Today’s modern technology has opened doors for the modern media, providing the opportunity for those in journalism to reach a wider audience with the click of a button. Unfortunately, this is an industry that isn’t without its critics. Can we trust what we read or see?
There has been no shortage of drama and alleged corruption in the United States today, with many Americans questioning every aspect of the political system. However, just how far does this corruption and manipulation extend? It has long been argued that the ‘modern media’ is merely a tool used by politicians to control the opinions of the masses.
This is clearly illustrated in the propaganda used throughout the First and Second World War. During this time, the number of new sources and examples of mainstream media was severely limited and highly controlled through the use of censorship. Those that were allowed to continue sharing their ‘truth’ had a clear job, encouraging the American population to support the troops and the war efforts. This was done by sharing tales of heroism, one-sided accounts of what was happening overseas and painting the enemy in the worst possible light.
While we would love to assume that this isn’t the case today, the debate surrounding ‘fake news’ has left many Americans questioning the information made available to them. This was further highlighted in 2005 when the Bush White House admitted that they had designed and produced videos that appeared to be unique independent news reports, feeding them various media outlets across the country. These videos were aired as if they were ‘local news reports’. When critics revealed what was happening, the Government Accountability Office determined that these reports fell under the definition of ‘illegal covert propaganda’.
This didn’t, however, solve the credibility concerns regarding the mainstream media. Instead, we are now looking for new solutions to better assess the validity of the information that is being presented to us. Fact-checking websites like Snopes are more popular than ever, while trust in the media is at an incredible low. A 2017 Gallup/Knight Foundation Survey on Trust, Media and Democracy revealed that while 8 in 10 Americans believe that the news media is very important or critical to our democracy, 43% have a ‘negative view’ of today’s media. In fact, 66% of Americans do not believe that the news media does a good job of separating fact from opinion.
Does our modern media simply fail to weed out fact from fiction, or is there something more underhanded at work? Is the mainstream media once again being used in an attempt to manipulate the opinions of the American population?
We’ll let you be the judge. Here are 15 examples of how the media can manipulate the truth:
#1 – Time Magazine covers differ in the United States, revealing the different message they hope to convey