Propaganda is at an elevated high. Mass media trust is at a new low. Who can you trust? The “smoke and mirrors” are in full deceptive force, advertiser influence is pathetically obvious, and we’re astutely aware of how ownership affects content. If we cannot trust the mass media to provide accurate information, balanced reporting, or fair coverage, then we must become the media.
We cannot rely on mainstream corporate-owned news sources when they are bought and influenced by Big Pharma, Big Agriculture, the military industrial complex, or other corporations and industries that harbor conflicts of interest with strong ties to government agencies.
One conflict of interest hidden in plain sight found on the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) website, (courtesy of Kari Bundy), is a dedicated division, the Entertainment Education Program. This “Gateway to Health Communication and Social Marketing Practice” is partnered with the organization, Hollywood, Health, and Society and “provides the entertainment industry with free expert information on all aspects of health, safety and security.” (One of their partners includes The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.)
The role of these programs and organizations is to provide content on health topics for the media industry to push their Big Pharma funded agenda and control their health/medical “desired” narratives. It’s quite the incestuous relationship that allows the seamless integration for swaying public opinion and shaping audience’s beliefs. Our government tax dollars advise scriptwriters and producers by providing health storylines, and consulting services to the media industry, across television programs, film productions, and more. (Prime example of “follow the money” I covered in an earlier blog post.) The censorship of dissenting or challenging viewpoints is purely driven by financial influence and the propaganda machine.
Propaganda is legal in the United States; not only is it legal, but legal against its own people. In January 2013, the US government passed legislation for the legalization of propaganda use on the American public with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This law repealed the existing ban on propaganda protected by the Smith-Mundt Act. An orchestrated move from those that want to control how information is transmitted through their distortion of truth filter and persuasion tactics. A sly way to monopolize national public relations and drown out opposition, resistance, and dissent.
“If the NDAA goes into effect in its current form, the State Department and Pentagon can go beyond manipulating mainstream media outlets and directly disseminate campaigns of misinformation to the U.S. public.” — Business Insider (May, 2012), Michael B. Kelley
What is propaganda? Deliberate persuasion, often one-sided, not objective, or where information presented is geared to achieve or influence perception. The use of emotional methods to manipulate and using a strong appeal to your senses.
- n. The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause.
- n. Material disseminated by the advocates or opponents of a doctrine or cause: wartime propaganda.
- n. A concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of large numbers of people.
Propaganda is directly staged to influence and control the population, direct focus, and shape public opinion on issues. The media outlets and agencies that distribute the propaganda are also chained to the machine and are ostracized when they don’t fall in line. Propaganda is designed to suppress dissent, oppress truth, push a narrative, and persuade for a particular outcome or behavior. And it comes in all forms frequently repeated through social media, mass media, government and industry publications, books, television/radio programs, films, video games, magazines, toy advertising, posters, commercials, advertising, merchandise, clothing, awards’ shows, and across the Internet — delivered in a brainwashed, normalized fashion, so one does not realize they are being propagandized to.
Is it too big of a beast to wrestle and slay?
Do we give up? And allow the beast to swallow us whole?
Not a chance.
To survive, we must seek out alternative viewpoints, support content diversity, and encourage more voices. In order to be independent of, and not enslaved by their propaganda system, we need to not only have a critical approach to dissecting their messages — but we must create our own media. This includes opinion-editorials (op-eds), news articles, press releases, video news releases, books, independent press, radio shows, podcasts, videos, data archives, resource lists, and content, in every format – on every topic that matters. Where the information, facts, research, wisdom, and observations are disseminated in such a grassroots, decentralized, and organized manner, so the reader or viewer can critically think, bring a discerning eye and mind, and determine its validity, reliability, and truth.
Thankfully, due to the early public access TV/radio movement, social media networks, video platform and streaming sites, and independent media outlets and alternative programming, broadcasting and sharing content with the masses isn’t relegated or exclusive to just the corporate-owned mass media complex.
Become the media. Become a citizen journalist. An observer who reports from their independent lens and unique viewpoint. What story can you tell that no one else can from your vantage point? What kind of channel would you have? A podcast? A video program? An interview show? A blog? A collection of stories? A newsletter? Who is your audience? Who would you like to share your journalism, activism, wisdom, and message with? What’s missing from the media landscape that you can provide? What voice or sliver of truth can you bring and contribute?
Come out of the woodwork and extend beyond a keyboard warrior. Access your media freedom and step out of your comfort zone. We need you! Now. Your voice is essential. Learn to effectively use your voice to make a difference. Exercise your freedom of expression. Speak your truth. Bring your authenticity, focus on what matters to you, and shine a beacon of light in that direction. Express yourself, your message, your voice! Leverage your revolutionary voice to bring forth some fresh energy to a subject and to combat the propaganda, disinformation, and the suppression of truth.
What will you advocate for? What will you reveal, investigate, and uncover? As an educator or activist, what motivates you to teach, activate, and take action? What’s your passion? Your interests? What topics inspire you? What topics light a fire within you?What type of information will you transmit and publish? Will you teach something? Investigate an issue? Give others a voice? Be a champion for a cause? Create call to action campaigns? Will you research and gather information that is otherwise suppressed? Share your own story and wisdom? Will you interview others? Will you report on an issue that is often overlooked?
For citizen journalists, don’t be intimidated and seek unrealistic high production value when you’re getting started. Aim for quality content, simplicity, and discover your authentic voice and message. Engaging content and content marketing attracts readers, listeners, and viewers. Provide added value with your unique voice, storytelling style, and perspective. Use your mobile devices, computer, recording equipment, a phone or photography camera, and microphone. Learn how to live stream, create a radio or a video broadcasted program, and discover how to use basic editing software or apps. Become your own content producer and bring your alternative and independent voice.
Are you an information purveyor and wisdom warrior who loves to gather and save an assortment of research, data, and content? Do you enjoy building your own interactive library and database of your favorite, most treasured collections to share within your close circles, trusted networks, and also organize for yourself?
For seasoned content creators, find innovative and effective ways to repurpose and energize existing content to reach a new audience and market. Create affiliates and partnerships to extend your reach and impact others. There’s power and strength in numbers when peer networks share their wisdom and connect. Creating a social network with trusted sources is critical in receiving the information you seek and for delivering your message to quality contacts.
Sphir is a decentralized platform, a safe, social Internet community — built on blockchain, for you to be in control of your privacy and information. Invented to inspire you to be an effective content creator, wisdom steward — and become the media! To sign up for pre-launch updates, the new name announcement, and news, visit Sphir.
~ Melissa A. Curtin