Who needs yet another newspaper when there’s so many out there and most people get their news from social media these days?
Well, actually, when you consider that most mainstream newspapers are owned by multimillionaires with considerable control over what they allow their journalists to report and even how they report it and mainstream news channels are either owned by super wealthy oligarchs or they’re forced to pander to govt officials because they’re worried to death they might lose their license fee or their reporters might not get that scoop or they might get shunned at a press conference, it’s easy to see why good old fashioned objective reporting seems to have gone the way of the dodo.
Social media certainly seems to fill a hole but, just like the mainstream news these days, you still struggle to separate fact from fiction. I must admit I had to keep myself from falling off my chair in hysterical fits when the mainstream media started to run an awareness campaign warning people not to trust what they see on social media and the phrase ‘Fake News’ became a thing. The words ‘pot calling the kettle black’ were never more appropriately applied in my opinion.
We’ve had decades of mainstream platforms peddling unqualified opinions and ‘alternative facts’ as actual news. We have reporters openly admitting the importance of controlling the narrative (so objectivity has gone out the window completely) and some who actively participating in propaganda. They have some rather effective tools at their disposal as well it seems, like repeatedly smearing political opponents with claims that have not been substantiated, claims that that the target has no way to disprove and if he or she try to deny them they only look more suspicious.
As a journalist I’ve been watching journalistic integrity take a nose dive to such an extent that it no longer represents what I was taught when I studied journalism in the early 90’s. We were told that a journalist had two choices – either you do the honourable thing and investigate a story properly (looking into multiple sources, asking pertinent but not leading questions for example) and then try to report it as objectively as possible, or you take a side and build a case to support your argument and just leave it up to someone else to make the alternative case. Perhaps a few decades ago, when we had more left wing platforms, taking sides was acceptable practice but in the last 2 decades in particular have seen a marked shift in balance with most mainstream platforms now owned by right wing oligarchs so there just aren’t the voices on the left to tackle the onslaught of right wing narrative and propaganda.
We set up Spotlight Newspaper, not to try and create a left wing platform but to create a reliable source that ‘everyone’ can trust, regardless of their political affiliations. That’s why we do our own research, publish our reports and provide reputable sources where appropriate. As well as reporting current news and publishing our own research, Spotlight will play an active part in exposing examples of fake news, alternative facts and propaganda because we believe that when we expose these practices we make them less effective.
I know its hard to believe that the MSM might actually be pushing propaganda but if you know what you’re looking for you’ll start to see it all the time because its a lot more frequently than you might imagine. It doesn’t have to be an overt lie, it can be very subtle – an off the cuff remark by a presenter, a jibe here or there, a sneer or a smirk – frequently mocking political opponents in this subtle way demeans their stature in the public eye over a period of time. Take for example, earlier today, a Sky News presenter (Isabel Webster) was reporting on the upcoming Labour Party’s leadership election and mockingly jibed that the Labour party had a track record of in-fighting. This is a narrative that quite a few Sky and BBC news presenters have propagated over some time now – implying that the Labour Party is in some way exceptional when it comes to in-fighting. The truth is, the Conservatives can be far more ruthless when it comes to getting rid of their leaders (Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May spring to mind) or, for that matter, any dissenting voices. In fact, some might recall, a little over 3 months ago the Conservative Party sacked 21 of their most prominent and long serving MPs. It was a big story for a few days but it lost momentum pretty soon after – not because it wasn’t a important story but because it exposed extreme factions within the Conservative Party and sacking 21 MPs made the government look weak and not in control.
Spotlight will make it a mission to expose fake news, alternative facts and propaganda wherever we see it folks. Hopefully we can inspire others to follow our example as well because the only way to stop this sort of behaviour from the MSM is to educate readers/viewers so they can start to spot the signs for themselves. After all, if you already know the punch line, the jokes just not funny anymore.