The Corporate Press and their militia of journalists do not have a bias, they have an agenda. As the mask drops, so too does the people’s trust in the institution.
The trust that the Corporate Press holds over the public has been on a general decline since 2015. In the USA, only 41% of those polled trusted the mass media (newspapers, television and radio), and only 15% of Republicans trust these institutions. The loss of trust in the media is not just an American phenomenon. In the UK, only 23% of people polled trust journalists, less than business leaders, bankers and footballers. This is contrary to what our culture wants us to believe.
Since we start school, children are taught to celebrate journalists and the press. We are told they do honest and vital work in maintaining a check and balance on those at the very top of society. Heroic stories of journalists helping to fight against the corruption of big businesses and politicians have historically assisted the public’s trust in journalism, even if occasionally there were a few “bad apples” in their past. What the public have realised is that it is not just a few bad apples, the whole orchard is rotten.
What the public have realised is that it is not just a few bad apples, the whole orchard is rotten
The Corporate Press includes the powerful corporations in control of the mainstream media: BBC, CNN, The New York Times, The Telegraph, The Washington Post, etc. Before the rise of populism in the 2010s in the West, these corporations were considered authoritative, honest and mostly unbiased. Now, these corporations have become unveiled as corrupted, untruthful and driven by their agendas. It is important to refer to their depravity as an agenda rather than a bias, as an agenda demonstrates that this is the primary function of these corporations instead of secondary. Their primary purpose is not to present truth; it is to present narrative. The people have woken up to the realisation that much of what we see as journalism in the mainstream is not about truth as much as it is about presenting a narrative.
Trust has fallen over years of the Corporate Press’s agenda slowly revealing its rife elitism that is antithetical to the ideals of journalism taught in schools. Journalists provided more scrutiny and fact checks to the size of Trump’s inauguration crowd than to the false claims of WMDs in Iraq, winning a Pulitzer Prize for their efforts. They are comfortable gatekeeping what is respectable, yet had blood on their hands for the Holodomor genocide and putting the cause down to a poor harvest (also rewarded with a Pulitzer Prize). They are a press that encourages the totalitarian self-policing reminiscent of North Korea when enforcing Covid-19 policies but overlook the 2020 non-socially distanced riots and looting. The Corporate Press have had their cake and eaten it for too long, now people are noticing.
Their primary purpose is not to present truth; it is to present narrative
Trust is asymmetric. When someone tells ten truths and one lie, they are considered a liar. Similarly, someone who only murders 1% of the time they leave their house is still a murderer despite their insistence that it only happens on occasion. Unfortunately for the Corporate Press, this is the same issue that they have encountered. The Corporate Press once controlled the perception of truth. Now, they have mostly lost their grip, with people’s trust being fragmented. The way they have lost their power is, as Hemingway said, “Gradually, then suddenly”.
Usually, when the trust of an institution is in question, the first thought is how to restore this trust. Why? Not only is it unlikely to regain trust after it has gone, but it is also undesirable. What is the point of unity with those you disagree with, not on politics or culture, but truth itself? Ideological self-segregation allows people to separate from those who have gatekept truth, especially when the gatekeepers have been morally corrupt for a very long time. People are free to put their faith into CNN, BBC or the New York Times. They can also reject them entirely, listening to Joe Rogan Podcasts, some blogger with a WordPress website or their uncle’s Facebook page. If you are on the side of freedom, rejecting the monopoly that is the Corporate Press is the first step.