A Nation That Creates News to Balance the Scales Is a Nation With A Failing Economy
The UK has developed a reputation where the minority of the population still read newspapers, and their newspapers of choice are tabloids. Tabloids used to be seen as entertainment and gossip, and something that people read as a pleasant distraction from harsh cruel realities of life in places around the world. Tabloids were particularly popular on a Sunday, as they were seen as legitimate sources to read for amusement, as very few people read serious newspapers on the day renowned as being a day of rest. The members of the population who read newspapers based on how they wanted friends and colleagues to rate them – both in the workplace as well as outside of it – rating in terms of obvious intellect and a desire to get to the nuts and bolts of a discussion on topics which occupied enquiring minds. The latter group read newspapers in that genre 7 days a week, and never really concerned themselves with gossip of conspiracy theories of the ‘way out there’ everyday topics.
The problem with that approach was that online and a large influx of subscription TV news programmes began to emerge, and basically left most of the traditional ones struggling. Newspaper owners began to see profits fall and some of the well known ones disappeared from the landscape; others were purchased by existing news owners. It was clear that a new strategy was required. The market place had changed and was continuously realigning with what society wished to read and view in terms of news. Fast forward to today, and we see the effect of those restructuring of news media, where less people are employed, the nature of the job of being a reporter was changing year by year, and the skillset and competence and knowledge of the requirements of being a newspaper reporter is vastly different now to what it was 50 years ago. The payment structure model is also very different.
The serious newspapers found their readership dwindling, and must of wondered where the intellectuals resided these days. TV news was taking off, and appeared slick and modern, compared to the dusty traditional newspapers and their audience figures began to climb. The remaining newspapers realised that they needed to ensure that they did not end up on the equivalent of newspaper cutting room floor. As mentioned earlier, the number of newspaper owners of UK newspapers were reducing, but owning/controlling most of the papers still standing against this backdrop of slick fast paced news on the new TV subscription channels. One of those newspaper owners also owns the majority of Australia TV news coverage and owns a TV news channel in the USA, and over time has purchased a number of UK printed media, to go along with the TV news coverage. This particular newspaper owner, has direct access to senior politicians, including the UK Prime Minister and his chief editor also has the same type of access. In August and September last year, 7 one to one meetings were held by one of those individuals, in meetings with the UK Prime Minister and senior members of the Government. One on one meetings. I very much doubt it was talking about the price of fish, I would hazard a guess that it signifies and implies ‘influence’ – both ways – on how and what news is reported. That is just one instance, and that is not my guesswork, it is proven fact. I will list the source below. I have quoted it in a previous podcast.
Whilst the intellectuals still wished to have a hard copy of news to read, they too were attracted to some of the subscription channels. The serious newspapers then turned to creating a paywall around certain stories/articles in their paper. Created click bait headlines and a few lines of the article, and then charges readers if they wish to know about that particular article and its topic. So, even though the readership was reducing, the papers were just about holding their own, because they had extra income from the paywalls on sections of the publication. The rest of the population, who wanted to read about news, did not wish to or did not have the funds to pay for subscription news channels on TV, and had no desire to pay to read about ‘heavy’ news, but as the newspaper owners found out, there was a desire for gossip and innuendo about those in society who were doing fairly well, or who were considered celebrity, the perfect subjects to build up and then tear down, or just to treat like circus animals as entertainment for a few minutes. The more salacious the headline the more people they attracted. Very quickly, those subjects of those type of reporting styles, became dehumanised and were treated like an item on a store shelf, and the subject of discussion as to the changing level of coins that could be earned if more and more people could be attracted to visit their particular newsheet, and with a bit of luck, they would return each day for more of the same. There the UK tabloid became the main genre in the UK for what is still termed “news” but in reality is gossip, and innuendo, and the targets sought out and stories created around them, so far from truth and reality in some aspects, but hoping to trigger a response from their chosen target. Pretty soon, all the mainstream newspapers adopted this style of reporting, because it brought in far more income, and the people deemed to be Reporters, with genuine qualifications and skillsets, soon found that those were no longer in fashion and if they wished to survive in the industry, they needed to become a gossip columnist and develop skills to create click bait headlines, and to wheel their readers in to be immersed in the gossip etc., to the point that they would want to read more and more like that. It provided entertainment that was missing from their day to day lives (ie the readers) and it ensured that journalists remained in work, and the newspaper owners and their shareholders were happier because they had found the equivalent of their golden ticket.
The next stage of development was media and newspapers began to have the same message as the policies in government, and themes could be seen to emerge over time, where certain tabloids were quite clear about what they wanted to see, and reported accordingly, and in order to ensure that the articles were favourable to whatever the latest stance was on something, it was clear that each side agreed where their wins and losses would be, and what needed to happen to ensure that this was the case. So when certain people in the public eye wanted or needed good press, agreements were made about what information would be forthcoming from said celebrity of well known person, in return for favourable press. Many celebrities have this arrangement, and some of admitted to it years down the line. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the British Royal Family do the same thing, and have done for decades, but it was not as obvious before. In March 2020 Prince Harry talked about the unwritten contract between the Royal Family and the tabloids, and it was vociferously denied for months afterwards. In that same interview with Oprah it was mentioned how the Royal Reporters attended social gatherings with members of the Royal Family and during those social events, agreements would be made on the direction of travel of certain stories in the coming weeks and months. That too was denied very strongly, but one of those meetings was listed in the Royal Circular in error, and the cover was blown. Since then, photos have appeared from one of those social gatherings, and it all looked very cosy, including a scene where one Royal photographer was filmed dancing with the next Future Queen Consort.
So this provides the backdrop to the heart of this podcast, where we will see how stories are created as a distraction, sometimes containing very little truth or facts but the aim is not for accuracy, but to create sufficient interest by certain members of the public, to keep a story going for days, which means that the focus is on that series of articles, and is distracted from something that is in the news outside of the UK, about at least one UK news topic, that someone would prefer to not see in a place of prominence, if at all, in any of the tabloids.
We will explore the theory and the practice of distraction and misinformation, and look at the tools used to ensure that people of the UK start to be influenced by what is constantly reported in the tabloids, and regard all of it as Fact. Gone are the days where tabloids in the UK were seen as entertainment and light reading. Now they are regarded by many as being news because it is printed in a national newspaper.
Let us look at the implications for the country, with that approach leading the way in journalistic style in the UK.
Tools and Strategies That Media Use to Influence People
“In a totalitarian state, it doesn’t matter what people think, since the government can control people by force using a bludgeon. But when you can’t control people by force, you have to control what people think, and the standard way to do this is via propaganda.”
“How is it we have so much information, but know so little?”
Further quotes from the article:-
The most common of all the strategies. It basically involves shifting public attention to meaningless or irrelevant things – it keeps our minds occupied. The media overload people with information or emphasize sporting events, celebrities and trivia. The aim is to make people lose sight of the real problems.
Sometimes the powers that be purposefully neglect, or at least do not really address, certain realities. They make their citizens think it’s a problem that needs an outside solution, and they themselves put forth the solution. This is one strategy of media control used with unpopular decisions. E.g., they might intentionally portray a public industry to be worse than it is because they want to privatise it. The idea is to justify selling it off.
- The Gradual Strategy
The goal here is to get the public to allow things that they would not normally accept. How? By introducing them very gradually so the people won’t even notice. E.g., it is what happened with redundant workers’ rights. In some societies they have implemented rules, or kinds of work, that make people eventually think it is normal for a worker not to have any guarantees of social security.
The strategy makes citizens think that they are taking steps that might be bad in the short term, but could pay off for the whole society in the future. The ends justify the means. The aim is for people to get used to the “bad” things and not reject them. How? To get them to think about how good it will be later on. When the time comes, the “normalization” effect has already done its job. The people don’t protest not getting what they were promised.
- Treat the people like children
A lot of televised messages, especially in advertisements, talk to people like they are children. They use very strategic expressions, words and attitudes topped with a halo of innocence. The point is to get through people’s defenses. It is a form of media control that tries to kill people’ critical thinking abilities. Politicians use these tactics too, impersonating fatherly figures.
- Going the emotional route
The puppet-masters do not want to activate people’s thoughts sides. They want to stir up emotions and reach people’s unconscious. That is why so many of these messages are full of emotional content. The point is to cause a kind of “short circuit” in rational thinking processes. They use emotions to capture the overall meaning of the message but not the specifics. Another way to kill people’s critical thinking abilities.
- Keeping the public ignorant
Keeping people ignorant is one of the main goals by those in charge. Ignorance means not giving people the tools they need to analyse things themselves. It means telling them the interesting parts, but never revealing the behind the scenes of what goes on. Keeping people ignorant also means taking the focus away from education. It results in a huge gap between the quality of private and public education. They put quiet people’s thirst for knowledge and make intelligence unimportant.
- Making the public complacent
Most trends and patterns do not just come out of nowhere. They are almost always someone setting them in motion and promoting them. They do it to create homogenized tastes, interests and opinions. The media constantly promote certain fashions and trends. Most of them have to do with frivolous, unnecessary, even ridiculous lifestyles. They convince people that acting this way is just what is in style.
- Reinforcing self blame
Another strategy of media control is making people think it is them, and only them, to blame for their problems. Any bad thing that happens is entirely because of them. That is how they get people to think their environment is perfect and if there is anything wrong it is their own fault. Thus, people end up trying to fit into their environment and then feel guilty for not pulling it off perfectly. They misplace all the anger the system causes, endlessly blaming themselves instead.
- Knowing people better than they know themselves
Over the last few decades, science has given us access to such knowledge about human biology and psychology but this information still isn’t widely available to most people. Only a tiny bit of information ever reaches the public. Meanwhile the elites have all this information and use it as they please. Once again we can see how ignorance makes it easier for the powers that be to control society.
The goal of these strategies of media control is to make the world into whatever the most powerful people want it to be. Noam Chomsky is one of the most highly respected intellectuals in the world. New Yor Times said he is the most important thinker of our current era. One of the major things he has done is calling out and analyzing the different strategies of media control used today in the world.
Royal Rota = Propaganda Arm of the British Royal Family.
This extract comes from an article by Amal Rajan for The Independent in August 2012 and remains as relevant today, if not more so than in 2012.
“No subject in the history of journalism has generated as much stupidity and sycophancy as the British Royal Family. The whole point of journalism is to be a sceptical observer: to ask “What is really going on here?” and “Is that true?”, and yet, when it comes to our absurd monarchy, journalists are so bamboozled by aristocratic wealth that they can only portray a confected picture to their audience. In other words, they substitute propaganda where journalism should be.”
Let Us Not Forget
Statement from Prince Harry in October 2019
“As a couple, we believe in media freedom and objective, truthful reporting. We regard it as a cornerstone of democracy and in the current state of the world – on every level – we have never needed responsible media more.
Unfortunately my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences – a ruthless campaign that has escalated over this past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son.
There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face, as so many of you can relate to, I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been, because in today’s digital age, press fabrications are repurposed as truth across the globe. One day’s coverage is no longer tomorrows chip paper.
Up to now, we have been unable to correct the continual misrepresentations – something that these select media outlets have been aware of and have therefore exploited on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.
It is for this reason that we are taking legal action, a process that has been many months in the making. The positive coverage of the past week from these same publications exposes the double standards of this specific press pack that has vilified her almost daily for the past nine months, they have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on Maternity Leave. She is the same woman she was a year ago on our wedding day, just as she is the same woman you have seen on this Africa tour.
For these select media this is a game, and one that we have been unwilling to play from the start. I have been a silent witness to her private suffering far too long. To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in.
This particular legal action hinges on one incident in a long and disturbing pattern of behaviour by British tabloid media. The content of a private letter was published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate you, the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question. In addition to their unlawful publication of this private document, they purposefully misled you by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences and even singular words to mask the lies they have perpetuated for over a year.
There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, because it destroys people and destroys lives. Put simply it is bullying, which scares and silences people. We all know this isn’t acceptable, at any level. We won’t and can’t believe in a world where there is no accountability for this.
Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.
We thank you, the public, for your continued support. It is hugely appreciated. Although it may not seem like it, we really need it.”
International Legal entities and advocates in the Human Rights field, once again I ask you to read/listen to Prince Harry’s words above, and in fact all the information many of you will shortly see in your In Boxes about a Call to Action. Enough is enough. Information over the next few weeks will be sent to a number of key people who on paper have an interest in Human Rights and who have written many publications on the topic, and are listed as being advocates on particular specialisms. I acknowledge global events right now, and the people of the Ukraine, and I applaud any assistance given and support systems in place long after the warfare on the ground and in the air is over, but, this cherry picking of regimes that the International Human Rights organisations and forums inject themselves into, whilst remaining quiet on other breaches elsewhere, needs to be reviewed. Just because some abusers come from privileged backgrounds, should not mean that the perpetrator is ignored. Just because the victim comes from a privileged background does not mean that the victim can just move away from the danger, forgetting that the abuser can afford to follow, or send people to continue the abuse to the new location. In the case of the Sussexes, abuse such as Coercive Control is taking place on a different continue, from the country the couple had to flee due to the risk to life. The UK establishment is more than happy for the object of this illegal behaviour to dominate tabloid publications for the last 5 years, because they do not regard Meghan The Duchess of Sussex as a person. Meghan has been dehumanised by the tabloid industry and seen as a commodity from which they can make lots of money. Harry is treated like a traitor, for not siding with this family and daring to give up Royal duties and protect his family at all costs. The couple are treated like runaway slaves. Too many people have jumped from buildings, or mysteriously fallen from high buildings, or literally taken their own lives in their homes, due to media activity. They are barely reported on when they are people of colour. Friends and organisations who work with The Sussexes are also targeted and some have spoken about the impact on their mental health. The Royal Family treat The Sussexes like runaway slaves, and apply rules and protocols that no one else in the British Royal family have ever been asked to adhere to. The international legal community has sat back for 5 years and counting, and not injected themselves into any of this illegal behaviour.
The Royal Rota tabloid pack operate on the wishes of the UK Royal Family and their newspaper owners, who in turn liaise with the Prime Minister and with members of the Aristocracy. Meghan’s arrival into the UK coincided with the Brexit vote; there is no doubt that the downward spiralling of the UK economy is linked to that vote and the changing relationships with Europe, and whilst I am certain now, that the Monarchy would have targeted the Sussexes anyway due to their belief systems, and the tabloid media would have been given permission to do what they do with their chosen targets, the juxtaposition of Brexit gave the UK excuses to be able to distract from the continual fall out of voting to leave Europe, and to use the situation of turmoil within the UK figurehead family in the Plantation behind gilded gates, to harass and bully the only person of colour in the Royal Family. Let us not forget that the Royal Family have ensured that they do not have to comply with a number of laws, including the Equality Act and all employment law relating to diversity, and breaches in Data Protection go unchecked, so the latter may as well be declared another free zone for this family. There is no doubt that the Royal Rota act the way that they do, with behaviour on both sides of the pond, because it is sanctioned by a structure which has declared itself to be above the law of the land, and in terms of The Queen, there is no aspect of any UK Law that applies to the UK Monarch. None.
That does not mean that the International Legal groups and advocates, along with Elected Officials cannot and should look the other way, when serious harm and historically loss of life has taken place, on the back of abusive behaviour, and not one member of the Human Rights entities out there, stepped forward. The fact that the instructions comes from the top of society and their various groups, the abuse and breaches in Human Rights are being carried out by people in UK media, including the tabloids. I do not believe that they are above the law, or that they can hide behind the excuse that they are just doing their job. Meghan’s recent success in her court case about the private letter that is mentioned in Harry’s statement, further confirmed that that fact. No excuse is acceptable from those responsible for this cruelty towards Meghan and others. Not one. Let this be an end to such ignorance. We now have telephone number sized groups operating globally spreading hate online, emboldened by the activities for example of the UK and its government and its media, in the treatment of targeted individuals, particular women of colour. The individuals are earning thousands of pounds per month from the hate filled rhetoric, and let us not forget that is only 40% of the revenue received. 60% of it goes to the social media platform. Hate sells, and it will need legal intervention to have a framework which protects people and a body of sanctions for perpetrators to prevent the love of money overriding common decency, never mind breaches in actual legislation already in existence. The Social Media platforms refuse to police themselves adequately, so a rethink is required moving forward as to give that a safe framework to operate in, which still allows income to be generated for shareholders etc., but not at the risk to someone’s life. For added information, the majority of the Royal Rota have burner accounts on these social media platforms, alongside their official ones (which also contain questionable content) and this too adds to the harassment and various forms of abuse to named victims online. There is no one that has experienced and continues to experience this level and scope of any type of abuse on so many platforms and outlets, and now reaching out across continents, and the current legal professionals turn a blind eye, and the international Human Rights forums are missing in action. It is time for action. Please, this is a Call for Action. Let’s press the Green button and let’s go.
27 February 2022
https://sourcewatch.org re Distraction
https://wordhippo.com re words describing media manipulation
https://scholar.google.co.uk re media distraction tactics – tools & strategies
https://exploringyourmind.com re media manipulation – 10 Strategies the Media Use to Manipulate Us. Noam Chominsky re The 10 Strategies the Media Use to Manipulate Us. Linked to previous reference source. (article last updated May 2018)
https://journals.sagepub.com re Clickbait News and Algorithmic curation.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org re Mass Media in the UK
https://reuterinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk Re: Make News more accessible, relevant and entertaining to attract next generation of consumers
http://committees.parliament.uk Re: 1st Report of Session – 2019-21 “Breaking News? The Future of UK Journalism” HI Paper 176. Ordered to be printed 19 Nov 2020 and published 27 Nov 2020. Published by the Authority of The House of Lords.