The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

The Relativity Of Truth …
March 24, 2009, 6:26 am
Filed under: Comment

It’s long, but it’s worth every second – especially if you want to see how social manipulation goes way beyond just adlands pitiful attempts.

Infact, in the big scheme of things, what the advertising industry produces in a bid to change mass habits and opinions is strictly 3rd division … not that that’s an excuse … just a reminder that there’s a lot more that drives our decisions/feelings/attitudes than a 30″ ad.

Adland needs to remember that interms of what it takes credit for [Fallon and Cadbury’s 30% sales growth for example] and people need to remember that interms of what they end up thinking/believing. Hell, I reckon the media has had a huge influence in the speed of decline of the global economy. Sure, they weren’t the ones that poured billions into stupidity in an attempt to make ever-outrageous profits, but their one-dimensional coverage helped seed fear and doubt into the masses, which ultimately helped create the self-perpetuating myth of financial ruin.

I am under no illusion how tricky a job it is and I know a lot of the journalists out there feel inner turmoil between what they want to report and how they are told to report it … but it has come to a point where the ‘rules’ that govern journalistic quality need updating and – as far as I am concerned – the majority of that needs to be focused on who actually ‘owns’ the news rather than what is written.

As Mr Mortimer has said many times, there’s more guidelines for what adland can say than the media and given ‘news’ – even in its current state – has more influence than adland could ever dream of in a thousand lifetimes, that seems to be out of whack.

Saying all this – and it is an easy cop out – I don’t know what the answer is.

John Pilger slags off the BBC and they are probably more ‘independent’ than most of the competition given they are perceptually, owned by the people [yes I know that’s not really the case, but it’s not part of FOX or CNN who celebrate their corporate ties at almost every opportunity] so maybe the future of quality news is going to be more about aggragation than corporation … where people have to determine the ‘truth’ by seeing/reading multiple viewpoints of the same story or by filtering each article after being told who are the broadcaster/publishers major owners/advertisers.

News is incredibly important – whether it is World events, business or just the local soccer review – people need it far more than they probably realise, however if it is allowed to continue in such an influenced state, then it’s in danger of becoming more like a horoscope than anything of fundamental value.

Just like adland!

21 Comments so far
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pilger is michael moore for people who have dinner parties and talk about their index linked pension schemes whatever the fuck they are.

i like pilger but i fucking hate people who have dinner parties and talk about their index linked pension schemes

this post is rather fucking adult for you campbell? who have you been hanging out with over the weekend because it sure as shit isnt your usual immature cronie

Comment by andy@cynic

“News is incredibly important, however if it is allowed to continue in such an influenced state, then it’s in danger of becoming more like a horoscope than anything of fundamental value”

You sum it up pretty well there Robert.

I really enjoyed John Pilger’s speech and agree with much of what he said but there are so many situations that get adversly affected by organisations and people protecting their own personal interests that its almost become an accepted normality.

As they say, perception is reality even if the reality is just perception.

Comment by Pete

Wait till Murdoch buys Google. 🙂

Comment by Bazza

On this topic, we’ve found talking about the issue of recession in focus groups that as Australia moves closer and closer to “officially” being in recession, the average consumer STILL feels like it’s all “media hype”. Self fulfilling prophecy?

Oh and Bazza, considering I had a vent about iPhone limitations on this blog in the past, I figure I should say well done on the 3.0 update. It looks really promising mate and credit to you and the Apple folk for proving that you’re brave enough to not only know the product but also listen to the people. Much respect.

Comment by Age

Jesus Age, could you be a bit more subtle in your quest for free Apple stuff … you’re starting to sound like Doddsy with Lee, ha!

Oh and I love this ‘official’ recession stuff. I’m sure the real definition is when the rich folk start getting affected by the economy, it gains ‘official’ status otherwise it’s just recession related!

Comment by Rob

As with the recent financial reporting dust up Stewart vs Cramer shows..

journalist have become snake oil men by talking to the markets, instead playing the role of John the Baptist and claiming foul play whenever they see it regardless of popular opinion. plus there is no middle class journalism. The washington post and Atlantic have been writing about the subprime since 2007. But where is the translation (read contextual connection) for those who don’t read the Atlantic, but also don’t just read the Sun (thought the Sun if it wanted to could become a beacon of thruth to power, but that is another idea/post/pitch). Context/meaning is the biggest business opportunity of the 21st century.

On the other hand this does create a great opportunity for artists to claim that role more for themselves. Artists are often the ones with the ability to confront, create thought and capture imagination while not just playing to the crowd.

Just look at the data visualisations on the web..they somehow give more overview than long articles and tags.

Somewhere along the line greed ate up the Peabody Awards..

PS Rob..FUCK indeed…

Comment by niko

What I love is that when the press are blamed for something or other, the Government call an enquiry ignoring the fact that in many cases, they are behind the situation that resulted in the actions of the news publisher/broadcaster in the first place, ha!

And Niko: I’m scared but also DESPERATE to see the finished work.

Comment by Rob

Incidentally, has anyone watched British ITN recently? They no longer deliver much fact, they deliver their view on what the facts mean. Really bad.
Thank God for John Stewart – did you see him take apart the financial press? So depressing itt took satire to expose the truth, and about those supposed to be telling it.

Comment by northern

Maybe Simon Cowell should start a newspaper – with Paxman and Stewart as co-editors.

Got to be better than the shit Fox and friends put out each and every day.

Comment by Rob

Lee can get me free Apple stuff?

Comment by John

more fucking likely than baz will

Comment by andy@cynic

great post rob!
if mass media, and especially tv, were channels for top-down information distribution, then an unregulated internet is the medium liberating people from that. aren t we living in times of individualisation/individualism. and the internet is where people turn to when they trust themselves more than information raining down on them from the economy or politics. it gives them freedom to go and construct their realities following their own interests. think for themselves and not just adopting everything. though, that needs some understanding about how media works. but you can even get that online. and there has never been a time when one could find various information of all kinds in such an easy way. if one feels it s propaganda coming over the air, one can get counter points or a little bit of conspiracy theory, e.g. from people like alex jones…
i still watch news on tv. just to see what s on the agenda which admittedly still shapes such a thing as public opinion and therefore politics. or vice versa. but i think with a further rise of the internet (using it for more than social networking), there comes a lesser influence of classic mass media and the days of a consistent majority in public opinion might be gone, if they are not gone already. ironically, i think obama gave it the kiss of death. we will see… anyway, just a thought… and. i. love. jon. stewart.

Comment by peggy

can you stop showing up all the fucking planners on this blog. actually fuck it, keep showing them for the shamans they fucking are. peggy for planning president whatever the fuck that is

Comment by andy@cynic

hahahahhhh! now that s a compliment andy, is it? thank you! 😉
though, i hope to spend some more of my time doing whatever i want to. no change going to happen to this attitude any time soon. i would therefore make a lousy president of anything. that s what i believe in. mwahaha!

Comment by peggy

Be very worried peggy.

Comment by John

what am i worrying about now, john?

Comment by peggy

i just stopped worrying john. it didn t feel that great. so i don t want it, if i don t even know what it s for. but just let me know and i ll reconsider

Comment by peggy

Been reading a book called Bad Science recently, and its remarkable to see how the media has effectively increased measles rates through their reporting of the bullshit MMR-Autism reports.

The shit that passes for reporting, and the hideous amount of deception, lying, mis-reporting, hype and bias that western media gets away with makes CCTV look like the fucking Guardian.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

John has your best interests at heart Peggy … trust me …

The LAST thing you want is Andy liking you … trust me again, ha!

Comment by Rob

[off] welcome to lost on fysy. today’s episode is about trust and truth. we ll be right back after a short break. [/off]

Comment by pr pr

i m too scared and confused now to investigate it all further rob. so i just trust you. and john. let s see where this is leading haha

Comment by peggy

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