Is it possible that someone can make you believe things that he/she wants you to believe? Is it possible that your judgment of right and wrong is not actually “yours”? Can you believe that your entire way of perceiving certain incidents and opinions are actually not yours?
All the above questions have only one answer. Yes! They are not speculations but are facts. Everything you do- your choices, your likes/dislikes, opinions are not “yours” in the real sense but are being constantly influenced. All this without you even knowing most of the time that you are being influenced into believing something
Let’s have a look at a few statements:-
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.” – Edward Bernays, Propaganda
Who are these masses that he talks about? Well it’s obvious- we the common hardworking people. Edward Bernays is considered to be the “father of public relations” and used concepts discovered by his uncle Sigmund Freud to manipulate the public using the subconscious. He shared Walter Lippmann’s view of the general population by considering it irrational and subject to the “herd instinct”. In his opinion, the masses need to be manipulated by an invisible government to ensure the survival of democracy.
Now let’s get to the point. Mass media are media forms designed to reach the largest audience possible. They include television, movies, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, records, video games and the internet. Yes our perception is constantly being manipulated, through the newspapers, news channels, movies, record labels, music and music videos. We are being made to believe what is not real and above all our way of thinking regarding various events in society is manipulated. If you ever wonder that many of the songs, movies, serials you come across seem to be very similar you are not wrong! Well how is that possible? Let’s look at a few statistics of the US.
The number of corporations owning the majority of U.S. media outlets went from 50 to 5 in less than 20 years. Let’s see the ownerships of these media outlets-
AOL Time Warner owns:
• 64 magazines, including Time, Life, People, MAD Magazine and DC Comics
• Warner Bros, New Line and Fine Line Features in cinema
• More than 40 music labels including Warner Bros, Atlantic and Elektra
• Many television networks such as WB Networks, HBO, Cinemax, TNT, Cartoon Network and CNN
• Madonna, Sean Paul, The White Stripes
• CBS, MTV, MTV2, UPN, VH1, Showtime, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TNN, CMT and BET
• Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies, MTV Films
• Blockbuster Videos
•1800 screens in theaters through Famous Players
The Walt Disney Company owns:
• ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN, A&E, History Channel
• Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax Film Corp., Dimension and Buena Vista International
• Miley Cyrus/ Hannah Montana, Selena Gomez, Jonas Brothers
Now let’s look at a few Indian media outlets-
Viacom 18: Viacom and Network 18 together VH1, Nickelodeon India, Comedy Central, MTV India, CNN-IBN, Sonic-Nickelodeon, Topper, Colors, Raj TV, Rishtey, Nick Jr India, Colors Bangla, Colors Marathi, Colors Kannada, Colors Odia, Colors Gujarati, Colors Infinity, History Channel
Times Group: The Times of India, The Economic Times, The Wall Street Journal, Maharashtra Times, Marathi daily, Navbharat Times, Sandhya Times, Mumbai Mirror, Kolkata Mirror, Ahmedabad Mirror, Pune Mirror, Bangalore Mirror, Brand Capital, Vijaya Karnataka, Kannada daily, ZigWheels, India’s largest Automobile magazine, ET Wealth, India’s largest Personal Finance compact weekly.
Do you think you would get to know anything from news which would hurt the interest of these few owners and the class they represent? Mass Media is the biggest tool of propaganda. You are being brainwashed, your thoughts are being manipulated, you are being forced into believing things that are not true. 24/7 you are bombarded with the same thought, after so much repetition the brain starts believing what is being told to you as true. Similar messages are spread throughout.
When I did not understand things much I met a senior journalist. Out of Curiosity I asked him “How much should we trust the media?” Being as genuine as he could be, he said “ I would say don’t trust at all. Be very skeptical of what is being told to you.” I appeal to you all that don’t succumb to the propaganda of the television channels, the news papers, the magazines, the movies etc. Ask questions; don’t just accept what is given to you. Look for answers and be scientific in your approach. You don’t have to be a scientist to be
scientific. Look for alternate reliable sources on the internet. Keep your head and mind open. There is this one question that you must always ask “Who benefits the most from the events that happen in the society and by spreading social instability?” Ask again and again and find that answer by being objective, by being critical and observant.
“Whoever controls the media controls the mind.”
– Jim Morrison