.
    https://www.spj.org/ethics-papers-anonymity.asp

    It is not supposed to be just gossip. It is supposed to be a source that wants the protection of anonymity but whom the reporter has verified who they are and that they are in a position to accurately relay information they have witnessed.

    Obviously, any reporting should be taken with some level of critical thinking and skepticism. But the use of an anonomous source is in no way a big indicator of the lack of veracity of the story or the organization that printed it.

    As to the press being used by politicians, companies and everyone else.... OF COURSE! That has been true since the first newspaper was ever printed. Political parties used to often own newspapers back in the day. There is no way in hell they are going to stop trying to use them. Same goes for the corporate world. Press releases are really just free advertising for companies and free content for news organizations. Its a quid pro-quo of sorts and pretty much common practice.

    Reporters don't have spy cameras in the halls of power. Their only way of reporting is to get people to talk. And people who talk will always have their own angle and agenda. That is why reporters report what these people say, they don't claim that what is said is true or not. Good reporting will be just that, saying what was said, who said it (even if who is an anon-source) and provide background infromation and the like. If they can fact check claims, they generally will. But often they can't, so they just report what was said and by whom. It is up to you to decide if you beleive the claims.

    Bad reporting tells you what is true and what isn't true based on opinion and speculation. If a report is arguing with you, that's not news or reporting.
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  4. #3
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Major News outlets are now propaganda agents

    I think I largely agree with Sig on the points he made. Anonymous sources are important and have been used for a very long time. Especially when reporting about organizational malfeasance, the use of anonymous sources is practically mandatory. No one is going to risk their entire career and well-being to blow the whistle on the head of some huge company, their boss, or a high level government official.

    Now, there is a case to be made that journalism has taken a dump over the past 40 years. Stories were seldom printed/release with only a single anonymous source. Usually, there was a certain standard where you'd have to have two corroborating sources. I think there may have been other safeguards that existed if one of the sources was anonymous. So, in today's social media news, the old standards have been severely downgraded. And this has tended to work against the media when it comes to credibility. Here is where I think the OP does have a point. If the overwhelming majority of people in the mainstream media (the Times, Fox, MSNBC, CNN, etc.) are liberals then it would seem to be reasonable to assert that their stories, especially those which aren't as critically fact-checked, will lean towards a liberal point of view. Indeed, in Fox News we see a set of articles which skew one way and in the other main media sources, we see stories which lean heavily the other way.

    Because stories can be published with weak sourcing requirements, two problems get exacerbated. One, stories end up being published which have no news value because they are built on flimsy sources or they just have little value. However, they can get through because the standards are low and will grab eyeballs. So, if a station, show, or column can only report on a finite amount of material, then this flimsy entertainment story must push out something more relevant. Oftentimes, it is pushing out something which is opposing the ideological slant of the paper. So, you end up missing newsworthy stories and it is kinda easy to predict which news sources will omit which stories (or put them far away from the front page). So, maybe, a news source will discuss some rumor about Ivanka Trump which makes the President look bad based on a single anonymous source, but leaves out the story about some quote that would make Nancy Pelosi look bad. If you are liberal/progressive you probably find one story more likable and easier to print. The same goes for conservative outlets of course. However, let's be honest, there are simply fewer conservative outlets in the mainstream than there are liberal outlets.

    The second issue I see is misrepresenting a story based on ideological viewpoint. When white supremacists groups march and there is violence, this gets well-reported and it is always made clear how violent the event was and the implication is that the supremacist group caused it. When left-wing groups like antifa march around and incite violence, there are crickets. Hardly reported at all. Certainly under-reported. My point is that ideological viewpoint certainly plays into which stories you find important and in how you view those stories. So, if journalism standards are getting lower and ideological views are becoming more pervasive, then it is problematic when trying to figure out what the hell is going on in the world.
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

  5. #4
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Major News outlets are now propaganda agents

    Quote Originally Posted by DEFINITION
    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/...ish/propaganda
    information or ideas that are spread by an organized group or government to influence people’s opinions, esp. by not giving all the facts or by secretly emphasizing only one way of looking at the facts
    Quote Originally Posted by sig
    I think actually, you have been brainwashed by a concerted effort by alternative media sources that make money by discrediting more reputable organizations.
    Your probably just parroting your brain washing by cyborg aliens from planet X, or the media, or your mom, or your school of education. Take your pick.
    And I think you smell bad, But adhoms get us nowhere. wouldn't you agree? So next time we can just skip them.

    Challenge to support a claim.
    Quote Originally Posted by SIG
    but your talking points are those that show a lot of ignorance about the history of journalism and its current practice.
    Support or retract.
    you don't get to call your opponent ignorant, without offering education and referenced support.
    Has your brainwashing taught you that ridicule is valid argumentation? Seems like the tactics of a brain washed minion to me.

    In fact, I am doing nothing more than making the point that YOUR source makes.
    Quote Originally Posted by source
    Anonymity is the name of the Washington game. Everyone seems to be an administration or congressional source or a law enforcement or military source. Politics and ego-stroking seem to dissolve everyone into “unnamed.” A New York Times columnist arguing about a published article with three senior White House aides even referred to President Obama as one of “four senior members of the administration” in a subsequent column.
    Further, I am specifically pointing out, that journalists are not doing this part. They are ignoring the motives of their sources to release half truths. The fact that you get the dem side of some hearing from CNN and the republican side from Fox, is the most damning evidence of this, and makes it exhibit "A" for the propaganda the media has become.
    Quote Originally Posted by SOURCE
    The information-gathering business is a give-and-take practice with a lot of public officials. Some are willing to provide information only when it benefits them. When someone asks to provide information off the record, be sure the reason is not to boost her own position by undermining someone else’s, to even the score with a rival, to attack an opponent or to push a personal agenda. Media outlet practices vary, but journalists should not overlook the danger of legal problems and credibility damage from publishing anonymously sourced information that is not confirmed by public records or credible sources.
    Also the point of Journalism is to report what actually happened, not a personal opinion. As much of the news is now dominated by opinion masquerading as facts, the current state of the media is vastly different, if not from history, then at least it's purpose and valid role.

    Quote Originally Posted by SIG
    Anonymous sources have been part of Journalism for ages. Deep Throught being the most famous in "recent" history (though before I was born). And they go back well before that as well. There are simply times when sources do not wish to be named and will not provide information if they are named. It is up to the Journalsit to vet their source and make sure they are trustworthy enough to report on. For political stories, anonomous sources are pretty normal since folks want to tell a story but know they risk their possition if they do so openly.
    I get that anonymous sources are important in some contexts, but that is not how they are used today. They are not mostly used to blow the whistle on cover ups etc. They are used to steer public opinion by releasing half facts from soon to be public information. (see definition above) You can't compare Deep throat, to anonymous source A close to the secret hearings on X subject. Because it is clear that source "A" is pushing an agenda. In the end we find out... O that was just half the facts, and not representative of the whole. (again.. see definition above)

    It is the media trying to anticipate the news and in some instances create and become the news, not actually report on it.


    Quote Originally Posted by SIG
    It is not supposed to be just gossip. It is supposed to be a source that wants the protection of anonymity but whom the reporter has verified who they are and that they are in a position to accurately relay information they have witnessed.

    Obviously, any reporting should be taken with some level of critical thinking and skepticism. But the use of an anonymous source is in no way a big indicator of the lack of veracity of the story or the organization that printed it.
    First, what it is "supposed to be" is irrelevant. It is about what it is now, and the state of things in general.
    Anonymous sourcing is a weakness in a story, not a strength. It is clear that most anonymous sourcing ends up being partizan and thus of lower quality. It isn't that the journalist doesn't accurately know that source A is or is not in secret meeting Y.
    It is just that, that source is using their anonymity to further politics, not release truth and expose corruption. Which means that the end result is not "news" but a kind of propaganda. You can blame that squarely on the media for not getting the whole story before they release a story. That they are not interested in trying to do that, is what makes them propaganda machines.

    Quote Originally Posted by SIG
    As to the press being used by politicians, companies and everyone else.... OF COURSE! That has been true since the first newspaper was ever printed. Political parties used to often own newspapers back in the day. There is no way in hell they are going to stop trying to use them. Same goes for the corporate world. Press releases are really just free advertising for companies and free content for news organizations. Its a quid pro-quo of sorts and pretty much common practice.
    What you are describing is propaganda. So my point is sustained, and you have agreed to the conclusion of the OP. Thanks

    The media isn't supposed to be a willing participant, of what you describe, and yet.. they are.


    Finally,
    there seems to be this move to transfer what people say into some kind of "fact" that is being reported.
    No, that is what gossip is. You don't give legitimacy to a "report" and make it more than a gossip column value, by saying "well that is what anonymous source X actually said".
    Sure if it is an official action, like what a judge said at the ruling, but opinion is not fact. If you are looking for quality you are looking for facts, and you can't conflate the two.
    To serve man.

  6. #5
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Major News outlets are now propaganda agents

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Your probably just parroting your brain washing by cyborg aliens from planet X, or the media, or your mom, or your school of education. Take your pick.
    And I think you smell bad, But adhoms get us nowhere. wouldn't you agree? So next time we can just skip them.
    It wasn't intended as an insult. I really do think you have been snowed by a narative that is pushed by the right wing. One that says you can't trust anything you hear but from their own media outlets. That they are the only real source of good information and everyone else lies to you. And now that the are more a minority voice, that no one in the "mainstream" can be trusted. It is a narative peddled by everyone on the "outside."

    The truth is that you should always be skeptical of everyone, but that no group should be discounted based on its allegiance. That is the real Ad Hom, that you can't trust the media because it is inherently corrupted.

    Support or retract.
    you don't get to call your opponent ignorant, without offering education and referenced support.
    Has your brainwashing taught you that ridicule is valid argumentation? Seems like the tactics of a brainwashed minion to me.
    I submit your OP as evidence of your ignorance. Whether you find it persuasive or not is not my concern. At least one other debater agreed so I'll let that stand as my support.

    In fact, I am doing nothing more than making the point that YOUR source makes.
    Interesting... But I don't see where you actually do that. The article is meant to illustrate that Journalists are aware of the motives of anonymous sources, and that good journalistic practices are to take those into account and to work on verifying the claims that are made before publishing. I was seeking to demonstrate that Journalists, as a profession take thse conserns seriously and try to navigate these waters responsibly. This article is an example of that thinking and advocacy.

    Further, I am specifically pointing out, that journalists are not doing this part. They are ignoring the motives of their sources to release half-truths. The fact that you get the dem side of some hearing from CNN and the Republican side from Fox, is the most damning evidence of this and makes it exhibit "A" for the propaganda the media has become.
    That is different than anonymous sources. That is about bias. I was responding specifically to your use of anonomous sources as an argument for why they were propaganda. For this reply, I'm going to ignore anything not related to anonomous sources.

    I get that anonymous sources are important in some contexts, but that is not how they are used today. They are not mostly used to blow the whistle on cover-ups etc. They are used to steer public opinion by releasing half facts from soon to be public information. (see definition above) You can't compare Deep throat, to anonymous source A close to the secret hearings on X subject. Because it is clear that source "A" is pushing an agenda. In the end we find out... O that was just half the facts, and not representative of the whole. (again.. see definition above)
    Deep Throat had an agenda, it was to stop President Nixon from using presidential power to cripple his pollitical opposition. That is a political agenda. It was done to steer public opinion away from President Nixon and to gain political support for investigations into his conduct. If you were to guess, yould you guss that during watergate the same critiques of the use of anonomous sources were made to the ones you are making now? I'm pretty sure I could find some for you.

    And look, any anonomoys source is going to be the views and observations of that source. How could it be otherwise? You can't expect one witness to events to give us a clear and universally objective viewpoint can you?

    First, what it is "supposed to be" is irrelevant. It is about what it is now, and the state of things in general.
    Because you phrased your argument " if you see an anonymous source, you should immediately dismiss the story as being a serious attempt at news " you were attacking the practice as a whole, not simply when it is misused or done poorly. Your argument was worded such that the very practice is corrupt and in indication of bad journalism.

    I will not argue that it cannot be or is never abused. But I am arguing that it is not even remogtely an automatic sign of bad journalism. You definatley should not imemedietely dismiss any story involving an anonoous source as not being serious news.

    It is clear that most anonymous sourcingpartisan being partizan and thus of lower quality. It isn't that the journalist doesn't accurately know that source A is or is not in secret meeting Y.
    It is just that, that source is using their anonymity to further politics, not release truth and expose corruption. Which means that the end result is not "news" but a kind of propaganda. You can blame that squarely on the media for not getting the whole story before they release a story. That they are not interested in trying to do that, is what makes them propaganda machines.
    That is all a big load of conjecture on your part. Do you have any evidence to back it up? Some statistics on the number of anonomous sources that turn out to provide false information vs those that are shown to be accurate?

    Finally,
    there seems to be this move to transfer what people say into some kind of "fact" that is being reported.
    That seems to be a misconception on your part.

    If a news report says the following.
    "An annonomous source in the whitehouse reports that Trump yells explatives at the television."

    This is not an assertion that Trump yells explatives at the televsion.

    It is an assertion that a person in the whitehouse claims to have seen Trump yell explatives at the television.

    The news reporter is under some obligation to decide if this source is credible, that they could have witnissed this, and that they don't have a track record of lying or of a strong motive to simply smear the president. But they are not under obligation to personally verify the claim made. You get to decide for yourself if you think that might be true. All the reporter is doing is trying to make sure it's not just a total crank.

    But just because they vet the source to some degree, doesn't mean the journalist is claiming that what the source is telling them is a verified fact.

    No, that is what gossip is. You don't give legitimacy to a "report" and make it more than a gossip column value, by saying "well that is what anonymous source X actually said".
    It is generally more than gossip. It is a specific person making a specific claim.

    If a journalist interviews someone, and that person says. I saw the man go into the burning building. The journalist will report that the womean saw a man go into a burning building, not that there is a man in the burning building. The fact they are reporting what someone else said, does not mean it is gossip.

    Mind you, there are journalists who do write about gossip specifically. Gossip columns are a thing. And there are gossip columns about politics and Washington. But anonomous sources do not automatically mean they are simply gossip.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

 

 

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