Do You Trust The Mainstream Media or Trump? Take The Survey Here

The word propaganda is bandied about quite a lot lately. Brexit, it seems, occurred because of Russian-sponsored propaganda. American leftists make the same claim about Trump’s election, while regularly accusing the conservative Fox News network of being a propaganda mill for Republicans and Trump. Since everyone knows that propaganda is bad, it follows that political results procured through its use must also be suspect and tainted in the public eye.
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But is this all as clear cut as many mainstream media sources make it out to be? Many on the American Right have long accused leading media outlets such as the New York Times or CBS News of exhibiting liberal bias. Brexiteers also argue that guests on the BBC often include many more Remainers than Leave backers. Does such bias in reporting constitute propaganda, even if it is more elegant or finely produced?

A recent worldwide poll by Rasmussen Global found that 56% of respondents said they “rarely” or “never” get a neutral take on the news
Citizens across the developed world increasingly feel they are being propagandised by the media. A recent worldwide poll by Rasmussen Global found that 56% of respondents said they “rarely” or “never” get a neutral take on the news.1 Clearly that’s not down to Fox news and Russian bots alone. To understand this level of distrust you have to look at the major broadcasters and newspapers themselves.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, propaganda is “The systematic dissemination of information, esp. in a biased or misleading way, in order to promote a political cause or point of view.”

By that definition, claims of mainstream media innocence seem difficult to uphold: few news sources both engage in systematic discussion of controversial issues and do so without promoting a cause or point of view.

In America, all sides in the media are guilty of propaganda. According to one study, 91% of television coverage of President Trump in the summer of 2017 was negative.2 Another study found that major newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post published an overwhelming amount of negative press about Trump, with negative tones outstripping positive ones by a 6-1 or 7-1 margin.

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