Selective Sensationalism, or why I do not read newspapers

This is a short note to point out that for some time now I have not read newspapers – especially ‘Western’ ones that may be desrcibed as corporate, state-owned (Dansk Radio, BBC, ABC etc) or even supposedly ‘independent’ operators (like The Guardian, but also many more), let alone the various ‘grey zone’ outlets.

There are a number of reasons. The first is that there is precious little actual news reporting. Much of the material contains gossip (for example, personal life matters, a certain person’s ‘tweets’), opinion and advertising disguised as news.

The second is very little in-depth analysis that tries to consider the whole picture. When they do appear, the items end up propogating a particular view of the world that derives from the Euro-American situation. This ideological framework is like a slow drip of toxins into the brain. At the same time, there are profound absences concerning important developments in many other parts of the world (Africa, Eurasian integration, among other examples).

The third is perhaps the main reason: selective sensationalism. When there is something from, say, China or the DPRK, one or two pieces of half-truth or simple falsities are selected, spun into a certain narrative and then sensationalised. Highly unreliable stuff. I can guess some of the content, even though I have not read this material for some time: life and politics in the DPRK; the situation in Xinjiang (China), the social credit system in China, as well as the widespread use of facial recognition software.

Reading such material, as they say, rots your brain.

What do I read, if anything? From time to time my preferred location is Xinhua News. Why? It is government funded and properly resourced, with an emphasis on in-depth analysis and study by its journalists. Usually, they take time to research an article, with a number of contributors. Opinion is restricted to where it should be: occasional editorials. And it steers clear of anything like gossip.

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