Media

Media coverage of current events, foreign policy, war, as well as questioning media bias

Rare instances of the BBC lack of context in reporting

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I have always admired the BBC as a mostly objective, neutral, comprehensive and balanced news outlet. A rare gem among the commerical monoculture dominant in America.However, I caught a few incidents lately where there was a lack of context and background. There are very uncharacteristic of the BBC, since I am used to them being very thorough and balanced. I don't know if it is sloppy reporters or editors or what.Here are some examples:1.

How Empires Brainwash their Citizens, Justifying Aggressive Foreign Policies

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For some time now, I meant to write on how an empire brainwashes itscitizens with semi-convincing rhetoric, praising what evil is beingdone and portraying it as the ultimate good. Mass media, jingoism, herdmentality and conformance all converge to convince the masses.Two essays I came across recently highlight a difference between the good oldpropaganda in the Eastern Bloc, which is mostly not convincing, and themasses know it is not true, learn to ignore it, and just go on withtheir lives. In a free Western style democracy, this cannot happen.Hence the propaganda has to be convincing.

Verifying Online News: Lessons from the beheading video hoax

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Yesterday, news spread around that another American was beheaded by terrorists. The video, titled "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi beheads an American", stated that Benjamin Vanderford, 22, was beheaded, with Quran verses chanted in the background, interspersed with images of mutilated dead bodies of men, women and children. Soon afterwards, news emerged that the video was a hoax by Benjamin Vanderford, and his friends Robert Martin, 23, and Laurie Kirchner, 20.

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