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The "Free" Press of The West


Sarex

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An article came out on the front page of our most prominent news paper in my country. What was it about? Well, Jacques Hogard, the leader of French special units that were stationed in Kosovo during the conflict, gave a interview about his time there on account of his book "L'Europe est morte à Pristina" that came out this year.
 
What did he say? Well nothing good about the Kosovo Liberation Army or the involvement of NATO in the conflict. His interview ranged from KLA's hit lists for Serbs, destroying and talking property from Serbian residents to outright killing them. Still after reporting all that to his superiors, their support for KLA remained unchanged. He left the army in the year 2000 because of his involvement in the conflict.

 

Now this is nothing new for me, as far as information goes, but it's galling that apart from a few French TV shows and articles there are ZERO articles in English about it. Any reporter that is worth his salt would jump on an article like this, especially with the situation in Ukraine going on, but no there is not a single article in English that I can find.

 

Hurray for the free press of the West!

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In my opinion the press has been unfit for purpose for quite a while, focusing on sensationalism and what will attract the largest share of their diminishing audience. Personally i'd argue that the press should go back to experts reporting and investigating objectively, rather than the focusing on up to the minute opinion pieces and over dramatisation. However most of the public seemingly do not want that, they want easy answers, easy villains and politically correct statements rather than the nuanced reality.

 

A few British generals have been ostracised for holding much the same opinion, their memoirs are usually somewhat constrained by the OSA however.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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In my opinion the press has been unfit for purpose for quite a while, focusing on sensationalism and what will attract the largest share of their diminishing audience. Personally i'd argue that the press should go back to experts reporting and investigating objectively, rather than the focusing on up to the minute opinion pieces and over dramatisation. However most of the public seemingly do not want that, they want easy answers, easy villains and politically correct statements rather than the nuanced reality.

 

A few British generals have been ostracised for holding much the same opinion, their memoirs are usually somewhat constrained by the OSA however.

 

I agree with you, globally the press has gone to ****, but it gals me when people here hold up the Western press as the beacon of truth and objectivity.

 

 

I'm surprised you're surprised.

 

"Truth is the first casualty of war."

 

I'm not surprised, this was posted for the benefit of a few select people on this forum in a vein effort to bring some perspective to their views. I know it's pointless, but I still felt like doing it.

Edited by Sarex
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In my opinion the press has been unfit for purpose for quite a while, focusing on sensationalism and what will attract the largest share of their diminishing audience. Personally i'd argue that the press should go back to experts reporting and investigating objectively, rather than the focusing on up to the minute opinion pieces and over dramatisation. However most of the public seemingly do not want that, they want easy answers, easy villains and politically correct statements rather than the nuanced reality.

 

A few British generals have been ostracised for holding much the same opinion, their memoirs are usually somewhat constrained by the OSA however.

 

I agree with you, globally the press has gone to ****, but it gals me when people here hold up the Western press as the beacon of truth and objectivity.

 

 

 

There is no such thing as a perfect international News Chanel that is completely 100 % objective all the time around all news stories

 

But that doesn't mean the various news stories or editorials that we can see are all wrong, are aligned with governments or the stories they break can't be corroborated and proven true through multiple sources.

 

So in other words most of the press does a good job at bringing us valid information  rather  than bringing us  misinformation due to some surreptitious agenda

 

So I'm sure what your point is, we know that there are some issues already with all news reporting. And this applies to Western and non-Western channels ?

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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In my opinion the press has been unfit for purpose for quite a while, focusing on sensationalism and what will attract the largest share of their diminishing audience. Personally i'd argue that the press should go back to experts reporting and investigating objectively, rather than the focusing on up to the minute opinion pieces and over dramatisation. However most of the public seemingly do not want that, they want easy answers, easy villains and politically correct statements rather than the nuanced reality.

 

A few British generals have been ostracised for holding much the same opinion, their memoirs are usually somewhat constrained by the OSA however.

 

I agree with you, globally the press has gone to ****, but it gals me when people here hold up the Western press as the beacon of truth and objectivity.

 

 

Usually they've not travelled or seen much of the world, or can't see it because of their bias or lack of intelligence. Most experienced journalists are also despairing at the state of the press, and the lazy reporting, investigation (if any) and sensationalism that drives them to pick and choose the most outrageous, effectively easy and accepted story rather than the nuanced and difficult subject matter.

 

In your example the Serbs had been accepted as the villains of the piece, and so no dissenting opinion was raised, as it would go against the established view and was probably not held to be interesting to their viewership. The truth here is the first victim of ignorance and idleness.

 

Edit: It's a pity because their lack of integrity is simply hastening their slide into obsolescence, in a few years much of the press will simply be gone, it's already happened and is happening as any industry insider can tell you.

Edited by Nonek
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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Sadly, yes.

 

Some of the NATO forces during that period were involved in similar stuff  in Croatia too. But negative reports are suppressed/kept quiet.

 

Look at Iraq and Afghanistan. Every time US troops did something "shady" you had to dig it out with a showel.

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The concept of a Tonipandy isn't new, and it doesn't just happen in the press. Some narratives are just 'truthy' and get accepted.

 

Fwiiw I could take protestations about Serbian war guilt a lot easier if it didn't come with a denial of ANY war crimes by Serb forces.

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I think you're mistaking disinterest for censorship.  Stuff about the Kosovar campaign doesn't get reported in the States (I can't really speak for other English-language publications, but I'd guess it's similar) because the press knows that their readers don't particularly care about it, and it's not pertinent enough to current world affairs that the press feels any duty to make their audiences interested.  Not reporting on it doesn't mean that the press isn't "free."

 

It was a pretty small campaign, and we've had 2 major wars and a few other small campaigns since then (with one of the latter going on right now).  The public is interested in ISIS, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  Ask them about the Balkan campaign, and they'll say "Oh, yeah, I remember that-- something to do with a guy named Milo, right?"  (If even that much.)  They're not going to sit down and read a long investigative report on it. 

Edited by Enoch
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The problem is that the bias shown in the Balkan campaign and the desperate chase for currently relevant and sensational stories that will grab the latest fickle audience are symptomatic of larger problems in the press, problems that are on the whole not being addressed or challenged. Bias, objectivity, ethics and integrity, there are actually people who do not see these as relevant in modern reporting, as amazing as that seems. They state that because one cannot be totally objective, then one should not be objective at all and not even bother investigating or doing ones job. This utterly boggles my mind, and makes a mockery of ethics and reporting itself.

 

This kind of journalism, which we're seeing disturbingly more of, is rendering the profession unfit for purpose and moreover untrustworthy. Thus when we see one sided debates, ethics only applied where they benefit one viewpoint or clearly spurious arguments raised, then we are no longer surprised that print media is increasingly becoming irrelevant.

 

Edit: Sorry for the use of the royal "we," makes one sound like the Queen or Gromnir.

Edited by Nonek
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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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The problem is that the bias shown in the Balkan campaign and the desperate chase for currently relevant and sensational stories that will grab the latest fickle audience are symptomatic of larger problems in the press, problems that are on the whole not being addressed or challenged. Bias, objectivity, ethics and integrity, there are actually people who do not see these as relevant in modern reporting, as amazing as that seems. They state that because one cannot be totally objective, then one should not be objective at all and not even bother investigating or doing ones job. This utterly boggles my mind, and makes a mockery of ethics and reporting itself.

 

This kind of journalism, which we're seeing disturbingly more of, is rendering the profession unfit for purpose and moreover untrustworthy. Thus when we see one sided debates, ethics only applied where they benefit one viewpoint or clearly spurious arguments raised, then we are no longer surprised that print media is increasingly becoming irrelevant.

 

Edit: Sorry for the use of the royal "we," makes one sound like the Queen or Gromnir.

Nonek I doubt many people will believe your assessment of the press. Its far too negative and is the type of speech you would make when you want to pander to people who believe in conspiracy theories  :sorcerer:

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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I don't see any relation to conspiracy theories in my writing Bruce, nor do I think i'm capable of telling what people will think. The drive for sensationalism in news reporting is hardly outlandish or unknown in any editorial pit, nor is a growing amount of bias and lack of objective counter points being raised, this is not unduly negative or pandering simply a factual acknowledgement of a disturbing trend.

 

Edit: Clarification.

Edited by Nonek
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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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An article came out on the front page of our most prominent news paper in my country. What was it about? Well, Jacques Hogard, the leader of French special units that were stationed in Kosovo during the conflict, gave a interview about his time there on account of his book "L'Europe est morte à Pristina" that came out this year.

 

What did he say? Well nothing good about the Kosovo Liberation Army or the involvement of NATO in the conflict. His interview ranged from KLA's hit lists for Serbs, destroying and talking property from Serbian residents to outright killing them. Still after reporting all that to his superiors, their support for KLA remained unchanged. He left the army in the year 2000 because of his involvement in the conflict.

 

Now this is nothing new for me, as far as information goes, but it's galling that apart from a few French TV shows and articles there are ZERO articles in English about it. Any reporter that is worth his salt would jump on an article like this, especially with the situation in Ukraine going on, but no there is not a single article in English that I can find.

 

Hurray for the free press of the West!

Oh the press is free alright, free from any standards. That means it is largely controlled by corporations whose end goal is perpetuity and making money rather than providing untainted information. So you're more likely to see articles about Kim Kardashian or whatever than actual noteworthy news because hiring bloggers is cheaper than hiring actual journalists. Sad state of affairs really, and probably a large reason why news programs have a shrinking audience.

 

Then we have opinion news. Which is essentially differing degrees of Alex Jones yelling some Bull**** at an audience who already agrees with him. I find it baffling that people waste their time on such tripe.

"To be fair, if I was married to Milla Jovovich, I would also be happy just making movies that show off her butt." - Hurlsnot

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The problem is that the bias shown in the Balkan campaign and the desperate chase for currently relevant and sensational stories that will grab the latest fickle audience are symptomatic of larger problems in the press, problems that are on the whole not being addressed or challenged. Bias, objectivity, ethics and integrity, there are actually people who do not see these as relevant in modern reporting, as amazing as that seems. They state that because one cannot be totally objective, then one should not be objective at all and not even bother investigating or doing ones job. This utterly boggles my mind, and makes a mockery of ethics and reporting itself.

 

This kind of journalism, which we're seeing disturbingly more of, is rendering the profession unfit for purpose and moreover untrustworthy. Thus when we see one sided debates, ethics only applied where they benefit one viewpoint or clearly spurious arguments raised, then we are no longer surprised that print media is increasingly becoming irrelevant.

 

That is related strongly to two of the biggest failings in the current press. Firstly, long play stories, the ones that need lots of build up and work, don't tend to happen any more unless the subject is 24 carat sensational and certain to be relevant x months after the investigation starts, because they're hard and expensive as compared to going on Facebook and doing a two minute article about the comments there*. And secondly, focus on short term utterly destroys the function of press as a critic of, especially governmental, actions with long term consequences.

 

It's the old story about civilian targets in Iraq or Afghanistan being hit. First, insist they weren't civilians, then a few days later promise an investigation, then a few weeks later admit you hit civilians. The first bit gets prominent coverage, the second a lot less and the admission basically none, and most see and accept only the first part. Since that method works it gets repeated for everything, doesn't matter if you lie so long as the press picks it up and the lie will only be exposed far later, once nobody cares any more.

 

*Something I've never understood, except as cost saving and an attempt to look relevance. If I want the opinions of the average joe or joette on the street I can ask them, and given the sources of information most have all you get from Facebook is what the news outlets say repeated back with a 'this made me feel sad/ happy' added at the end.

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I'd take the 'unfree' press of the West than the press elsewhere.

 

I know you would and that's the sad thing.

 

He's really right.

 

But it also depends on what you want to read about. People often have an inexplicable need for self-gratifcation. So Americans want to read about how America is good, Russians want to read about how Russians are good, and so on. Furthermore, people want to believe that what they are reading is the truth - they can't digest contradictory narratives or uncertainties. So if you're a newspaper, you can't change your predominant narrative all the time or else the audience will be confused. You can't admit when you aren't sure or else the audience will believe you're clueless. I would never trust a newspaper to criticize it's own country enough.

 

This turns into a feedback loop which ends up skewing all media. You're free to explain how you think people write better journalism with a gun to the head from the political leadership than without, however.

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"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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"So Americans want to read about how America is good, Russians want to read about how Russians are good, and so on. Furthermore, people want to believe that what they are reading is the truth - they can't digest contradictory narratives or uncertainties. So if you're a newspaper, you can't change your predominant narrative all the time or else the audience will be confused. You can't admit when you aren't sure or else the audience will believe you're clueless. I would never trust a newspaper to criticize it's own country enough."

 

Except Amerikan media constantly attacks Amerika.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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I would love for the western press to reform and pursue long term objectives again, there is a rich heritage of serving the people and inhabiting a valued role as a watchman, serving the public good and protecting the average man or woman. The press could so easily be a respected institution again, but they seem to be focused on the easy path of ratings and up to the minute reportage, at the cost of their integrity. I am immensely saddened by this, as we are losing a valuable part of society, and one I personally believe still has a part to play.

 

When I open a newspaper and am confronted with the same cheap easy stories once again, of the danger of immigrants, of crazy European rulings, of the unemployed sucking England dry I am appalled. Especially when I know that we are lucky to have hard working European friends who are beneficial to our economy, that the European rulings have never been implemented and that the bill for benefits is a tiny splash in the ocean of our economy.

 

We have an industry that I would personally support without hesitation if it put its house in order, and dared to focus on the troubling, nuanced aspects of reporting that are cost and time intensive. With hopefully an independent watchdog to ensure that the watchmen are watched. I begin to doubt however that this shall ever happen, and that to me is a pity, as I see us not missing this industry until it is gone.

 

Ah well enough doom and gloom, i'll save that for work in the morning, goodnight all.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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"So Americans want to read about how America is good, Russians want to read about how Russians are good, and so on. Furthermore, people want to believe that what they are reading is the truth - they can't digest contradictory narratives or uncertainties. So if you're a newspaper, you can't change your predominant narrative all the time or else the audience will be confused. You can't admit when you aren't sure or else the audience will believe you're clueless. I would never trust a newspaper to criticize it's own country enough."

 

Except Amerikan media constantly attacks Amerika.

 

No.

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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Two things:

 

1)  As others have pointed out, the first bias of any non-state-run press corps is commercial-- how can it sell the most ads/papers/whatever with the least work?  Sometimes that means that the media entity carves out a niche by targeting a particular audience, which brings in a second bias (the likes of The Economist going for educated businessfolks, tabloids going for the barely-literate, Fox for the American right wing, MSNBC for the American left wing, etc.).   

 

2)  When one finds oneself in a position where the great weight of world opinion is against them, some self-reflection is in order.  Now, I'm not going to say that the mainstream opinion is always right, but more often than not, there is at least a little bit of logic going for it.  Humans are subborn beasts, and are not easy to convince to change their opinions, particularly not opinions that they see as core elements of their identity.  If there really is clear evidence on a point, and global opinion has generally lined up on the other side, it just might be that the bias you're looking for is in your information sources, rather than those supplying the rest of the world.  Again, it's not 100%, but it's a good self-check to apply to ensure that you're not letting your heart get ahead of your head. 

 

(Point #2 applies equally to whatever has become of the gamergate thread since I last looked at it a few days ago.) 

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