Reading Between the Lines: The News or Propaganda
The news media simply covered the speeches, marches, protests, wars, and so on, and reported what they saw objectively, allowing those who watched to make up their own minds about what was happening. This, according to Thomas Jefferson and several people of his time, was the job of the media. Thomas Jefferson and many of the writers of the constitution recognized that an uninformed population could not participate in democracy. The encouraged the production of several types of newspapers with low cost postage so that varying opinions could be distributed.
They theorized that the public, after watching several points of view and having several discussions, could then use their democratic power to pass information on how to better manage the country up, instead of ways to manage the country being passed down. This concept may seem odd, and downright revolutionary. The only reason this is the case, however, is that the news and the media are no longer doing their job. If they were, I would not be the first one letting you know this. During the Reagan era in the 80's, the laws that didn't permit corporations to monopolize by buying up all the media were abolished to the point that there are only now six corporations with interchangeable boards owing all of the media.
These articles, therefor, are articles about how you may discover the truth about the news. You can discover what is happening behind the scenes and what kind of propaganda that the news media is pushing by simply watching and remembering. Watching them and seeing what they are saying or not saying, and remember the previous messages you have heard in the news the same day, or even months ahead of time. We will be going over many complicated concepts, but as we take them step by step, over a period of time, they will be completely understandable. The first concept that we will discuss actually comes from a type of biblical criticism that is used to determine what various scripture and stories in the bible seem to be trying get across and what they aren't. This is called Narrative Theological Criticism.
Even though it has to do with the bible and all of that, this type of criticism can be applied to any type of literature. What is the news, except for spoken literature? First we will go over the process of all theological criticism and then Narrative criticism. The root concept concerns what is known as a hermeneutic circle. It goes like this:
Whenever we read something and try to get information from it, we should know at least three things. One thing is about the context in which the information is written. What kind of people wrote it? What are their belief systems? What are their biases? What point are they trying to get across? In other words, what is their agenda?
The next thing is to understand our context. What do we bring to the text? What is our belief system. What is the belief system of the place in which we live? Where are our biases? How can they influence what we here?
Lastly we understand what the text actually says. What is the written and literary meaning of the text? If we can understand these three things it is very possible that we can understand what the text actually says. We can understand what the message is actually saying. As we do this we change and our understanding changes, so we begin to get a deeper, more truthful understanding of the text-in this case, the news.
As we watch the news, we need to begin to understand the context. Where do the news casters get money? What stations are they on? What is their point of view? What are their biases? What happens if they speak out against the interest of those who are paying them?
We should also work at understanding what we bring to the text. What are our biases? What type of stereotypes have be been subjected to when it comes to Gay people, minorities, women, Arabs, Communists, Koreans, and so on? These stereotypes, of course, shape our beliefs about these people on a subconscious level. What ones do we have and how are they interpreting what we see in front of us on the news?
Lastly, what is the news actually saying. Is it setting up new stereotypes, or purposely playing on the stereotypes and biases we have? What is the news not saying? Are we hearing points of view that are totally the same, stated two different ways, or are we hearing apposing points of view? Or apposing points that have consensus when it comes to what we should do? More importantly, are the questions for any good story being answered? All good stories should answer the questions who, what, when, where. Many newscasters are good at answering these questions, but they are not very good at going deeper. They are not good at asking why, and how? These two questions are the most important. If they do not ask these questions and provide answers for them, it is most likely they are not doing good reporting. They are simply trying to stop us from thinking deeply by supplying us with answers that make us guilty of surface thinking.
F. Scott Peck wrote about the problem with many people in our day being surface thinking. He said that the mind is somewhat like a muscle. If we use it and think a lot, thinking deeply becomes easier. If we do not think a lot, it becomes more and more difficult and uncomfortable until we cannot think anymore. We may even become angry if we are forced to think deeply. I would dare suggest that much of the media, news and also movie, is providing us step by step with simple answers, so that it is difficult for us to think now. It is important, therefor, to read between the lines. When we hear a story, whether they provide the answers or not, it is important for us to ask, internally, why? Why is this happening? Why would this person do this? Why is this story on right now? And also how. How could these people do the things of which they are accused.
As we do this we will begin to think more deeply and will understand that the news that we think is so informative is just a propaganda machine for the six corporations that own 98% of the print, radio and TV media, and the advertisers that pay for their services. If the news program you watch interviews people asking the question why over and over again until it is answered and presents you with those answers, it is very likely that you are looking at a very good news program.
In our next article we will discuss Narrative Theological Criticism, which states that the writer of the narrative is purposely trying to pass on his or her information to you and the text is only a vehicle to do so. We will see how the same principles apply to all forms of news. I hope that you will enjoy this article. Most of the enclosed information can be found in our book: A Return to Being Human Religiously, by Dr. John W. Gilmore. This book can give you the tools to free yourself from social conditioning and surface thinking so that you will have complete understanding about the western frame that influences all of our thinking.
Related Tags: democracy, literature, education, truth, empowerment, agenda, spin, criticsm, subterfuge
Dr. John W. Gilmore is a writer, martial arts teacher, a certified massage therapist, Reiki Master Teacher and Reflexologist. He received his D. Min. Degree in Reinventing Work and Spirituality. For more articles like this see our free journals at our website http://www.dswellness.com, or visit our free Cyber Circle of Spirituality. You can visit it from a link on our website.
A Return to Being Human Religiously, Dr. J. W. GilmoreYour Article Search Directory : Find in Articles
Recent articles in this category:
- Third Term - The Obasanjo Syndrome ... Ambition and the Place of God
I recently read a post in a blog (multibrand.blogspot.com) concerning President SBY of Indonesia amb
- Black Veterans Still Not Receiving Their Due
With a Black President, many discussions have been re-kindled regarding the treatment of Blacks in v
- Are Green Party Candidates Converting Voters?
Have you noticed that the Green Party Convention is hosting a few training sessions which include th
- The National Debt: Young Americans Are Inheriting a Sinking Ship
The greatest fundamental weakness of the United States of America is its national debt. Debt weighs
- America Must Return to Its Free Market Roots
The United States is the most prosperous country in the world. Its economy has been a constant engin
- Policies Of President Obama And Democratic Congress Severely Undermine Job Opportunities For Young Americans
For Young Americans, this is the worst job market in decades. Despite politicians claiming we are on
- The Virtues Of A Limited Federal Government And Why America Must Return To The Limited Federal Republic Laid Out In The Constitution
I consider the foundation of the Constitution . . . that 'all powers not delegated to the United Sta
- Young Americans Have Largest Stake In Maintaining A Strong Military And Effective Homeland Security Policies
Americans are truly blessed to live in a country protected by the most powerful and effective milita
- Why Hitler Wanted To Ban Guns
Whenever the name Adolf Hitler is mentioned one automatically makes a connection to the Holocaust, N
- What Happened To The Mohave County Downwinders?
I always get a bit frustrated when I hear that the reason Mohave County was excluded from the Radiat
Most viewed articles in this category:
- Designer Shoes Come First In Global Poll Of Most Wanted Accessories
For both men and women, shoes have long been an essential fashion item. In fact, many women in popul
- New US Ambassador for Indonesia Named
The US government has appointed Cameron R. Hume as the next ambassador to Indonesia, reliable source
- 1984 By George Orwell
1984 by George Orwell In the book "1984" Orwell criticizes totalitarianism of all types and brings
- Chaos Theory: Bush's delusions & Iraq's destiny (Part 2)
The classic counter-insurgency strategy of the US consists of the "ink-blotch" approach. This involv
- Will Israel Attack Iran (Part 2)
In November of last year, I wrote an article speculating about whether or not the Israelis would tak
- Rodrigues Island 'autonomy'
Rodrigues Island: 'Autonomy' The first few pages were qui
- Obama Is Coming, Clear The Way!
"Obama biro, yawne yo!" (Obama is coming, clear the way)—Tens of thousands of cheering Luo "Tr
- African Tribes
African Tribes In this article the economies and lifestyles of such African tribes as the Lele and
- This Is Not Your Dad's Republican Party Anymore
Stock markets are strange because they reflect the sum total of all our hopes, fears and prejudices
- How to Drastically Reduce our Foreign Oil Dependency While Saving you Money at the Pump
If you watch or listen to the news, discussions come up all the time about the price of a barrel of