Gavin Dunaway who is the Editor of the Interactive Advertising Blog Adotas often writes posts that prompt me to comment. Many of those comments end up turned into posts either here or elsewhere. My original comment appears in his post We’ll Make Good Google Pets and I republish it here for the benefit of my readers.
“ADOTAS – There are certainly some weird findings in the 2011 Edelman Trust Barometer – that “Undercover Boss” show must be a hit because faith in CEOs jumped from 31% to 50% — but it doesn’t surprise me in the least that U.S. consumer trust in the media has fallen from 46% to 27% since 2008.”
The entire point of the Undercover Boss show IS to influence public opinion. That is what the media has always been used for and if that is still a secret to people it is because they either have never questioned it or they are very naive indeed.
Everything – EVERYTHING – on the free television stations, most movies, most major media – is spin intended to influence what the masses believe.
This shows how easy it is to influence the masses. One clever television show has apparently caused them to forget that overpaid CEOs now earn 300+ times what their workers earn!
When I majored in Journalism in high school back in the ’70s, journalists were taught that they should write as unbiased observers. Here is one journalist’s opinion about What Makes a Journalist different from other writers and bloggers. Personal opinion only belonged on the editorial page.
Is that any less true in the great debate of Journalists versus Bloggers? One of the most comprehensive coverage of that topic surrounds Jay Rosen‘s talk at South by Southwest on The Twisted Psychology of Bloggers Versus Journalists.
But in the real world that was never really true because all content is influenced by owners and advertisers.
Even when advertising was kept separate from what is now passed off as news but IS advertising, we must remember that those businesses is/were/still are advertiser based.
How many magazines, newspapers or television stations are going to risk losing that advertising revenue by publishing anything their advertisers dislike?
I learned that back when I was involved in the Thoroughbred horse industry. The truth about breeding, buying, and racing horses never appears in any major magazine dedicated to those topics because that industry has spent decades developing a business model that works for the few and their advertising supports those publications. Print the truth and they pull their ad dollars and your mag goes under.
Extend this concept to your local newspaper or television station. They COULD warn their readers / viewers about many things from slumlord landlords to contractors known to build shoddy houses – BUT DO THEY? How many stories have you seen about that?
As long as the slumlord is one of their major advertisers or the contractor buys commercial time that is highly unlikely because both newspapers and television are advertiser supported mediums – even at the local level.
There’s a business strategy for slumlords and bad businesses: if you don’t want to be outed in the major media be sure you keep buying ads!
Is it even really possible to write as a totally unbiased observer?
Those who most think it is will be those who believe that everyone else’s view and world are just like their own while nothing could be further from the truth!
Everything we do, say, read or hear is filtered through our existing experiences which created biases of which many are not even aware! In his recent post Everyone Loves a Good Story Gerald Guild (@gtguild) wisely wrote:
“This may be hard to swallow, but all of us, yes even you, are by default, gullible and biased: disinclined to move away from narratives that you unconsciously string together in order to make sense of an incredibly complex world. Understanding this is paramount!”
Then two posts later he dismissed any “story” that did not fit his science based world view which is obviously based on his belief in evolution which I know from what he wrote in the post in between.
No doubt he is just as certain that evolution is fact as I am certain as I wrote in evolution versus creationism that Darwin himself proved evolutionists are wrong.
Let us examine just that one major difference for a moment. Those who believe science is correct will inevitably reach totally different conclusions about so many things from natural disasters to health to the purpose of life than those who believe God is wiser than man.
Before anyone can know the Truth they must make that one decision. Do you believe God created us all or do you believe in evolution? Creationism and evolution ARE mutually exclusive – so if you are honest with yourself you have to choose one or the other. You cannot continue to halfway believe both. (Well you can, but that proves you do not really want to know the truth.)
If this blog is about growing small businesses, why does that matter? (Stick with me – no, this is NOT off topic!)
What your core beliefs are and what your ethical standards are MUST be decided first because they affect everything else you do.
To be successful you must decide where to focus your time and how to live your life. There are tough times ahead and you need to know before a big crisis hits whether you will cave in and “do whatever it takes” to survive that today you would never consider doing – or stay true to your ethical principles.
I have personally seen businesses that thrive while all around them others are failing and when demand for what they do should have declined due to economic changes. I have seen with my own eyes green pastures where one farmer is baling more than normal amounts of hay during a drought when pastures all around them are brown.
There are many true stories, some made into movies such as Faith Like Potatoes and other historical events such as the 6 day war that make no sense – except as supernatural events (what many call miracles because they can not be explained by science and logic). Given the environmental challenges and economic conditions on the horizon, it is my sincere belief that only supernatural protection will suffice.
Those who want to know for sure whether they are truly favored should read about the difference between true faith and lukewarm christianity.