It is nice (novel too) when the press does your work. Al Jazeera (at https://aje.io/xvndmj) with the headline ‘Nobel Peace Prize winners warn of growing disinformation threat’, which sounds nice, but the complication is that the press is part of the problem, in the last two years
I looked at issues with the NSO group, Jamal Khashoggi (the reporter no one cares about), one sided accusations against Saudi Arabia, bungled investigations involving Jeff Bezos (and the UN), Ignoring the events from Iran and Houthi forces and that running joke known as the ICIJ with their papers of hope (Pandora papers). All issues that show the press being part of the problem, not a solution. All vying for digital dollars any way they can.
So when I see “Maria Ressa of the Philippines said the greatest threat to democracy is “when lies become facts”, while Dmitry Muratov of Russia said society is currently in a dangerous “post-truth period””, I am not opposing Maria Ressa, I am stating that the disinformation problem is a lot larger than what we hear and journalists are part of that problem.
Journalists have with some regularity placed themselves on the axial of a seesaw and tried to keep a balance between events taking place and Stakeholders that need things go certain ways (my speculation/presumption). It is a setting that have been going on since 2012 (which is when I started to take notice). So when I see “Muratov also told Al Jazeera that disinformation was a significant and growing threat. “Manipulation leads to war,” he said. “We are in the middle of a post-truth period. Now, everyone is concerned about their own ideas and not the facts,” Muratov said” I feel an involuntary giggle coming up. It is correct what he states, but the part of ‘Manipulation leads to war’, was this communicated to the morning breakfast shows? Was this communicated to newspapers who do this way too often?
Yes there are problems and they are all over the place, yet the press is part of the problem, it stopped being part of the solution when shareholders needed to see more money from news outlets. A plate for pigs and there are too many pigs and the plate is seemingly getting smaller.
So it needs to be clear, I am not opposing the person who achieved the standing of winning a Nobel price, I am however pointing towards the wannabe’s behind these people maximising digital coins at the expense of clear reporting. In case of the ICIJ, has anyone seen a clear dashboard giving us numbers of people per nation, nations with government people involved and non-government people? No, you haven’t. More importantly when we see the stage of those in zero tax nations (and their right to be there), what is left? In that stage we see the ICIJ speak like parrots, repeating the same thing over and over without any real revelations, any real criminal activities. So when you see “The new data reveals confidential information about the owners of offshore entities mostly registered in the British Virgin Islands, a notoriously secretive jurisdiction, between 1980 and 2018.” You get no real information, merely some silly essay person waving his dick. The problem is that this so called “confidential information about the owners of offshore entities”, is absent of criminal activities. It is about tax laws and these clowns have not achieved anything, merely made you all angry that some people get LEGALLY away with avoiding taxation. So Boo Hoo flipping Hoo.
So I get it that some journalists should receive protection, but in my personal view, we could do without those 600 at the ICIJ brilliantly. The term of “when lies become facts” sounds really nice, but that means that we hold journalists and what they write accountable, an act that hasn’t been the case for the longest of times, should you doubt that, read the Leveson report. The stage is changing and to some degree journalists and news outlets are responsible for that mess. Consider that the big papers which include the Wall Street Journal, The Times, the LA Times, the Washington Post, the Boston globe and the NY Times. How many did a real piece on how tax laws have failed a nation? None as fr as I can tell, they are all screaming ‘Tax the Rich’ but it were these tax laws that got them in that setting. The disregarded acts by Iran are visible all over by the bulk of these papers seemingly disregard these parts, just like the assaults by Houthi’s but they are all eager to slam the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one sided reporting is disinformation, I hope that this is clear? Filtered information (like morning shows) is also a form of disinformation and they all serve some stakeholder (as I personally see it).
A stage that has to change and it should start with those calling themselves journalists.