Western media calls the shots
French philosopher Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire was a pioneer in
the campaign for freedom of speech during 15th century in Europe. Europe
was then just coming out of absolute power of monarchies and the people
were beginning to realize the value of liberalism in governing a
country. Liberalism means more ideas, more creativity, more enthusiasm
and finally more effort in to accomplishments.
People were no longer in the two classes of 'haves' and the 'havenots'
and the middle class emerged in every European country staking claims
for a major portion of administration. At such times the role of media
becomes all the more important as the facilitator and a catalyst of all
that change. Ideas change the society and ideas will not come out unless
the press is free enough to accommodate.
Francois-Marie Arouet Voltaire
That was freedom of expression in a positive vein. Humans, during the
course of their civilization and development have spawned certain means
such as money, science and media as facilitators of that process. All
these means have a 'growing up' and a positive time. But once they reach
their full potential, unless managed effectively, they could just get
out of hand causing more harm than good. Western media has always been
exercising its power showing what it is capable of, when it comes to
creating trouble for some and saving from trouble some others. A
harbinger of things to come if allowed to operate unhindered. Media is a
powerful tool because it can influence opinions, build consensus and
thus make mass motivations, either for good or for worse.
Onslaught of commercialism has pushed aside the principals and ethics
the likes of Voltaire stood for. Commercialization brings money and
money in turn brings power. Power is all what you need because the one
who is powerful is always right. The West ones preached of a kingdom of
God but today its motto is that 'the consumer is King'. Thus the present
era is increasingly getting characterized as an era where the goodness
of God has to jostle with the dictates of the consumer for space in the
Freedom of expression
Media is the most commercialized tool in this whole commercial
operation. When all other industries sell their goods to the customers,
media is the only industry that could sell even its customers. That is
because people advertise in the media for the strength of their
circulation and reach. The more subscribers you have the more
advertising patronage you will get and thus you end up selling your
customers to your advertisers.
The West has realized the power of media long before us or it would
be more appropriate to say that the media has taken the better of the
Western world even before we could grasp what media is capable of.
Freedom of expression is number 1 in the Western agenda of human rights.
We may argue that people need food and shelter before they need freedom
of expression but the West would not flinch as they know that if they
have the media under their command they can control the rest, even food
and shelter, making freedom of expression so sacrosanct. People may die
of starvation or for want of security and shelter but who would know
that unless some media carries that news. Indulgence, exploitation even
pillage and murder can take place anywhere but with the media silent,
things may appear fair. Thus media can make molehills into mountains and
mountains into molehills.
Rich people have invested in media companies and those same investors
may also have other parallel business ranging from insurance to arms
manufacture. It is in the interest of an investor to supplement one
business with another and therefore those media investors may wish to
promote their other businesses, such as arms in the Third World.
Promotion of arms need a conflict atmosphere and media could create such
an atmosphere. You could have a nice name starting with 'Peace' for the
campaign and could also seek advice from the likes of Jehan Perea.
In any case ordinary news from other countries is not news worthy to
media and hence the media industry needs suspense, drama and some
melodrama to prosper. Thus promoting terror in the Third World would be
killing two birds with one stone in that you have news and also you sell
arms. This explains why in the Sri Lankan war, verified reports of
rescuing 300,000 people from the jaws of death is not news but
unverified news about alleged shelling is. Drawing one against the other
in the Third World is an investment for the Western news. The Western
media may always castigate our politicians as 'corrupt' but they would
never say that our journalists are that.
This is because private media in any country is the main avenue
through which the Western media could manipulate the affairs of that
country. Add a little democracy and a doze of party politics, there will
be a perfect environment to make intrusions. Thus the Western media
always become a forerunner for all the misery the West would wish to
heap on the developing world because maintaining supremacy of the West
is very much a part of Western media agenda.
However the shenanigans of the Western media do not stop with the
events in the developing world. It has also taken a stranglehold of the
developed world and even of the Western nations. When Barrack Obama came
to power saying 'Yes we can' people across the globe harboured hopes of
a better and peaceful world. Yet, now in to the 4th year Obama has
continued 'Bush policies' to the letter. In a way, the one who gets
elected to the White House could have a nice time there because the
American media institutions will always run the country making the
President only an occupant. Thus the so-called 'free world' is not
really run by democratically elected leaders but rather by a few media
barons who have made the right investment decisions.