Today we live in an "Age of Information". The emergence of the internet and the development of media technologies has not only increased the availability of information, but also the speed at which it is distributed. The combination of high-speed and widespread access to information has allowed the world to become more knowledgeable about more things. Information is the foundation of our knowledge: it shapes the way we think and how perceive the world. Consequently, as much as information can enlighten, it also has the dangerous power to deceive. In this Age of Information, it is essential to consider who is behind the projection of information into the world. Who controls the flow and access to information and what are the agendas of these authorities? The authorities that significantly influence the media are those who have the power and the money.
Authoritarian regimes of developing countries, such as Burma, have complete control over the media and can, thereby, control what people know and don't know about the aggressiveness of the regime and about the rest of the world.
[...] Most of the media in the world—TV networks, publishing companies, radio, magazines, the internet and more—are owned by 5 major media corporations: AOL/Time Warner, Bertelsmann, Viacom, News Corp and Disney. The consolidation of media at such a large scale has countless implications. The power of these corporations leads to the marginalization of smaller independent media companies that represent alternative perspectives. Often times, the viewpoints of these independent companies are more reliable because they are not as pressured by wealthy media corporations that fund them, to spin certain stories in a particular way. [...]
[...] Most media companies, that are part of the five large media conglomerates, are very well known companies and are the source of daily news for most people. This is problematic because the average citizen is not going to make an extra effort to try and look for alternative news sources that would present more perspectives. Most people are not aware of media concentration and if they were, would not see anything problematic. It is easier to remain a passive viewer of biased news that does the interpreting for you. [...]
[...] This overwhelming dominance of the government in American media succeeded in its purpose of convincing the American people that invading Iraq was the right thing to do to respond to the September 11th terrorist attacks and to protect them from a future attack. People rely heavily on the media to inform them about what is going on in the world, particularly in times of crisis. In such times it is the responsibility of journalists and the media to be extra critical of the Administration's policy proposals and try to report different sides of a story in order to get and more in-depth analysis of the situation rather than basing reports on bias speculation. [...]
[...] Transnational media corporations like News Corps have used their power as a global player to project certain cultural values and political ideologies through the various media outlets they own. These media are very much driven by commercialism and are hence, highly influenced by sponsors who are mostly advertisers. This is problematic, since these media have to consider the agendas of their sponsors in order to continue to get funding. Consequently, concerns of the public are marginalized and replaced with those of a wealthy and powerful minority group. [...]
[...] The government exploited the American peoples' emotions of shock, despair and fear by selling the media and, subsequently, the people of America, justifications for invading Iraq that were based on fabrications and distortions of evidence that was not credible. The main argument that was propagated to the public for entering Iraq was that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction in his country directly violating UN resolutions. Since the possession of WMDs threatened American national security, a preemptive war was called for. [...]
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