Monday, August 26, 2013

Media That Accumulates Is Not Independent

S. Fitzgerald Johnson's latest article Egypt: Educating the Empire draws a number of valuable political lessons from the Egyptian crisis. Although he identifies five of them, I would like to touch the third one, media's role. Johnson argues that,

[...] media that accumulates, for a state or bourgeois class, is never independent. The military claims that its intervention on 3 July 2013 restored a revolution and was not a coup, and the media – both state and privately owned – has dutifully represented the intervention as restoring a revolution and not a coup.

[...] The military labels all those opposed to its coup "extremists" and the media obediently incites against the military’s opponents calling them "terrorists."

[...] The names vary – New York Times, Al-Ahram, Pravda – but media that accumulates is always the instrument of the dominant classes in society. And make no mistake – the dominant classes are those controlling material wealth, not the numerical majority.

On a related note, here are five Turkish newspapers of August 16th, copycatting each other with identical/exact headlines and placement, citing Erdogan's "Bir Musa çıkar hesabını sorar" about Egypt. This was not the first and it is beyond disturbing:

gunes front page aug 16

milat front page aug 16

sabah front page aug 16

star front page aug 16

yeni safak front page aug 16

Clearly, making an informed decision on anything is getting more difficult each day. We have to find, create, protect and cherish independent news outlets vigorously if we really care about our freedom (and sanity I might add).