French Journalist on Faux Information

In a blog-post from 2007, Jean Yves Chainon discussed a book by French journalist Paul Moreira, Les nouvelles censures. Part of Chainon’s summary of the book follows:

Moreira’s thesis is based on this paradox: in a society seemingly – and really – more and more transparent, the forms of censorship and control of information are becoming increasingly subtle and mechanical. In an age in which raw censorship isn’t possible anymore (at least in most true democracies), more and more resources are being put into controlling not what the people hear and see, but how they think and react to it.

According to Moreira, the journey between (controversial) news material and its actual delivery to the public now typically transits through a “communication filter” – a public relations firm, spokesman, or communication consultants. These filters, commonly known in the US as spin doctors, proceed to a play game of chess with journalists and news media.

Thus President Obama had to insist that BP make pubic the live video-feeds from the main point of leakage in the Gulf of Mexico. According to experts appearing on NPR, the video revealed that the leak was up to 10 times greater in volume than BP had said it was.

Chainon calls this age of [filtered] information “Orwell’s worst fear.”

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