Take Down the Media

Source: counterpunch

The Collapse of Media and What You Can Do About It

by NAFEEZ AHMED – ANDREW MARKELL • December 1, 2017

Photo by Poster Boy | CC BY 2.0

When a system enters into the final stage of its deterioration – whether that is an institutional system, a state, an empire, or the human body – all the important information flows that support coherent communication breakdown. In this final stage, if this situation is not corrected the system will collapse and die.

It has become obvious to nearly everyone that we have reached this stage on the planet and in our democratic institutions. We see how the absolute dysfunction of the global information architecture — represented in the intersection of mainstream media outlets, social technology platforms and giant digital aggregators — is generating widespread apathy, despair, insanity and madness at a scale that is terrifying.

And we are right to be terrified, because this situation is paralyzing us from taking the action required to solve global and local challenges. While liberals fight conservatives and conservatives fight liberals we lose precious time.

While progressives fight government, the corporations and the super-rich we drown in despair. While philanthropists, fueled by their own certainty and wealth, fight for justice or equality or for some poor hamlet in Africa we become apathetic and distracted from the real source of the problem. And while the president fights everyone and everyone fights the president, the collective goes mad.

In the background, however, the game of hoarding resources and not redistributing them accelerates; absorbing the sum total of our collective actions and commitments into a singular unacceptable future. There is only one way to avoid this fate; uncover the source of the disease and cure it by mobilizing solutions.

We are about to break down for you the source of this disease of information that is accelerating us to ecological and institutional collapse because once you see it, you will be free to act and build something else.

The Collapse of Democratic Institutions

Industrial civilization is in the throes of a great disruption, a systemic transition which could either lead to regression, crisis and collapse; or a new way of working and living, a new mode of prosperity, a new narrative of success.

The global media industrial complex is not equipped to address this great disruption to civilization-as-we-know-it. To the contrary, it is literally incapable of meaningfully processing information in such a way that it produces, for a significant percentage of the human population, real actionable knowledge  which can render humanity capable of transitioning successfully into the new era.

The global media industrial complex today compounds the problems we are facing.

It does this by providing, despite appearances, no knowledge at all. The prevailing model of media is to monopolize and manipulate information flows to produce beliefs and emotions that will allow giant aggregators to maximize ‘clicks’, to maximize advertising revenues, to maximize profits — for a few.

So rather than creating knowledge, the global media industrial complex is designed to generate competing, polarized narratives around which different audiences coalesce into irreconcilable segregated communities; it reinforces beliefs without teaching critical thinking; it blunts an attitude of openness while promoting a banal left-right dichotomy that fuels a global culture of mindless consumerism.

This prevailing media structure constrains the public’s capacity to make intelligent decisions. And that allows global ecological, energy, economic, social and other challenges to accelerate, while we argue amongst ourselves about ideology.

The consequence is that information flows are inexorably linked to dominant processes of profit-maximization for a tiny minority; so much so, that people’s relationship to information is managed as a control mechanism over attention and ideological persuasion.

Please go to counterpunch to read the entire article.


Source: PressTV

Moscow accuses US intelligence of recruiting Russian journalists

December 6, 2017

A video grab made from handout footage taken in Moscow on April 7, 2017, and released by the Russian Foreign Ministry shows Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. (Photo by AFP)

Russia has accused US intelligence of trying to recruit Russian journalists working in the country, after Washington and Moscow, in retaliation, designated each other’s media outlets as “foreign agents” and condemned the move as “aggression.”

“Recently Russian journalists, including those in the United States, have come under great pressure from the special services, notably through attempts at recruitment,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday.

“This is an aggression. An aggression in terms of intelligence not only towards Russia, but also an encroachment on freedom of expression throughout the world,” Zakharova added.

This came the same day Russian lawmakers voted to ban the US media designated as “foreign agents” from accessing the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, in retaliation for a US congress decision to withdraw the credentials of RT, Russian international television network, late last month.

The Russian Justice Ministry formally on Tuesday listed the US government-sponsored Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) as well as seven separate Russian- or local-language news outlets run by RFE/RL as “foreign agents.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 25 signed a bill into law that allowed authorities to register foreign media outlets as “foreign agents.” The law had earlier passed both houses of the parliament.

The move against American media is part of Moscow’s “mirror” response to a US congressional committee move against RT broadcaster.

Washington has accused Moscow of using Russian media organizations to influence the US presidential election last year. Russia has denied the allegation.

Those listed as “foreign agents” have to present themselves as such on any information they publish or broadcast and subject to intensive scrutiny of their staffing and financing.


Source: RT News

Russia lists 9 media outlets as foreign agents, including Voice of America, Radio Liberty

December 5, 2017

© Alexey Vitvitsky / Sputnik

Nine media outlets have been registered as foreign agents by Russia’s Justice Ministry, in accordance with a recently passed law. The law comes in response to the US Congress’s moves towards RT America.

On Tuesday, Voice of America and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, including its regional branch Radio Azatliq, along with six other outlets were recognized as foreign agents, according to the website of Russia’s Ministry of Justice.

The list also includes the Kavkaz.Realii, Krym Realii and Sibir Realii websites, the Current Time TV channel – a joint project of Voice of America and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty – the Radio Liberty-owned factograph.info website and IdelRealii project.

Journalists working for the outlets listed may get banned from visiting the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament, sources told RIA Novosti. A decision on this is expected to be made next week.

Other media outlets are not expected to be included on the foreign agents list, according to the State Sovereignty Protection Committee chairman, Andrey Klimov.

I think, it [the list] will not be expanded so far. Our measures were completely reciprocal in response to the oppression of the Russian media in the US, and if nothing new happens from that [US] side, we have no reason to expand this list,” Klimov said.

The senator stated that US-funded “propaganda companies” were included on the list, and CNN is not among them. “CNN is not a propaganda company, and some other media, I will not name them all… also do not fall under this definition,” Klimov said.

Moscow may review the decision if Washington halts the crackdown on Russian media, according to the official.

If Washington comes to its senses and stops pressure on Russian media, in this case we will think about adjusting our decisions,” Klimov said. He noted that the foreign agents law signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in late November stipulates “not only the inclusion, but also exclusion of the media” from the list.

Please go to RT News to read the entire article.


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