- Slogans are repeated across news outlets (the same word or phrase is to describe a topic in such a way that you form a particular opinion or bias)
- Words or phrases are slipped into a sentence where they ordinarily don’t belong – purpose is to deliver a subconscious message (this is called a non-sequitur and it is a form of neuro-linguistic programming)
- Two separate ideas or topics are jammed together to make you associate them (“forced association”) – e.g. 9/11 and Iraq War – so you’ll support invading Iraq
- An entire mainstream media outlet seems “owned” by opinion manipulators
- Opinions are being expressed online that seem unnatural, because someone has been paid to go there and pretend to express support naturally
In her article, Johnstone recommends this Ted talk by investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, author of Stonewalled and The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote.
In her talk, Atkisson offers the media consumer three ways to detect when independent voices are being deliberately silenced:
- When an accuser is labeled a “crank,” “nutty,” a “conspiracy theorist,” etc.
- When the default response to criticism involves attacking the questioner, not answering the question.
- When all criticism is aimed at those alleging wrongdoing, and not at the alleged wrongdoers.
I hope that you will check out Attkisson’s work, as well as Johnstone’s article, and be inspired.
No matter how despondent we may feel sometimes at the proliferation of “fake news” and bought journalists, there are great minds at work in the field today.
All opinions my own. Photo by MelSi via Pixabay (Public Domain)