Why the Media is Desperate to Reclaim its “Gatekeeper” Status for News

Via The Daily Bell

No one knows what to believe anymore in the age of the internet. Don’t you miss the good old days when you could believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the media reported it?

Everything is fake news, except perhaps the scores of last week’s high school basketball game. And maybe the local stuff is what we should be focusing on because that at least we can confirm to some extent.

Okay, maybe the high school sports scores aren’t an important focus. But what about holding local politicians and police accountable? Seems like paying attention to local news could do more to improve our surroundings than following the latest Trump news.

Yet even in the age of information, local papers are disappearing. As a direct result, the efficiency of local governments is suffering. A study found that a lack of local newspapers correlates with worse local government.

But has an influx of national news made national government more efficient?

No. It has only thrown more power behind collectivist trends. It has added ranks to the mobs of special interests that continue to expand federal expenditures and debt. National news is basically used as advertising to get the masses to line up behind a particular cause. It is activist journalism, directing the mob rule.

Local news differs because it is mixed with first-hand experience, as well as second-hand reports from witnesses–neighbors and friends. Gossip is one way of regulating this local flow of information. It provides details about who can be believed, and who might embellish.

Locally, there is an organic structure of information flow. This alone doesn’t make it accurate, but it gets closer by triangulating from where you get your information.

And the further you get from the ability to triangulate from different sources, the faker news gets. I don’t mean different sources, as in, different news outlets. I mean first-hand knowledge mixed with historical context, access to first-hand accounts, information about the reliability of witnesses and experts, and so on.

The further away the news gets from you, the harder it is to mix the news with other intelligence. At that point, it is easier to manipulate the truth.

But even if a piece of news about a far-off event is not attempting to misconstrue the truth, it could do so inadvertently. Without the full context of what is happening, events across the world can give the wrong impression.

Were chemical weapons used in Syria? If so, who used them? And who exactly is fighting who?

The conflict in Syria is the perfect example of fake news. You have a complicated event with many different sides and no clear good guys. There are few first-hand accounts from people we know personally. There are some entities who wish to purposely distort the truth and others which want to hide the full extent of their actions.

All I can do to find out is trust various news sources. And that is what I mean when I say everything is fake news. Just picking which events to report on truthfully can end up presenting a basically fake story.

The Same Old Story


Years ago it was easy to control the spread of information. There were only a handful of television networks and newspapers. All news passed through the channels of official gatekeepers before making its way to the consumer.

But already the government was creating and disseminating fake news through programs like Project Mockingbird. The CIA had thousands of journalists on its payrollto disseminate false news and bury certain real reports.

So the government’s problem is not fake news. Governments are concerned that they have lost their monopoly control of fake news. They were the gatekeepers.

Social media “has made things much worse,” because it “offers an easy route for non-journalists to bypass journalism’s gatekeepers, so that anyone can ‘publish’ anything, however biased, inaccurate or fabricated,” says John Huxford, an Illinois State University journalism professor.

“Journalism’s role as the ‘gatekeeper’ of what is and isn’t news has always been controversial, of course. But we’re now seeing just how bad things can get when that function breaks down.”

Are we seeing how bad things can get? It seems that there was always fake news, but at one time, everyone believed it. Now there is fake news, and no one trusts any news. That is a better situation to be in. It is the rejection of manipulation by the elites, the gatekeepers.

Distrust in unverifiable news is better than blind trust in government propaganda. Better to hold agnostic beliefs about certain national events, versus believing what the government feeds us.

My default position is distrust of the government. So whatever narrative they seem to be pushing, if not outright false, has a purpose behind it. They are trying to shape the behavior of the masses and very rarely is this beneficially to individuals.

Huxford said many internet users are not adept at telling fake news from the real thing, making the role of major news organizations critical.

“This is why Trump falsely labelling the mainstream media as ‘fake news’ is so toxic,” he said.

“It means that, at a time when there is a lot of fabrication and falsehoods swirling through the system, the credibility of the most reliable sources of news is being undermined.”

As someone who believes in a grassroots approach to solving problems, starting with individuals, I am naturally averse to the idea of controllers from on high making decisions for me.

And that is why I think it is beneficial to have more distrust in news the further it gets from you, and rather use what you can confirm to live personally as you see fit.

Probably the best example of this is people signing up for the military directly after 9/11 to go kick some al-Qaida ass. They trusted the national news to deliver accurate facts about what happened, and how to stop it from happening again. And they threw themselves into the fight without having an accurate picture of why, or how the war they were signing up for would help.

In the end, they may have ended up supporting a worse regime than the one they were fighting.

Never knowing what you can believe is not ideal. But it beats a false sense of security that the news you get is real. It isn’t. And if people are finally waking up to that, perhaps they will stop lining up to fight other people’s wars.

You don’t have to play by the rules of the corrupt politicians, manipulative media, and brainwashed peers.

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philipat VWAndy Sun, 07/15/2018 - 21:40 Permalink

Problem is, whilst CNN (as an example) credibility and therefore viewership has fallen off a cliff, the sheeple have substituted Facebook and YouTube as a "credible" source for "News". Which explains why social media has become the new frontier for censorship (Both directly and by omission), lack of access to alternative viewpoints and control, using "credible" arbiters such as SPLC and Wikipedia (!!!) to judge what is "true" and what is not. Of course, in this case "true" is actually "the official narrative". It's the new MSM for the "elites" attempting to take back control of the narrative. This is whole new level of propaganda and BS that the sheeple need to come to terms with and aren't doing a very good job to date!! "I have nothing to hide so why should I worry". Yawn.....

In reply to by VWAndy

philipat divingengineer Sun, 07/15/2018 - 23:57 Permalink

Actually only those overseas deeply involved with the US understand. CNN International actually reports News (Shock!!) even if it does maintain its progressive Libtard bias and its very loose "fact checking" "journalism".

It's CNN's US "news" which produces a constant stream of anti-Trump horseshit. I guess they believe that folks overseas don't give a shit about US politics and fake news. And they are largely correct!!

In reply to by divingengineer

skbull44 philipat Mon, 07/16/2018 - 08:44 Permalink

Too true. I use to listen to our national broadcaster (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) for 'news' while in the car but nowadays I only tune in to it if I wish to hear the latest politically-correct, Neoliberal narrative being pushed upon the masses. It became increasingly obvious to me that they often merely, and religiously, regurgitated the talking points of the government or other monied interest groups with little context or alternative interpretations. What really has been 'annoying' is the amount of time/energy spent by CBC over the past couple of years attempting to replicate the narrative weaved by the Democrats in the States regarding the Russian menace...it's tough being a vassal state of the US Empire.



In reply to by philipat

gdpetti El Oregonian Mon, 07/16/2018 - 17:21 Permalink

They are not just the old  media unable to transition, like WalMart, but they are OWO... and as I've said way too many times, this is the 'endtimes' section of the script... 'out with the OWO, in with the NWO'... the puppet masters are getting rid of their puppets.... having them 'out' each other... expose the corruption, crimes, etc... for implosion... so the meme can go to their NWO regional consolidation setup for their NWO.... regime change here at home.... it's a global game... which is being exposed as the transition approaches...

In reply to by El Oregonian

PT divingengineer Mon, 07/16/2018 - 03:28 Permalink

Re " Don’t you miss the good old days when you could believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the media reported ..." :

MSM earnt my distrust long before that lie which was accompanied by, if you remember, "We smashed the Taliban so Osama bin Laden is no longer a priority."  Was that not the biggest, most obvious red flag for all the world to see?  Why not?  For those who may be a little slow, let me try to make it a little moar obvious.

Batman:  "Well, the Joker got away but we smashed his gang so he is no longer a priority."
James Bond:  "Well, Blofeld got away but we smashed his gang so he is no longer a priority."

Angry French Mob:  "Well, Marie Antoinette and her hubby got away but we smashed the Royal Guard so they are no longer a priority."

Any of his enemies:  "Napoleon got away but we smashed his Army so he is no longer a priority."

Churchill:  "Well, Hitler got away but we smashed his organization so he is no longer a priority."

Hmmmm, maybe it works better with fictional characters?  Maybe?  Now I'm wondering, is that an observation or an accusation?

Remember that the Taliban was marketed, not as a large army, but as thousands of little cells that could work independently of each other, a bit like a cancer I guess, but "we had to bomb Afghanistan becoz bin Laden woz hiding there!" and "We probably got him but he is no longer a priority any more becoz Iraq WMDs becoz no-one believes us if we say bin Laden is hiding in Iraq too."

PT's local MSM:  "What is your flimsy referendum compared with our rock-solid News Poll!!!"  If they so willingly lie about the little, trivial stuff (like State Referendums) then why would we believe any of the big stuff?  But yeah, they earnt my distrust even before those incidents.


In reply to by divingengineer

847328_3527 Singelguy Mon, 07/16/2018 - 06:47 Permalink

CNN is like a world-wide infection. My friends in the EU also were shocked when Hillary lost the election. They asked me how that could happen since she had 98% chance of winning according to CNN. Most of their local papers take leads from CNN so their brains were very infected. It took lots of explaining top convince them of the truth. At least they realized CNN totally lied about the immigrants, aka, rapefugees since they saw that first-hand.

In reply to by Singelguy

Got The Wrong No VWAndy Mon, 07/16/2018 - 08:02 Permalink

I have seen reports that Google, FaceBook, Twitter, Youtube and other media outlets are blocking Conservatives 80%. Diamond and silk are being blocked 97%. President  Trump's Twitter is being blocked around 80%. A war against truth is being waged. CNN is outright calling for Alt-Right media to be banned. The First Amendment is under attack.

Congress is having hearings in this regard this week. Let's see what those Clowns do.

In reply to by VWAndy

MusicIsYou Sun, 07/15/2018 - 21:39 Permalink

Local news is just as worthless as national news, because most of the locals gossip and spread varying rumors about the local news story. All news is shit.

MusicIsYou DownWithYogaPants Sun, 07/15/2018 - 21:46 Permalink

And even if a local news agency does report factual accurate news, if it is news that makes people not feel good most people won't take it seriously or they'll just dismiss it. News is not news anymore, it is entertainment. News is entertainment, that is why Disney is trying to acquire Fox News. So I say news is shit, and this article above means little to me.

In reply to by DownWithYogaPants

platyops Sun, 07/15/2018 - 23:35 Permalink

I like to watch CNN occasionally. Only to see the breadth and depth of the propaganda. Then switch to Maddow for a concise time to see which way the democratic party is using to invade the character of Mr. Trump. The on to RT and Al jezzera. Then Jeff Rense then a few blogs of people I like.

Then to the latest "QANON." Then the local newspaper and finally "ZERO HEDGE." Being well educated and retired I do get somewhat of a clear picture of what is happening by using common sense to cut through the outright B.S.. I do not recommend this practice if you have a job. But it does fill up my day and is interesting.

Keep Stacking!

TheParty'sOver Mon, 07/16/2018 - 02:47 Permalink

"Huxford said many internet users are not adept at telling fake news from the real thing, making the role of major news organizations critical." [Seriously, do you really think we're children- incapable of telling fake news from the "real" thing... and we should just trust your beloved MSM to stir up our frontal lobes/lobotomy and call it truth...no thanks].

“This is why Trump falsely labeling the mainstream media as ‘fake news’ is so toxic,” he said. [No, it is not Trump's label that makes it false, it is truly false and Trump is calling them out on the MSM's  BS -making them crazy- and hiring commies like this "professor"].

“It means that, at a time when there is a lot of fabrication and falsehoods swirling through the system, the credibility of the most reliable sources of news is being undermined.” [No, it means at a time when the MSM spews sewage Trump is calling them out on it].

Karl Marx: “Accuse Your Enemy Of What You Are Doing, As You Are Doing It To Create Confusion”

Singelguy kickasso Mon, 07/16/2018 - 06:18 Permalink

That is part of it. Essentially, news has now become entertainment. It is all about ratings and making money. They have to make it sensational to get the viewers. However, they are making a mistake by never changing up the menu. After weeks and months of the same sensationalism, it is no longer sensational. 

This is reflected in the ratings which have dropped 25% in the past few months. 

In reply to by kickasso

21st.century Mon, 07/16/2018 - 08:14 Permalink

Local news is more accurate? Hardly . Local news always repeats the official, government narratives .... with even less content or fact checking. 

I've had more influence on local reg's (zoning and compliance), budget transparency, laws - with the use of modern tools-- then the "local paper" ever provided. 

Individual citizens' efforts have provide more transparency -- by-passing politicized newspapers, TV and radio-- than anytime in history.

Just inoculate yourselves from the national gibberish you are blasted with daily--be careful of what you allow in. It's the only way. 


CRM114 Mon, 07/16/2018 - 08:31 Permalink

No, no, no, no, no.

Yet even in the age of information, local papers are disappearing. As a direct result, the efficiency of local governments is suffering. A study found that a lack of local newspapers correlates with worse local government.

Correlation is not causation. "As a direct result" implies causation, and the study only shows correlation.

So, we have a fake news article about fake news.

This author is just another dumb reporter who is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Fred box Mon, 07/16/2018 - 10:30 Permalink

Its all "News Propaganda," it started long ago,it really showed its face when after the Vietnam War when all journalists/news were castrated from telling the truth out on the battle field.You have Uncle$am/Military Complex to thank for this as they $till hide the Truths. 

gm_general Mon, 07/16/2018 - 10:57 Permalink

It isn't the government that determines the fake news narrative, because the oligarchy controls both it and the media like a puppet show. And I was not fooled by the weapons of mass destruction story, since the Internet already showed months before Bush drummed up war interest that the Niger document was signed in a photocopied signature of a man who was already dead. More like fake news began to be questioned after 9/11.