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How Propaganda by The Media Brainwashes People

How Media fools
Photo by Elijah O'Donnell on Unsplash

Media has become almost an inseparable part of our day to day life. It has undergone a paradigm shift; viewers no longer are bounded to traditional media- print or television.  According to a report launched by GWI in 2018, which tracks usage of social media across globe, We, on an average spend, 142 minutes on social media. Indians watch TV for 3 hour and 44 minute a day, according to BAARC’s broadcast India 2018 survey. Television Broadcast, in the form of Doordarshan, was started in 1959 . Since then, according to Wikipedia, India now has more than 400 news channel and more than 70,000 newspapers. Social media, in many forms, has kind of revolutionized the way information is transmitted, delivering an available-at-hand opportunity to almost everybody having access to Internet to make their voice heard although it pretty much lacks authenticity. This bombardment of information is inevitable to mark a long-lasting impression on the minds of people.
Being a public service broadcaster, Doordarshan, under a heavy supervision of the government of India, more or less, could present the government policies, happenings in the country- not much International news, and shied away from severe criticism of the government.  With the launch of private channels from 1992, the TV news industries, due to no direct control of the government, have started revolutionizing the broadcast of news in India.
Skipping the further evolution TV media, I want to bring to the table how today’s media is working.  With the competition among news channels for TRP( Television Rating Point) is growing, most of the news channels have moved a great part of their focus on marketing. In the blind pursuit of  TRP and gaining advertisements, News channels have gone on to set various agendas for themselves. Partiality and polarization have driven actual facts away, and homed fraudulent elements to surge up their incomes.
Various news channels, social media, online media print media and other sources of information are countless. People, very often, are found considering anything to be true as they have heard it on any news channel; they speak that-news-channel language. Most of the private media sources are visibly forcing their ideas, and most importantly, it is being done in such a way that we become oblivious of this. Indians are highly emotional; However, a company, Gallup, in a survey in 2014, ranked India at 88th place among the most emotional countries. But it cannot make sense since only 1000 people were included for the survey across 148 countries.  Two industries have made billions out of our emotions: Media and bollywood. To feed us their agenda or the one from that corporate houses they have been funded from want them to, they seem to create an illusion of truth. A German Nazi Politician and propagandist Joseph Goebbles precisely said,” Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”. This statement is entirely applicable on the fake environment created by most of the media channels. Just consider thinking, 70% of the media is broadcasting a particular news item and drawing the almost same conclusion, will it not affect a great part of audience, their mentality and views? 
Media-print or television-houses conduct numerable surveys and launch research programs-with the usage of internet increasing; it is now easier to use “psychographic analyticsas well -to infiltrate into our mind to feed their news. However, this is not unethical unless they employ their research to serve us the news and ideas they want us to believe, buy lies they want to sell.

How Propaganda-Based Media Works

the influence of media on people , how media shows propagada
Image by Vidmir Raic from Pixabay 
If we do not go way back and only consider current government expenses on publicity and advertisement, the amount is astonishing: RTI revealed that this government has spent a whopping amount of 4343.36 crore from 2014 to 2018 running. Now consider this, the budget is fixed and media houses are many; how do they attract more advertisements by the government? Simply, they will act in such a way that pleases the government of the day. The same case applies on corporate houses . Many chief anchors have allegedly been accused of accepting money from corporate houses to promote their agenda; an anchor form Zee News, a renowned Hindi news channel, was caught in a sting operation while consenting to take huge money to promote  their propaganda. However, nothing happened- he is still featured in prime time and fools people.
   
There are still some print and television media houses whose commitment to true journalism and fact-based news is highly commendable. How can we choose to tune media that is right for our mental health?

Here are 5 things done very often by fake media 


Creating Communal Provocation

Every time an unfortunate event, which involves people from different communities, occurs, representatives -most often, fundamentalists are invited from the associated communities are made to sit to discuss this tragic turn of incidents.  Questions framed, along with the argument presented by the anchor, most often seem  to generate fury, and representatives, who seem to carry their prejudices, indulge in an ugly fight, which may entail derogatory language, on that national news channel. The whole drama is broadcast live for a considerable amount of time, sending a wrong signal among various communities. These debates at times invoke provocative feelings among individuals, and unfortunately develop wrong notions in them; they may carry these perceptions permanently.  

Excessive Negative News 


Negativity sells, believe me it does. Large portions of news we see are negative. Have you ever wondered why?  The reason is quite clear: Negative news is processed much easier in human’s mind.  Every day we are flooded with news on terrorism, communal violence and various abuses. It creates a sense of fear and terror among people; however most of them do not feel the same around them. Most of these things are irrelevant and do not add anything to our knowledge; I believe news papers or TV news channels are not meant to register every looting, snatching and other such negative staff-they should be shown to raise awareness, and not (in such a way) to panic them. Although I genuinely have sympathies for those who fall victims to such unfortunate events, looking into them precisely is the work for police, courts and other such institutions, and not for media. Media should be held responsible, to a great degree, for the environment we live in today; feeding society such news, in excess, will neither help victims or us. Even though the importance of negative news can’t be denied as they make us aware of the unwanted elements in society, sufficient supply of positive news may bring peace to our mind; most of the pieces of news items delivered need to carry a social message that can help an individual grow in many possible aspects.

Creates Moral Void         


A large portion of media creates moral void. Endless greed for TRP makes them oblivious of their responsibility towards building a well-aware society. It is rarely seen a reporter is apologetic for a piece of wrong information (s)he delivered. Many news anchors claimed- just after demonetization took place in 2018 -there would be a chip installed in Rs 500 and Rs 2000 to keep track of whoever uses them: nothing turned out true.  Nobody came in public to issue an apology. Recently, a renowned news anchor of a prestigious Hindi news channel shamelessly entered the ICU, in a hospital in Bihar, and forced doctors and attendants to take her questions, creating nuisance in ward where many children, suffering from Acute Encephalitis  Syndrome, and their family members were present; again no apology, no regret was shown. Media reaches wing commander Abhinandan’s home, after he was captured by Pakistani Army, disclosing everything about him in spite of knowing it could be confidential; and then they ask for freedom of expression.   

Senseless Debates  


Debates on absurd topics go on for an hour or so,just to end with senseless conclusion. In India , a religious issue will attract thousands of debates, whereas a good debate, rather a single debate, on how quality of education can be enhanced, how health services can be provided in affordable prices or any of such is hard to find on news channels – though very few do it. Some anchors shout so much in debates –and you wonder why you still did not change the channel-Experts find it difficult to accommodate their thoughts. This silliness  goes on, and guess what, the debate comes to an end, and you feel like scratching your head or going outside.

Attempts to Block Thought Process


For whatever reasons they may have, they try to impose a thought on us by deliberately arriving at the same conclusion every time a discussion takes place on a specific topic. Many anchors shout at experts who counter their views to achieve the goal they have set for the discussion- the same discussions with a slight change in the title and some different faces at the table  are shown until they instill their idea into many brains. Very few news channels carry out a discussion, accumulate various relevant views, give their polite views, and most importantly, encourage viewers to ponder about adding a new dimension on the specific subject.


Having said what I did not at all diminishes the importance of media in our life or, something like, we should quit watching news or reading a newspaper. However, there is a great need to figure out what to read or watch; what to leave. I believe the time we have is precious; why waste on the things which don’t stand for the truth, or do not add anything to our knowledge?
 The veracity of news should have been easier to spot biased and one-sided news. Not surprisingly, there is a perception among huge population developed over time everything shown on news, written in newspapers, carries authenticity and needs not be questioned; that is to be changed. I believe if a debate or discussion ceases without throwing you in a train of thought at least for some time, believe me it may be just a ridiculous thing. We are all required to think well of what we feed our brain.

3 comments:

  1. Very true.... Appreciated your blog for such mind blown content.

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