“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society…We are governed, our minds moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is the logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organised.”
If you have read the first and second posts in this series, you'll know that I am skeptical about news media, partly because I believe that there are two giant, glaring problems with the quality of media in the West.
News is increasingly taking the form of yellow journalism, that is, it is being presented in a way that is dumbing us down. Even more troubling, news is often thinly veiled propaganda masquerading as news - intended to mold public opinion or manufacture consent.
Mark Twain said it best when he spoke to the conundrum of news consumption. He suggested that avoiding the news altogether leaves us uninformed, but that consuming news inevitably misinforms us at least some of the time. What can we do about this massive problem, short of avoiding news altogether? Here are 5 remedies to avoid being dumbed down and manipulated by the mainstream media: