01 Jun 2013
“Facts are not sacred, pristine, untouchable – they are gathered by human beings guided by mundane, earthy, often compromised beliefs and motives. To choose ‘this’ fact over ‘that’ fact is already to express an opinion. To highlight ‘this’ fact over ‘that’ fact is to comment.” – Edwards, D & Cromwell, D. 2009
Lately, I have been coming into debates where the assumptions are that fact is the absolute truth. Fact – that comes from the newspapers, News channels and of course textbooks. After all how could a text book be wrong! I guess it depends on the country – there seems to be a different version to history depending on the country you study in. How is the Vietnam War taught in America as compared to Vietnam? How does is the emotion expressed about the British rule in India is taught in India and in Britain? It would also depend on the teachers, but curriculum stems the foundations of our education.
Even looking at the media today – the casualties of the Iraq War is still in the 100,000s to a few that rely on newspapers to provide ‘accurate’ information. Well it could be a few or it could be a majority. Which is the fact and which is fiction? Would it be casualties of 100,000s or a figure more in the millions? If we are dependent on a selected few for our sources – where does our education on gathering research go? Are we not supposed to use multiple sources – not just books – to back up our theories and research on any paper we write? This was constantly drilled into us in school – however it completely leaves our minds when it comes to the media, newspapers or news channels.
I think as human beings we tend to forget that those around us are also humans. Journalists are humans. They make mistakes; they are manipulative in getting their biased opinions across as we do in any debate or discussion. What stops them from letting their opinion slip? It is part of their job. As many of us know today, the media isn’t something we can trust with their owners being prominent business owners and elitists.
For the last few days, or maybe even weeks, Indian media has been submerged in this IPL matching fixing story. A story that normally takes half a day to report and isn’t relevant to be front page news for days! Indian media is supposed to have a moral code, where in the past they exposed the rape cases and sexism in support of women across the country. But to fall down to the level of scum and report on sports that is not worthy of being ‘News’ is disappointing. But hey, that is another opinion – mine.
I’m sure there are loads of frustrated Indians who want to hear news that is relevant to help out humanity if they can. For after all how can sports be more important than poverty, violent crime, illegal wars etc. Help in any way possible if it’s through small aid, prayers or just spreading awareness – for there is no better way to help each other if we are aware of the horrible things that happen on a daily bases. But the most important truth that is spreading rapidly across the globe is the constant manipulation that exists in the media. As more people become aware of the ways in which we are controlled, the way we are chained as slaves to products or a handful of elitists.
We view the mistakes of various medias and the forms of manipulation which enables them to take over our minds – an unnoticeable form of brainwashing. That is the most dangerous weapon we are facing as humans. However, it maybe old news in the other side of the planet – it is shockingly still unveiling itself in India, maybe other parts of Asia, Europe or Africa. This is where ‘fact’ is leading us, not that ‘fact’ that is opinion or the ‘fact’ that is comment. ‘Fact’ that is unquestioned and considered ‘untouchable’.