When you read and listen to the news on the internet and also your home based television networks you are struck in how similar the news became in one way and how oddly different views are reported on the same events. It is either far left or far right. The classic signs of a Hegelian Dialectic being played. I warned before of the above in several books and blogs. But where does the news come from?
The answer is probably different from what you might think. It is not from roving journalists that conduct interviews & investigations although that happens too up to a point, but by far from a few unknown press agencies. The three agencies are based in New York - American Associated Press (AP), London- Reuters and Paris - Agence France-Presse (AFP). Your international news, that what is not local to you, comes from the above sources. AP alone reaches more than half of the world’s population every day because it is subscribed to by around 12,000 international media outlets. Wolfgang Vyslozil, former managing director of the Austrian APA: “News agencies are rarely in the public eye. Yet they are one of the most influential and at the same time one of the least known media types. They are key institutions of substantial importance to any media system. They are the invisible nerve center that connects all parts of this system.” Volker Braeutigam, who worked for the German state broadcaster ARD for ten years and views the dominance of these agencies critically: “One fundamental problem is that the newsroom at ARD sources its information mainly from three sources: the news agencies DPA/AP, Reuters and AFP: one German/American, one British and one French. The editor working on a news topic only needs to select a few text passages on the screen that he considers essential, rearrange them and glue them together with a few flourishes.” Therefore, you should not be surprised that the above agencies control what you read down to the same wording and topics. The Western governments, military and intelligence services use them as well, taking what they say as gospel, putting it into their official reports and briefings and then it is official.
The Swiss Propaganda Research (SPR), an independent research group investigating geopolitical propaganda in Swiss and international media said about the Syrian Civil War: “A study of the Syria war coverage by nine leading European newspapers clearly illustrates these issues: 78% of all articles were based in whole or in part on agency reports, yet 0% on investigative research. Moreover, 82% of all opinion pieces and interviews were in favour of a US and NATO intervention, while propaganda was attributed exclusively to the opposite side.” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52738.htm. You cannot trust mainstream media the quotes below are from the link above - from the horse’s mouth so to speak:
Former CIA officer and whistle-blower John Stockwell said of his work in the Angolan war: “The basic theme was to make it look like an (enemy) aggression. So any kind of story that you could write and get into the media anywhere in the world, that pushed that line, we did. One third of my staff in this task force were propagandists, whose professional career job was to make up stories and finding ways of getting them into the press. The editors in most Western newspapers are not too skeptical of messages that conform to general views and prejudices. So we came up with another story, and it was kept going for weeks. But it was all fiction.”
Fred Bridgland looked back on his work as a war correspondent for the Reuters agency: “We based our reports on official communications. It was not until years later that I learned that a little CIA disinformation expert had sat in the US embassy and had composed these communiqués that bore absolutely no relationship at all to truth. Basically, and to put it very crudely, you can publish any old crap and it will get into the newspaper.”
A former CIA analyst David MacMichael described his work in the Contra War in Nicaragua with these words: “They said our intelligence of Nicaragua was so good that we could even register when someone flushed a toilet. But I had the feeling that the stories we were giving to the press came straight out of the toilet.”
Yes, the New York Times or the BBC may have up to 100 foreign correspondents and additional external employees. However, as Middle East correspondent Luyendijk points out: “Our news teams, me included, fed on the selection of news made by quality media like CNN, the BBC, and the New York Times. We did that on the assumption that their correspondents understood the Arab world and commanded a view of it – but many of them turned out not to speak Arabic, or at least not enough to be able to have a conversation in it or to follow the local media. Many of the top dogs at CNN, the BBC, the Independent, the Guardian, the New Yorker, and the NYT were more often than not dependent on assistants and translators.”
It seems then the best bet is to go to the high-quality, reader-funded journalism outlets so derided by the mainstream. That may be where you will find and learn the truth and nothing but the truth.