Controlled Public Opinion: A Horror Story

In this age of constant media surfing and onlinecorporate-media-control news coverage anyone can gain access to almost any kind of information at the swipe on their fingertip. Especially now during campaigning season, more people watch the news and check online news sites they consider reliable, in order to educate themselves on who is a more qualified future leader of our country. The problem with these news channels and websites is the outlets with the most viewers in the country are owned by the same companies. In the article “Media Consolidation: The Illusion of Choice” from, it states that six companies own the most viewed channels and news resources, all of those including the major news resources Fox News, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, Time, and NBC. These major news outlets are owned by just six companies, but are viewed by over 227 million Americans on a daily basis. This small bottleneck of information can lead to biased news reports and can shadow the viewer from other crucial news the broadcaster does not want the viewer to know about. If a person wanted to expand their knowledge on the news in the world they would stand a better chance of receiving non-biased news reports from independently owned news websites. I recently explored the website, an independently owned news website, to compare it’s resources and coverage to other larger news resources.

Truthout focuses on political, economic, and social news on a global scale instead of just focusing on the news in the nation. While I followed Truthout other groups in my class followed the other major media monitors and on the same day, Truthout featured an article on innocent civilian deaths in Yemen, while Fox News feat an article on a 10-year old boy’s best friend, a duck named Nibbles. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think news on a duck named Nibbles is really considered “groundbreaking.” Although these major media sites do feature global news that affects many people, they also feature articles on less serious topics like celebrities and apparently pet ducks. Some people might enjoy hearing about celebrity gossip or Top 10 Best Dusting techniques, but those seeking the real, and raw news stories should focus on following news sites like Truthout. These independently owned companies gets to write about whatever topics they deem crucial news, while some of the other major news sites have controlled news stories and opinions because the big bosses upstairs only care about the amount of views their site is getting, not how important the news is to the viewer reading. Although Truthout had a wide variety of unfiltered news stories, having complete freedom over what is typed left the site lacking in the variety of opinion represented on the site which could deplete their audience to a smaller amount of users.

Although Truthout provided a wide variety of crucial and groundbreaking news from all over the world, most of the articles written had a heavy expression of liberal views. Sometimes the articles had such a strong opinion that it seemed the writer’s intention was to only bash the opposite opinions instead of reporting the news. I read one article on how Walmart and Scott Walker both preach that workers should have higher wages but, according to Truthout, neither parties practice what they preach. Now, one would assume that this article would feature an example of the pay stubs or even just a direct quote from one of the workers but instead, the article featured an introduction paragraph that connected both Scott Walker and Walmart, but then the rest of the article just bashed Scott Walker’s campaign platform. Although expressing one’s disdain for a political campaigner is always acceptable, it just isn’t appropriate on a news site where people are looking for raw facts to form their own opinions on, instead of reading someone else’s three page long rant.

Truthout’s rhetoric devices also separated its news articles from the other major news sites. Most of the articles I read on Truthout throughout the week spoke in first person which made the writer seemed more involved in the news they were reporting. In the article, “We Disrupted Hillary Clinton on Behalf of Black Trans Women – Here’s Why,” the writer pulled the audience into the article by using “we” phrases. The writer used phrases like, “We are outraged. We cannot allow silence to herald the death of our Black trans sisters any longer,” and “We can no longer afford to stay silent when a Black trans woman is murdered – and neither can our movement.” By using “we” this evoked emotion onto the reader and it showed how important this topic is to the writer. Using this type of rhetoric created a more powerful image to the reader and kept the reader’s attention.

Although independently owned news sites have their flaws, they are the right place to receive unfiltered and crucial news. Since larger corporations have the most popular news media sites on a leash (like CNN, Fox News, NBC etc.) their news stories may only cover a small section of issues and topics that the larger corporation thinks will get them the most viewers, thus yielding higher profits. By watching the more popular news sites the unseasoned viewer might start to only believe in the opinions and news created by this one source of media, which gives the viewer and many other viewers falling in the same trap, a narrower outlook on real news in the nation and the world. If a person wanted to have a well-developed educated platform on happenings in the world the viewer should follow many types of news sites and broadcasts of all varieties so all areas of opinion, and different collections of facts are represented. Although viewing the more popular news sources will give the viewer a good sense of what’s happening the world, it would benefit the viewer to explore those media outlets along with other smaller, independent ones so the viewer can form a well-rounded opinion on events taking place in the nation and the world.


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