White Man’s Media propaganda multiplier; the three global news agencies

Nov 21, 2021
newspapers media
In-depth coverage is scarce in today's media. (Image: Unsplash)

Legacy media in the US, UK and Europe frames and conditions our thinking and actions. They frame and condition the stenographers in the Australian media.

US legacy media — CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Fox News and western news agencies — in association with drivers of US power and privilege, the military, business, think-tanks and security agencies exert dangerous and destructive influence that has contributed to the killing of millions of people.

That legacy media is the fomenter and driver of the anti-China hysteria spreading around the Western world.

A person from Mars who reads and listens to Australian media would conclude that we are an island parked off New York or London.

Our media is dominated by the domestic events and issues of interest to UK and US readers – the latest antics of the British Royal family, Donald Trump, Britney Spears or a crowd surge in Texas.

Much worse, the “world view” we get in Australia is a view of the world as seen from London, New York and Washington. Forget about Indonesia, Japan and China unless the story casts those countries in an unfavourable, funny or threatening way.

In March 2019 Swiss Policy Research described how three global news agencies — AP, AFP and Reuters — propagandise their view of the world. This article has a European focus but it has application  for countries like Australia which also heavily depends on global news agencies:

“It is one of the most important aspects of our media system, and yet hardly known to the public: 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 per cent of all articles were based in whole or in part on agency reports, yet 0 per cent on investigative research. Moreover, 82 per cent of all opinion pieces and interviews were in favour of a US and NATO intervention, while propaganda was attributed exclusively to the opposite side.

“Among the most active actors in ‘injecting’ questionable geopolitical news are the military and defence ministries. For example, in 2009 the head of the American news agency AP, Tom Curley, made public that the Pentagon employs more than 27,000 PR specialists who, with a budget of nearly $5 billion a year, are working the media and circulating targeted manipulations. In addition, high-ranking US generals had threatened that they would ‘ruin’ him and the AP if the journalists reported too critically on the US military.”

And the mainstream media draws extensively from this legacy media based in the US and Europe. It is not surprising that the “ning-nongs” in Australia, as Paul Keating described them, are so ignorant, prejudiced and racist about China.

They accept with hardly a query a US and Eurocentric view of the world .It  shapes their own prejudice and ignorance about Asia. Do any of the senior writers in the Australian media have any real knowledge or experience of China? Can any of them fluently speak Chinese?

Read the full Swiss Policy Research report, “The Propaganda Multiplier”, here.

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