Thailand’s concern about media bias Part 5

When looking at a specific issue of the Red Shirt anti government group and the violence and mayhem they brought, comments from journalists are greeted with extreme emotions from both sides. So the desire to alter, persuade or otherwise change the objectiveness of a journalist simply places the journalist in the position of being a tool for propaganda of one side or the other.

In this particular case many of the norms of being neutral were tossed out the window. The reason for that is journalists were not seen as neutral by the Red Shirts because the journalists would not repeat their propaganda. As a result when things got rolling and bullets were flying about, journalists were not seen as neutral observers by the Red Shirts, but they were targets to be eliminated.

Once the journalists figured out they were targets, the ability to be neutral was simply neutralized and they quickly became anti whoever was trying to kill them. In this case it was the Red Shirts. Although they tried to be objective, they were now part of the game and reporting was now well seasoned with emotions.

The lack of balanced reporting is difficult in a war situation to say the least. Crossing the front line and not being a casualty is a task for the brave or foolish, and in most cases it ends up being the foolish getting shipped home in a body bag.

We offer no explanation as to why some media outlets say the Red Shirts were not armed when others said and showed the weapons other than targeting a specific audience. Countries where violence is the norm, talking about slingshots and fireworks is not a news item. In the world of political correctness, CNN may have been swayed to be lighter as the reality of what the world is all about is disturbing and traumatic to some people enveloped in the powderpuff fantasy world of political correctness. So getting sued at home for bringing traumatic news may just be on par with Thailand’s Lèse majesté laws. So just as Thailand looks to control outgoing news, some countries clearly modify incoming news as well, and not all pressure is from the government.

Political correctness already is working at rewriting history, so making adjustments to the incoming news is just an extension of the same behavior.

From Part 1 of this series quoting the Nation;

“CNN interviewed protesters and their leaders, who said they only had slingshots, fireworks, firecrackers and rocks while the troops were armed with war weapons. But Al Jazeera showed the picture of protesters holding guns,” he said.

The bottom line is the truth is not always nice to look at. Seeing graphic pictures of war being blurred out to satisfy some group is censorship as well. Citing trauma and not appropriate for young eyes is a fair concern, but that is just the toe hold in the door to where censorship looks to go if unchallenged. Having government play big brother is wrong, and the duty should fall to the parents. Technology exists to control what your child can see at home, but that falls short at an Internet café so there are some holes in the logic.

As with any person interested in the truth there is only one way that is fairly reliable. That is to read about the same topic from many news sources. What is common between them tends to be the truth. The only time this does not work is when a copy and paste is done from a prepared statement for the media, then all tend to be identical. The song and sounds of the choir must be accepted in order to eliminate any concerns of bias by an off key soloist, no matter what the tune may be.

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