I remember as a child, not understanding why adults read newspapers. I would look at someone reading the paper and not understand what I was seeing.
It was the same with the news on television. Why on earth did these adults have so much interest in all that stuff I didn’t understand or want to know about?
As I grew up, I began to learn about the importance of the information being conveyed within the wide variety of publications out there. Of course, I also over time began to understand that depending on the publication, perspective and tone can vary as can political affiliation. So the media publications I didn’t understand as a child actually held a great power over the adults they influenced, as each adult picked those publications most likely to reinforce whatever pre-defined perspective and or affiliation they felt.
In so doing, those adults effectively subscribe themselves to whatever their favoured publications choose for them. Elections are then won and lost according to the whims of the media.
At a time when The Sun was the paper with the widest circulation in the UK, the tabloid effectively decided who will win from one election to the next. Its famous headline “It’s the Sun Wot Won It” after the tory election win in 1992 reflected it’s consistent campaign against the then Labour candidate Neil Kinnock. The paper switched sides for the 1997 general election, which was then won by a landslide by Tony Blair.
This is of particular importance to understand at this time, as we are now so close to the 2017 general election.
As I was growing up, those adults around me who influenced me the most with the best intentions, tried to impart to me the importance of knowing about what’s going on in the world. You should read the paper they would say. Learn about what’s happening out there. Take an interest in your future and the country’s future.
And you can trust what the papers say. After all, they’re really big publications and important. They can’t lie after all, can they?
“Just two companies, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp UK and Lord Rothermere’s Daily Mail Group, control nearly 60%* of national newspaper circulation. If you include online and mobile readers, the situation isn’t that much better with five companies accounting for 80%* of all consumption, online and offline”.
In a UK where only 5 companies control over 81%* of local newspaper titles, there’s also no point assuming your local rag is any more independent than the national press.
Television influence is also hugely concentrated, with the BBC raking in over 33%* of viewing figures and ITV 22%.*
[*source: Media Reform Coalition report – media ownership in the UK 2015]
Doesn’t the above make you think? Two very rich and powerful individuals between them influence the voting intentions of 60% of total UK circulation (buyers). When you consider that actual readership is far higher than circulation figures, that’s a huge influence that only these two people have over public opinion. If you were filthy rich and didn’t want to pay a lot of tax, who would you use your influence to support?
From innocence and ignorance in childhood to maturity and misplaced trust in adulthood, I very slowly began to realise that what they say is true. You just can’t believe anything you read in the paper, or what you watch on the news!
Discernment is a must at this time and we all must reconsider how our current views were shaped, then formulate for ourselves what we really stand for, and what we wont. We need to stop looking outside of ourselves for answers, stop trusting what the mainstream media force feeds us. We need to look inward, then stand up for who we really are.
Only then will mainstream media and the political elite they support flounder. Only then will we take our future back.