Media ecology is the study of how we consume media generally and how it affects us. Media are not neutral. The medium affects the message. As Marshall McLuhan (1911–80) said, the medium is the message. The same message delivered by video (e.g., television, YouTube) is delivered in one style and in quite a different style when delivered via audio (e.g., radio, podcast). This is because of the nature of the medium. People relate to video differently than they relate to audio thus the medium affects the message.
The message is also affected by our new media landscape. Long gone are the days when the so-called mainstream media was dominated by professional journalists committed to some sort of ideological neutrality when gathering and reporting the news. That began to change before the internet (after Watergate), before every news outlet became essentially a loosely edited editorial website (what we used to call blogs). Today the line between opinion, analysis, and reporting is often so blurred that they have become one thing. It is increasingly rare when one finds a reporter or news outlet trying to do what is known as “straight” reporting, where the reporter consciously refrains from trying to shape the story to achieve a desired outcome. More often than not today, reporters openly, shamelessly advocate on social media and in their “reporting” for policy outcomes.
There is yet another layer of difficulty in sifting through the “news” today: much of it is filtered to us through social media companies. Big Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Google) controls much of what we hear and see and they have an agenda. That agenda is not to deliver the news in a non-partisan way but to shape policy outcomes.
This is also true in education, by the way. Many public teachers are taught in university that their vocation is not really to teach grammar, logic, and rhetoric (“reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic) but to inculcate into children, even very young children, certain social, political, and cultural outcomes. This change in the sense of vocation helps to explain how, e.g., librarians, whose job it used to be to introduce children to the wonderful world of books, seems now to introduce them to the bizarre world of transgender drag queens. In other words, because politics has become everything (it is the new religion for many in the West), everything has become politicized.
How does the politicization of Big Social Media affect how it mediates news and analysis to you? It works by filtering, removing, or labeling as false what they do not think you should believe. How does that process work? Sharyl Attkisson, one of a few old-school journalists still working, reports:
The HB has been covering the intersection of political correctness with “journalism” and Big Social Media for several years. Check out the resources for more information and analysis.
Here is the report of which Facebook does not approve: The Epoch times on the Origins of Covid19
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