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Tabloid Hatemongering Options
Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 9:22:32 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/29/2009
Posts: 1,167
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I mentioned Tabloid hatemongering in this other thread and thought I’d explain here further the type of thing I mean.

In the UK (perhaps it’s the same the world over?) certain sections of the media exist mainly to spread fear, hate and lies. Sometimes it’s blatant, normally it’s a subtle drip, drip, effect. As a result we find perfectly reasonable, rational, people believing, as a general rule, all sorts of dubious bigoted stereotypes and untruths.

Personally I can’t understand the motivation for this. The authors of these stories must know what they are doing and what effect they have; one only needs to read the comments section online to see the kind of venom they evoke. I genuinely believe this kind of intolerance is a bigger threat to society than any of the subjects of their hate.

Here’s an example:

This is a story from the Daily Express, accompanied with alarming images of graffiti covered barricades and rioting – actually from a completely different country.
Fury after Home Office ‘fails to tell Devon town they will host up to 70 Calais migrants'
The story predicts ‘fury’ and a possible ‘backlash’ but can only quote one resident who at best sounds slightly perturbed and who then contradicts his own posistion several times. Then there some images of riot police and flames (from camp evictions in France) and then the comments section which is summed up nicely by one commenter:

horas wrote:
the testosterone fuelled immigrants ,will just love those Devon females...!.

Here is the same story from the local paper. Donations flood in for Syrian refugees in Torrington
I happen to have relatives in the the area, the truth is general indifference. Most would probably prefer refugees didn’t exist at all, but doubt they’ll have any real negative effect, and on balance have a degree of sympathy and goodwill.

Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 9:30:38 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2014
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Location: Leuven, Flanders, Belgium
I think the news is speeding up with the whole net at our fingertips. People need constant updates on everything that is happening, meaning writers and journalists don't have the time to find many sources or write a thoughtful piece if they want to stay employed. Their employers might also not be able or willing to pay them for that much time. Additionally, quick emotions like fear and anger feel very satisfying for readers so they're more likely to click on those sources or buy those tabloids.

Substance is often secondary to emotions. How many people have started an argument about an article of which they've only really read the title? It takes time to check your sources, verify your facts and form your opinions and, damn it all, we want to be angry now!
Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 10:42:06 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/23/2015
Posts: 382
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Location: Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
I think another factor that is playing a more and more prominent role is that news and entertainment are being merged. I doubt some diabolical journalists are willingly trying to make this happen, but it does seem to be an ongoing trend that is opposed by only a small minority of consumers. Consumers are probably the driving force in these kind of changes anyway.

The US presedential election was the worst example I can name so far. It was presented to be a spectacle, not a battle of content. I suspect many journalists just do whatever helps them pays their bills.
Andrew Schultz
Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 12:42:25 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/7/2015
Posts: 433
Neurons: 5,646,394
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Seeing National Enquirer headlines at the grocery store, they certainly got very political. E.g "MUSLIMS IN OBAMA'S ADMINISTRATION" / "TRUMP'S BIG PLAN" sort of thing. It's never been news, but it was usually just about celebrities before.

It gets away with not really being news, but all the same, it's there, and people eventually think there must be some truth...
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