30 Dec 2008

Press, Media - Power!

One of the world’s most powerful instruments of persuasion is the press.

The media may create heroes or evils, they may put someone in power of something as well as overthrow governments. That’s to say, they show us what they want with THEIR views and impressions. So, it’s quite common we leave ourselves compelled to absorb all THEIR information without stopping and thinking carefully about the given news.

I’m not intending to cast doubts on press around the world but only to taking your attention to what we hear and watch.

I think that the most influential and reliable press around the world are: CNN and BBC.
However, this week, what drew my attention to this, is the fact that they really show us and inform us what they actually want!

I’ll explain.
Everybody has been watching this “new” conflict that has been ocurring in the Middle East, especifically in Gaza (have you ever seen this film earlier?); Israel x Hamas.
On the BBC website at http://www.bbc.co.uk there’s an interesting forum debate entitled “Have Your Say” where one can argument about fresh news that are of interest of the world or interest of some specific places. In this case, I’m talking about Israeli strikes on Gaza.

Reading the posted comments I could realise that there are more comments in favour of Israel than Palestinian! Ok, it - one may argue - is not against any rules! I agree. However it is well known that it is not true (my father has Jew’s roots and I know that); Jews are always guilty of disgraces around the world, then should have more comments in favour of Palestinian people than Israelis!

So, thinking of it, I made some tests.

First, since the first strike, I have sent a bundle of comments talking of Israel, by saying that what she is doing is genocide, is wrong, that rather than fighting they should seek for peace, etc, etc. As it was seen to come, my comments are rejected for breaking house’s rules. That’s to say, It wasn’t allowed to speak of Israel in this manner.
Well, then I changed my tone, and wrote some texts saying that Israel is correct to launch those strikes on Gaza strip and although Palestinian have been suffering, they chose it to themselves. Then - bingo! They published my comments in a few minutes after sending them!

By doing this, I learnt the lesson that even the BBC that I though was unbiased - it is not!

Around two or three years ago, I did something similar to CNN International.
There was an e-mail (called “Open Forum”) of which we could express our feelings and views through the words about the news we had watched.
So, I sent a message which talked about George Bush’s mistake on invading Iraq.
What a surprise!
One day, I was comfortably in my home, sit on sofa and watching TV (CNN at this time) and I got nonplussed! I couldn’t believe what was I looking at: CNN not only accepted my comments but also put them on screen! Yep, they exposed to the entire world what a “viewer from Sao Paulo” thought of Bush towards Iraq war. Since then, CNN for me is the most reliable press in the world!
Well, you may argue, “you’re saying that only because you had a comment posted on TV by CNN”. If you are thinking on this, you’re wrong. I’m telling this because I was talking to an American TV, speaking of an American president and talking about one delicate subject as a war! I think if I did it here in Brazil, the press would never publish something like that!

In my point of view, CNN showed herself totally impartial even when dealing with delicate issues.
They also have moderators but on opposite of BBC, they are neutral.

It’s time to take lessons of all this!
Do not believe in everything you hear/watch if you seem that the source is not impartial. If so, you’ll probably tend to digest things that perhaps is true, but it's far from being altogether real.
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