Exposed: Inside Strategies to Censor News

by Dr. Mercola, ZenGardner You can choose to ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality. Most of us rely heavily on the media for information, not realizing that 90 percent of it is controlled by a mere six media giants. Sharyl Attkisson, a five-time Emmy Award winning investigative journalist whose television career spans more than three decades is one of my personal heroes. She was the reporter who, in 2009, blew the lid off the swine flu media hype, showing the hysteria was completely unfounded and manufactured. She recently left CBS to pursue other avenues of investigative journalism, and has authored a highly praised book, Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington, which exposes what goes on behind the scenes in the media that gives you the information you come to think of as real and true. “I left CBS about a year ago when it seemed I had met with so many dead ends in trying to continue the original investigative reporting that I’ve done for so many years there,” Sharyl says. “My producer and I just kept hitting brick walls in the last two years or so in trying to get this reporting on television. We certainly weren’t alone. Reporters are complaining about this across the board at many print organizations and broadcast outlets… The watchdog reporting that the government values so much is simply not desired for a variety of reasons as much as it once was at the national level. I think also this is a problem in local news… There was no point [in staying]. I was never in a position to turn up better stories; I have more information, more sources, more whistleblowers, and more I felt might produce terrific stories than ever before after 20 years in CBS News, and yet, utterly lacked the ability to get any of it on television. I could’ve stayed and done weather stories and stories of the day but that’s just not where my interest was.” What Led to the Downfall of Watchdog Reporting? Unfortunately, the trend of diluting the depth and scope of investigative journalism can even be seen in high-quality programs like CBS’ 60 Minutes, which has been a favorite show of mine since its inception over four decades ago. As noted by Sharyl, the reasons for the decline of investigative journalism are complicated. But a big part of it is due to commercial concerns; basically, commercial and corporate influences came into play, and media outlets grew to accept commercialization as part of the news process. “I call it soft censorship,” Sharyl says. “When you know you have a sponsor and you know it’s important to the corporation, are you really going to offend the sponsor by going after stories that they don’t like? But I do think it’s more overt than that sometimes. The sponsors explicitly complain and argue at the corporate level that certain stories and topics shouldn’t be done. We know this is true based on one anecdote I put in the book, but there are other anecdotes and experiences that reporters have had, where they’ve been told that this is the case. Additionally, there are political factors. There were managers at CBS in those last two years that inserted their ideology into the reporting of producers and reporters, who by and large were very fair. That can change the whole tone of the reporting.” Continue Reading>>>

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