Russia propaganda screenshot

Russia’s Propaganda Tool: Western Media

posted in: Culture, Media, Society | 0

Something we might take for granted are semantics of media headlines and their definitive contribution to government propaganda.

Case in mind: While it’s important news for the world that Russian troops have killed 200 Ukrainians, consider when the chyron of the media outlet credits Russian media or military for such important news, that it is a triumph for Russia as they trust Western media to spread their propaganda news, give it needed credibility, and therein enhance their cause.

Marshal McLuhan would have been the first to note this matter, should he be alive today. In Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, McLuhan was explicit about media use of propaganda by the Soviet Union. Tying that vision to the medium being the message, and Europe today, at least Deutsche Welle, in this example, plays right into it all.

By giving Russian ‘anything’ prominence as BREAKING NEWS, it serves the purpose of the Russian invasion. In other words, it expounds upon Russia’s bragging rights through media credibility, rather than emphasizes the gross atrocity, which, in essence is a crime against humanity.

What DW should have done with this ‘breaking news,’ is reworded it so that it is not a Russian brag or taunt leading their news cycle, but rather Ukrainian news of their plight. That would mean doing the legwork to ensure Russia’s report is true, first off, and then crediting its source from elsewhere, while rewording the headline so that it fails at giving Russia global opportunity for inordinate bragging rights. There are more trustworthy sources reporting the story and doing so in a way that does not readily feed the Russian propaganda machine as a crucial source for its baleful military.

So is that putting bias into the media machinery and its message, or does it help deflate an evil global propaganda campaign designed to cash in on ‘positive’ global media broadcast of its atrocities as mere news? Is this where the golden egg of being ‘first to report the news’ takes its precedence over all other broadcast considerations? Let’s also consider media credibility: do most people really believe Russia or its military right now? No, and no responsible media entity should make or rely on such presumption.

Sometimes journalism is a lesser of two evils. Since both media broadcast approaches to bias and propaganda are rooted in the rhetorics of persuasion, the news entity doing the broadcast is ultimately responsible to look at its critical role in the propaganda process, and its overall ethical responsibility to the world, before reporting breaking news in prospective wartime. Deutsche Welle, of all European media, should be most sensitive to government propaganda and its detrimental societal effects, and DM should be setting the example for global news, not playing footsies with skillfully persuasive professional propaganda from the world’s Putins.