Friday, 28 July 2017

Why Do We Need To Build Our Own Media?

Malcolm X was a fierce critic of the media.

WHY DOES the National Liberal Party – NLP – put so much effort into building the infrastructure of an alternative mass media of news, views and entertainment? The simple answer is that the media is all powerful. It can set the political agenda by either highlighting or covering up various news stories.

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These two quotes from Malcom X illustrate this point

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“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

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“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

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Sadly the vast majority of our people are happy to accept what different forms of establishment media tells them. They don’t look beyond the headlines and possible agenda of specific journalists, editors or owners. It takes a lot of time to research to see beyond headlines. Sadly only a relatively small number non-conformists and anti-establishment free thinkers seem to find the time to do this.

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A case in point is the US presidential election – set for early November. At the moment the race between Republican hopeful Donald John Trump and the Democrat nominee Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is already starting to dominate our news. The closer the election the more the media will ramp up its coverage – in due course it’ll swamp TV, radio, the papers and online news outlets.

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Our guess is that the election will be presented – at root – in very simple terms: Hillary Clinton is a living saint whilst Donald Trump is a dangerous lunatic. (Doubtless in George Orwell’s 1984 the slogan would have read Hillary Good – Trump Bad!) Now this may well be true – but the point is we don’t really know. Let’s be honest with ourselves, how many of us have any real idea what Clinton or Trump stand for? We judge them on what we see, hear and read of them. However, we only see, hear and read what elements of the media want us to see, hear and read.

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The mass media really do call the shots here. For instance, we’ve already become accustomed to the word ‘controversial’ being associated to any speech that Trump makes. And to be honest, what we see, hear and read does seem to be pretty ‘out there’ at times. However, we only hear a snippet – maybe just a few seconds – of a speech that may be well over an hour long. How many of us check out the whole speech from which the ‘controversial’ soundbite is plucked? Indeed, how many of us check out in what context the speech is made? Surely it’s only possible to accurately judge if a quote is ‘controversial’ once we understand the context – and background – of the whole speech?

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Yet if the US public – and in many instances the politicians – are to make decision of national importance they need to have access to raw data and the full facts. Information provided by the media should not be slated. And it certainly shouldn’t be based on pure emotion or in reaction to an event or events.

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Liberal Future – the youth wing of the National Liberal Party – had the following to say (1) about the tendency of elements of the media to ‘dumb down’ political debate by attaching simple labels to groups. The same could be said of the US media:

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We feel that simply labelling an idea, person or group as ‘left’ or ‘right’ stifles political debate. This is because people believe they know everything about the subject matter simply because of the way that it’s been labelled. This is particularly so when the media gives an idea, person or group a negatively loaded label or description.

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LF feels that these political labels of ‘left’ and ‘right’ are way too restrictive. Indeed, they’re increasingly meaningless – especially when followers of Tony Blair are referred to as being on the ‘right wing’ of the Labour Party and socially conscious Conservatives as being on the ‘left wing’ of the Tory Party!’

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Elements of the media also appear to be working to their own agenda when they should really be making a true and accurate record of the events of the day. For instance they like to use prejudicial terms – or attack words – like ‘racist’, ‘anti-Semitic’, ‘Islamophobia’, ‘homophobic’ to describe an individual or group. However, they often fail to correctly define what these terms mean. Just because one has issues with Israel don’t mean that one is ‘anti-Semitic’ or an ‘anti-Semite’!

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In a similar vein, the media also loves to make a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to labelling an individual or a group as ‘extremist’. Again they never really define ‘extremism’ and use the most tenuous of links as ‘proof’ of their allegations.

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With all of this in mind the National Liberal Party believes that it’s absolutely essential to build the infrastructure of an alternative mass media of news, views and entertainment. And, as we’ve recently noted (2) we’re looking for very special people who can help us. Who are these people? Well, they’ll probably be something like you:

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‘they’ll likely to be fairly quiet and thoughtful people. They’ll look way beyond the bluster and headlines (that passes for politics these days) and will examine cold hard facts and figures. They’ll also be free-thinkers and non-conformists.’

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If you think you fit the bill get in touch with us contact nationalliberal@aol.com as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you.

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(1) http://nationalliberal.org/liberal-future-%E2%80%93-beyond-left-right

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(2) http://nationalliberal.org/building-our-local-media

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• CHECK OUT the National Liberals on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/52739504313/?fref=nf

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