What happened to American values? (Video)

What happened to American values? Video – Inessa S

Around three years ago, I stumbled upon a TEDx talk by Sharyl Atkisson, formerly of CBS News. She talked about a term unfamiliar to me then – “astroturfing” and the manipulation of the media. At the time, it was difficult to believe the extent of the psychological manipulation that surrounds us. It was also difficult to appreciate the courage this woman had to talk about it. The full video is a must-see, before it is removed from the internet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bYAQ…

My disillusionment with mainstream media was a reason that propelled me to do translations on YouTube. It was not that I felt everything in the Russian-speaking media is correct, by default, all media has a certain bias depending on which interests it represents. Yet it is one thing to make a claim supported by facts, and entirely another to produce a false narrative and claim it as fact. I felt that the average Western viewer was limited in their understanding of Russian Foreign Policy, let alone Russian culture and mentality.

Following the success of my first few videos, I saw that there was a need for various sides of the story. People wanted to know both perspectives – but some don’t necessarily trust RT or Sputnik, “state funded media outlets”, the same way they may not trust CNN or BBC, corporate funded outlets. Many have been led to believe that journalists in Russia must strictly follow the “Kremlin narrative” – I have never worked for RT and so I cannot confirm or deny such allegations. In reality, all media is funded by some entity – whether it’s governments, NGOs, special lobby groups or individual financiers, and all of them have an editorial line to navigate around.

Independent media strives to bring across a message which they believe to be correct – without the rules that they may be subject to at a larger news outlet. It is up to you, the viewer, to weigh up the validity of the arguments on both sides. This is a near-impossible task if you do not have access to unabridged versions of talks, speeches and events.

Earlier this year, I was approached by a representative of Columbia School of Journalism, for an interview at a small in-house magazine. I had a lot of respect for this school – it is ranked #1 in the world for training journalists. While I should have been aware of the potential for misrepresentation, the author in question was able to build a rapport with me and asked genuine questions about why I believe, what I believe.

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Inessa S1

Traditionally, a changing world order has been accompanied by either a large global conflict or a series of regional conflicts. Similarly, we are living through a time in which a unipolar world is reluctantly transforming into something new. One tool at the disposal of political elites is the manipulation of the media. This channel is geared at providing accurate translations of materials that are unlikely to air in Western mainstream media and hopefully, counter inaccurate views on Russia's foreign policy.