Ever since journalists covered the World War/Korean War/Vietnam War and depicted the graphic violence, death, dismemberment and savagery of war, Governments have gone to great lenghts to hide the macabre machinations of war and its aftermath.
The first method of media control was in controlling news released to the major news distributors (witness the rise of the press conference), secondly grooming’ newspapers to publish articles complementary to the official state line – primarily dealt with by ’embedding’ journalists and giving them access to a ‘stage’, and thirdly actively spreading disinformation which would strenghthen their point of view. The modern day founding father for propaganda – Josef Goebbels of the Nazi’s would be delighted if he were alive today perusing our newspapers.
Currently what we see around us are large media firms ‘selling’ space for content in their news channels on, the internet, television and radio. Their budgets are large and consequently their clients includes: firms with unsavory projects, politicians with vested agenda’s, militarys with propaganda, and countries with pasts to hide. Furthermore the establishment of think tanks (Institutes of XYZ etc) populated with academics, ex-bureacrats, ex-military spooks and an assortment of narcisstic ‘intellectuals’, funded by corporations, military agencies and governments serve to legitimize goals and agenda’s and set the stage for what can charitably be termed as: mass hypnosis.
Consequently you are faced with a scenario where a ‘big’ media news channel ‘interviews’ an ‘expert’ from a corporately funded ‘think tank’ talking in a suitably serious tone on how useful it will be to ‘remove’ (kill/re-locate/destroy) about 450,000 people to set up a useful mining/industrial project which will ‘develop’ (enrich corporations pockets)and lead to the dawn of a new tomorrow for said peoples. You see this happening around you ad nauseum: appropos in crime, corruption, genocide, and scandals. Lock step in this are a breed of sycophantic, self-serving journalists or ‘media whores’ who gushingly agree with the ‘official’ view. Two major players allow this to continue: Governments (who generally have more to hide than to be transparent) and Corporately owned media who maintain the old boys club of accruing profits and stifling alternate views.
A recent egerigious example of state and corporately sponsored news has been the absence of reports on the butchering of 175,000 Tamils in Northen Sri Lanka and the killings of a large number of Tamil fishermen from southern Tamil Nadu. However there have been literally hundreds of news items on ‘peace and tranquility’ in Sri Lanka and the ‘absolute brilliant tourist spots’ to visit. ‘A new begininng’ cry the media whores, conveniently ignoring a genocide which took place.
It is interesting to note that the official perpetuators of the Tamil genocide have engaged an advertising agency/’lobbying firm’ in the United States to sell their goods and services. This leads to the question on who are their advertising minions in India. Is it news agencies? Is it the Indian Government? Is it the usual group of Corporations jockeying to sell the Sri Lankans goods and services? Or is it perhaps mining and drilling barons angling for mineral and oil deposits in Northern Sri Lanka? The entire sordid sequence of episodes over the last 5 years point to the systematic abuse by both the governments in India and Sri Lanka on disseminating news, the absolute failure of ‘corporate news’ papers on reporting it and the de-sensitisation of the populace with ‘non- news’ . The end results have exposed the flaws of the Indian state in dealing with gross human rights violations in its immediate neighbourhood, bringing into question the ability of the Indian state to uphold its own constituition.