On his blog, Mercola.com, Dr. Joseph Mercola digs into the vast network media and big tech propaganda and censorship. He writes:
Google promised to bring us the world, and for decades dished up tens of thousands of results to any given search. It was a clever trap. Get the world’s population hooked on an information monopoly, and then, when the time was ripe, funnel everyone toward specific narratives and hide everything else.
Google can do it because the primary way anyone “researches” a topic online is by using the Google search engine; Google controls well over 95% of the searches done on the internet across the entire planet. A similar trap was laid within the media landscape. As reported by Swiss Policy Research:1
“… most of the international news coverage in Western media is provided by only three global news agencies based in New York, London and Paris. The key role played by these agencies means Western media often report on the same topics, even using the same wording.
In addition, governments, military and intelligence services use these global news agencies as multipliers to spread their messages around the world. A study of the Syria war coverage by nine leading European newspapers clearly illustrates these issues: 78% of all articles were based in whole or in part on agency reports, yet 0% on investigative research.
Moreover, 82% of all opinion pieces and interviews were in favor of a US and NATO intervention, while propaganda was attributed exclusively to the opposite side.”
Propaganda on the one hand, and censorship on the other, are the primary battle strategies of the information war we now find ourselves steeped in. It’s imperative, then, to understand how these “weapons of war” against the public are being used, and by whom.
News Agencies Are the Invisible Propaganda Nerve Center
When it comes to the actual dissemination of fake news and propaganda, international news agencies play a central role and, as mentioned, there’s only three of them:
- The Associated Press (AP) — Headquartered in the U.S., with more than 4,000 employees worldwide, AP is relied upon by approximately 12,000 international media outlets and reaches more than half of the world’s population each day.
- Thomson Reuters — Reuters was originally headquartered in London, U.K., but was acquired by the Thomson Corporation in 2008. The two media companies merged and become the Thomson Reuters Corp., which employs more than 25,000 people in hundreds of locations worldwide.
- Agence France-Presse (AFP) — A quasi-governmental organization based in Paris, France, with about 4,000 employees, according to Swiss Policy Research,2 the AFP sends out more than 3,000 stories and photos each day to media companies around the world.
As once noted by Wolfgang Vyslozil, former managing director of Austria Presse Agentur (APA, Austria’s national press agency):3
“News agencies are rarely in the public eye. Yet they are one of the most influential and at the same time one of the least known media types. They are key institutions of substantial importance to any media system. They are the invisible nerve center that connects all parts of this system.”
Indeed, until or unless at least one of these news agencies sends out a notice, national and local media are unlikely to report on an event. Even photos and videos are typically sourced directly from these global news agencies. This way, people hear, see and read the exact same message everywhere.
Even media outlets that have foreign correspondents on their payroll do not expect those correspondents to conduct independent investigations. They too simply report whatever the Big Three news agencies want covered, and from the angle they want it covered.
What you end up with is a sort of echo chamber where only one view is presented. As one might expect, this setup makes for a perfect propaganda machine. As noted by Swiss Policy Research:4
“Due to the rather low journalistic performance of the mainstream media and their high dependence on a few news agencies, it is easy for interested parties to spread propaganda and disinformation in a supposedly respectable format to a worldwide audience.”
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