One important concept many seem not to realize is the news is not all the news that should be communicated. What constitutes news, (whether it be television, newspapers, magazines, or social media) is what the person with editorial power over the content being shared through the medium you are engaging deems to be news. In an era of major media consolidation where a few corporations control most of the media and through that control most of the news, what passes for news is very slanted.
I have been listening to, watching and reading the news since 1988. I have never seen a story in the news about someone dying only because they couldn’t get medical care. Estimates show at least 60,000 Americans die each year because they can’t get adequate medical care. During the pandemic that number is certainly higher. Yet, there is never a story detailing the lives lost because corporate profits matter more than our lives–especially the lives of people living in poverty.
While the news is currently dominated by stories of homeless people sleeping on sidewalks, camping in parks, and making the kinds of messes people regularly make, the news never shows conditions inside homeless shelters. The public never sees the conditions that lead many homeless people to feel cleaner and safer on the streets. The public rarely learns about the systemic failures that give almost no person the assistance they need to get off the street. Most importantly, the public never sees the thousands of empty homes and buildings that could otherwise assist people in moving off of the street.
Watching the news subjects you to an almost never-ending stream of broken windows on downtown businesses. But you will never see children walking to their elementary school in the street because the government won’t provide them a sidewalk.
The goal of the corporate-controlled news is not to show you how those being abused by capitalism are being abused. The goal of the corporate-controlled news is to manipulate the masses into accepting what the corporate masters want the masses to believe is truth. There is not even an attempt to be balanced. It is straight capitalist propaganda.
If the people with editorial control were able to show the public the world from the perspective of someone truly committed to a more accessible, equitable, inclusive society, the news would be very different. We would be exposed to people dying because they can’t get medical care. We would have to confront the reality of hungry children. We would see crumbling schools attended largely by students of color.
The news has never been about the lives of people the capitalist class needs to exploit. When you listen to, read, or watch the news, you need to think about who is sponsoring the medium in question. You should know who owns the medium in question. Once you understand those points, what passes as news will make more sense. Even better, you will be more prepared to filter what you are getting. Once you can better filter, you will have a better understanding of why different things are news and more importantly why other things will never be considered news.