Where we stand‎ > ‎News & Comment‎ > ‎


posted 29 Jun 2015, 23:29 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 29 Jun 2015, 23:30 ]

There is an expression in journalism called 'getting out in front of the story'. It is especially used when the facts of a story are clear and likely to damage the image of an individual. For example: a 'plant-like substance' was found at the home of a certain high local official sounds less incriminating and shifts the burden of proof to the investigator even more: meaning that 'plant like substances' are not reason for further investigation since they are not illegal. 

By the time the story is sufficiently run, without reference to 'ganja' the culprit/home owner is now merely the victim of probable home invasions by tradesmen, repair men or public servants.

Fast forward to the shooting in the Emmanuel church in Charleston South Carolina! Let's see: the shooter is not Islamic, has not been radicalised by Sunnis, is American by birth, so we avoid words like 'terrorist/terrorism',' fundamentalists', 'crusades' which is the Christian version of Holy wars. We do not call in 'moderate/responsible Christian pastors' to explain his behaviour.

As Jon Stewart of the "Daily Show' put it, the "disparity of response' is so glaring compared to reporting on similar incidents in 'Islamic/Arab' countries, a description that avoids reference to the interference over decades by firstly colonisers and today foreign investors and lending agencies.

So, staying ahead, the narrative focuses on what type of flag flew over the state capital and protesters march to have it removed, even as 'good ole boys' fight for the right to preserve their 'historical identity.' Oh Adolf. You must be spinning in your ruined bunker. You would have been a darling of the talk shows today, but for the flag, those nine people would have been alive today.

And then we read that ‘terror attacks' occurred in Tunisia and in France. Darn right 'terror attacks'. They occurred in Tunisia and in France in a factory and at a hotel. Let us not make the error of calling them 'factory killings' or 'beach front assaults'. In America they are 'church/mall/school campus shootings'. Outside of America they are 'acts of terrorism'.

Poor France! The killings at the magazine offices of Charlie Hebdo, at a farm house later that week and now this attack at a chemical plant. Poor France who howled the loudest for Gaddafi's head, who intervened in Mali and who was the original coloniser of Tunisia and who carried out the massacres at Setif and Guelma of 40,000 plus Algerians according to estimates by their own sources.

So the narratives will always have a bias.The media are instruments of propaganda, which is not a bad word. Words in and of themselves are symbols. When activated they are used for a purpose. That is why the Morning shows in our country are so vapid and predictable. They are intended to have us view the world a certain way; to invalidate the everyday experiences of our daily lives and to define the world for us..To have 'them' speak and to have 'us' listen. The silence of the lambs, so to speak.

So next time you take in the news check and see what is out front