|HOW THE NATIONAL MASS MEDIA ATTEMPT
TO CONTROL THE POLITICAL PROCESS
Here, Alistair McConnachie explains how the media create, and attempt to control, the political "reality" in Britain. This is part of an article which appeared in the June 2001 issue of Sovereignty.
It is the national mass media which forms and validates most people's understanding of what is "real". It is the national mass media which holds the key to reaching the millions of voters.
Unfortunately, the corporate newspapers like the system the way it works right now. They don't want new parties gate-crashing the scene and upsetting their dinner table.
They really don't want to introduce a fourth or fifth choice into the British political scene if they can help it.
If they do feel obliged to cover new individuals or parties, then they will attempt to marginalise them and portray them as side-shows, of curiosity value only.
Heaven forbid that they be obliged to treat them as serious contenders and place them in serious news contexts.
THIS IS A DEMOCRATIC ISSUE
Therefore, what does democracy mean when these choices can be highlighted or suppressed at the whim of the mass media? What it means is - we live in a media-ocracy rather than a democracy. We are ruled by the media rather than ruled by the people. It is not only Brussels which governs Britain!
COMBATING THE MEDIA-OCRACY
To the extent that people are unaware of this process, and to the extent that they do not have alternative sources of information, then they can be carried along on the mass media bandwagons - cheering the people the mass media promote, and jeering the people the mass media condemn - believing baloney, and swallowing swill.
It follows that the people who dominate the national mass media - that is, the owners, directors, editors, producers, and others who occupy decisive positions - are able to exercise the most powerful political influence on our society today.
If this decisive element operate within a similar intellectual environment, and is informed by the same general political assumptions, then a consistent line can be maintained, right across all the national mass media, on all the major political issues of the day.
If you doubt this situation exists, then ask yourself why not one single national mass media outlet is banging the drums to take Britain out the EU.
A DEMOCRATIC REFORM
Air time and column inches could be decided in proportion to the number of candidates which each party is standing.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
We can continue to cultivate local media contacts, which are often far more helpful. And we can build our own media.
Let us leave the last word to Noel Edmonds: