Discussion Forums » Get it off your chest!

Politically biased media - aka Newspeak ?

    • 4 posts
    June 12, 2020 8:23 AM BST

    Hi folks,

    As a new member I've waited a few days to respond to the invitation to "Get it off my chest!" for there is much ado at the moment ... where does one start ... how does one summarise it?  Brexit, CV19, NHS, BLM - you name it, the press are stirring it up, pointing people to "Look over there" rather than examine a rather mundane reality closer to the truth than the stories they pedal.

    Does it create unity and harmony?  In a word no, it causes division, unrest, friction and fear, all quite unhealthy for the national wellbeing.  Of recent weeks we have seen a sustained witch hunt in the media against one person doing X on one side of politics, whilst seeing very little condemnation of some one "on their side" of the political divide, arguably doing 100X.

    We see the government being blamed for the failures in the NHS, when those failures are failures of the 100's of NHS Executives paid twice as much and more than the most senior members of government ... yet the media claim that MPs are not delivering value for money.  Maybe if the media can keep us looking at MPs we just might not see the plank of failure endemic within the NHS?

    Elsewhere we see what even a blind man can observe as being violent riots reported as "largely peaceful demonstrations" - where is the objectivity here?  Where are the inflammatory claims of the media backed up by an objective examination of the facts ... without self thinking people being given an 'ist or 'phobic label?

    It is to be found everywhere.  Within the last 48 hours a consumer campaigning group of which I am a member jumped on the BLM bandwagon, arguably of no real relevance to the purpose of the campaign, giving rise to a (should have been anticipated) heated debate on social media, where in effectively members have been told that if they dissent on the matter they may face disciplinary action.

    Has George Orwell's Nineteen Eight-Four arrived Thirty-Six years late? And are we closer to Newspeak's 2050 objective than we realise? "The long-term political purpose of the new language is for every member of the Party and society, except the Proles—the working-class of Oceania—to exclusively communicate in Newspeak, by A.D. 2050"


    This post was edited by Kevin Johnson at June 12, 2020 8:25 AM BST
    • 3 posts
    June 12, 2020 8:43 AM BST

    Hello Kevin

    Welcome to Zero Gravity and good to see you have 'got it off your chest'. It's a pity you weren't able to join our discussion on Tuesday (I hope you received an invitation) where we discussed the media at some length. The outcome is largely in line with your thoughts. This will be posted on line shortly. Perhaps we will see protests on the streets against The Media!

    • 99 posts
    June 12, 2020 11:53 AM BST

    Hi Kevin, good to see you posting on the site.

    If you take a look at the Ideas section you'll see a document which is the output of our Deep Thought discussion group on the media which has gone up today. Later today Keith Hill will be posting the output on the same subject from the Zero Gravity discussion group. So would value your thoughts, especially any specific ideas for how we address some of the negative characteristics of the media with improvements that would be acceptable to the majority.

    On your NHS comments above, I'd just say that we should be clear to distinguish between the value and dedication of those on the front line, which I think most people would subscribe to, and the organisation itself.

    In this regard one thing that lifted the covers a bit for me was this quote in the Times on 4th April this year from the Chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners - ‘The NHS is transforming and embracing innovation at an astonishing pace in ways that look likely to outlast the pandemic. It has taken two and a bit weeks to achieve more than we have in 20 years in adopting technology’. (Actual article here: 

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/how-pandemic-is-set-to-future-proof-the-nhs-ms63678r8)

    I just hope the pandemic experience will enable such issues to be addressed and to start to take advantage of Artificial Intelligence, not least in the area of diagnosis, where AI has bee shown to perform better than doctors. Deployment at least at a triage level while we get experience ought to be at the front of both improving quality and reducing cost at the same time. I'd like to see the NHS leading in technology deployment not lagging behind as it has been for many years.

     

       


    This post was edited by Tony Clack at June 12, 2020 11:58 AM BST
    • 21 posts
    June 12, 2020 12:45 PM BST

    Hi Kevin,

    I maintain a 'rantometer' on behalf of Probably42 and there was a smell of burning when I pointed it at your posting.

    Do look at the output of our two discussion groups on The Media as I think you'll find some kindred spirits. 

     

     

    • 4 posts
    June 12, 2020 2:43 PM BST

    Ooops had not meant that to be a rant!! surprised

    • 4 posts
    June 12, 2020 2:53 PM BST
    Tony Clack said:

     

    On your NHS comments above, I'd just say that we should be clear to distinguish between the value and dedication of those on the front line, which I think most people would subscribe to, and the organisation itself.

     

    100% agree, most of the front line staff go above and beyond; they are both under paid and under valued, but the same cannot be said higher up the organisation.  For example, yesterday I heard that a sizeable NHS Trust in the NW has admin staff spending days laminating blank sheets of A3 paper to be placed on notice boards through out the trust, so that their surfaces are capable of being wiped for infection control in order to manage CV19.