The Biased Media and Their Utilization of Propaganda: The True Obstructionists of World Events and Our Minds

The Biased Media and Their Utilization of Propaganda: The True Obstructionists of World Events and Our Minds

David B. Ross, Gina L. Peyton, Melissa T. Sasso, Rande W. Matteson, Cortney E. Matteson
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1734-5.ch004
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Propaganda is a widely controversial issue, especially when it collides with the media and politicians. This complex system creates a tension between those who have a personal agenda to disseminate false statements to advance their plan to manipulate the minds of the public. Based upon 24/7 cable news and social media, there seems to be a miscommunication and disconnect from the truth regarding how the media reports world events, politics, environment, and how politicians were elected to help their constituents, not their own personal agendas. This chapter will address the concern for a better system of reporting the facts and not personal agendas of propaganda-styled broadcasts and non-fact stories that lack truth. In addition, the history of the utilization of propaganda, the definition of this term, the theoretical framework for the theory of propaganda will be revealed, and how this ties in with media and political actors. Furthermore, various techniques, media, politics, and how to rectify these situations with open, trusting, and straightforward communications will be debated.
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“It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.” Joseph Goebbels

Propaganda has caused the loss of objectivity in journalism. It is crucial that anyone who reports information to be truthful, reliable, and professional. Kovach and Rosenstiel (2007) explicated that journalists and others who investigate world issues to be professional and trustworthy when collecting data (i.e., facts, research) revealing their journalistic truth. Journalists have been coined many titles from junior investigative journalists to senior investigative journalists as well as others. No matter their legitimate power, which is described as having power of control over others or power of influence with others, these journalists or fake news pundits, need to be held accountable for supporting their claims with scholarly resources, just like college/university students and faculty must when conducting their research and dealing with human subjects. Benkler, Faris, and Roberts (2018) mentioned that in recent years and based upon politics, no matter the mainstream media outlet, the media will cherry pick which news stories/narratives to feed their audience (Van der Meer, Kroon, Verhoeven, & Jonkman, 2018). This is how the media conducts their investigations of politicians, as the “offer favorable coverage to identity-confirming politicians and attacks on opponents, and when they police deviance from politicians, it is identity confirmation, not truth, that they police” (Benkler, Faris, & Roberts, 2018, p. 79).

The media helps advance the legislative agenda by reporting Fake News such as the controversial issue of border control at the southern border between the United States and Mexico. These personal-agenda pundits place propaganda in their news cycle to give visuals of deceit to win over their point of view. This manipulation of the mind shows children housed at the border within chain-linked fences. The news failed to report that these chain-linked partitions, not cages, secured and temporary housing was news video footage from within an Arizona facility in 2014 during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration. However, even if it was during any other presidential administration, the news still failed to report the truth of these living conditions, which were far cleaner and safer than from the countries these immigrants traveled from to reach asylum or a better way of life. Is there a difference between chain-linked walls compared to drywall and concrete walls? How many people in the United States have chain-linked fences or partitions dividing their properties for security? The main issue for these temporary chain-linked partitions was to keep the children safe from potential criminals, sex offenders, and pedophiles as border control officials had not had official documents knowing whether or not everyone was appropriately vetted. Would there be a different public opinion if propaganda and misleading information were more revealed? Media uses these tactics of psychological warfare for purposes of control by keeping people terrified and easier to manipulate.

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