How the Media Manipulates Us into War


Koozma J. Tarasoff, Spirit-Wrestlers – TRANSCEND Media Service

Generally, people assume that the media has the responsibility of presenting the truth and nothing but the truth in its journalistic reports about peace and war. It is agreed that an informed public is less likely to go to war.

The Transcend Media Service of the pioneering Johan Galtung nonviolence Transcend group in Norway, has presented a ‘video of the week’ from Global Research TV revealing some startling facts about mainstream media. The 14-minute video on line ‘Faking It: How the Media Manipulates the World into War‘ is worth watching. Summary:

‘As the US and Iranian governments escalate tensions in the already volatile Straits of Hormuz, and China and Russia begin openly questioning Washington’s interference in their internal politics, the world remains on a knife-edge of military tension. Far from being a dispassionate observer of these developments, however, the media has in fact been central to increasing those tensions and preparing the public to expect a military confrontation. But as the online media rises to displace the traditional forms by which the public forms its understanding of the world, many are now beginning to see firsthand how the media lies the public into war.’
To help journalists make a correct picture of the world, Transcend offers a Solutions-Oriented Peace Journalism service to the public. Jake Lynch, Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney presents a feature article: What is Peace Journalism?

In his opening remarks, Professor Lynch states: ‘Peace journalism is when editors and reporters make choices  — about what to report, and how to report it  — that create opportunities for society at large to consider and to value non-violent responses to conflict.’

While the conventions of war journalism usually assumes a zero-sum game, leaving only further violence as a possible response, peace journalism, as a remedial strategy, chooses to supplement the news conventions by giving peace a chance. Here are five characteristics of peace journalism offered by Professor Lynch:

  1. Explores the backgrounds and contexts of conflict formation, presenting causes and options on every side (not just “both sides”);
  2. Gives voice to the views of all rival parties, from all levels;
  3. Offers creative ideas for conflict resolution, development, peacemaking and peacekeeping;
  4. Exposes lies, cover-up attempts and culprits on all sides, and reveals excesses committed by, and suffering inflicted on, peoples of all parties;
  5. Pays attention to peace stories and post-war developments.

Of course, peace journalism is in favour of truth, as any must be. However, as a legitimate strategy in reporting especially on war and peace, it opens up multiple opportunities to inspect propaganda and other self-serving representations. As alternative media journalists, let us try to use as many of the five characteristics as listed above, while also avoiding demonizing language, labeling and so forth. By so doing, we will serve the public better and hopefully we will help give peace a chance.

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4 Responses to “How the Media Manipulates Us into War”

  1. I thank cordially to Prof. Jake Lynch for his enlightenment on peace journalism. The peace journalism in the case of Nepal and South Asia, there has been a triangular relationships among publishers, editors and reporters. Whatever the reporters report on peace, war and equitable justice, it is controlled by the editors for their interests. Moreover, editors are controlled by the publishers. Rather to disseminate right information to public, tycoon publishers focus for their vested interest of businesses. Editors try to secure their services confiding their desires and truths. Reporters hide their facts for not to confront with their bosses. The truth speaking is that “the sale/circulation of news or newspapers subsequently increases while they produce destructive news putting behind the constructive works for peace.” Moreover,the weapons manufactures, traffickers, dealers and agents and other categories of mafia highly influence all tiers: publishers, editors and reporters.

  2. One has to remember that most of the largest Media corporations are part of a larger conglomerate that includes businesses like General Electric, Westinghouse, etc, all great manufacturers of weapons, air fighters, etc. Promoting Peace would go against their commercial interests.

    But they cannot openly promote War, so they promote situations that will lead to war. They promote social violence, class divisions, political divisions, religious divisions, skin colour divisions, etc.

    The Christian Press attacks Islam, the Islamic Press attacks Christianity, etc.

    All this is NECESSARY and inevitable, whether you like it or not, because weapons, air-fighters, bombs, mortars, torture and spying instruments, warships, nuclear submarines, etc, etc, are not manufactured by Charities with plenty of cash to give away or by generous multi-billionaires.

    The entire War Industry is a commercial concept, which benefits Media, oil, gold and copper barons, Banks, some politicians and the actual manufacturers.

    Churches also discreetly promote war, by emphasizing how their religion is better than others, how their religion has the truth, implying all other religions lie. It is again, not out of generosity that Churches invest, buy shares in the weapon industry. It is to increase their fortune. So, no matter how loud they utter their spirituality and their respect for human life, promoting Peace would go against their own interests.

    This is WHY I INSIST: we must end with weapon research, manufacturing and trade. I don’t mind some people being filthy rich, but why give them the opportunity to achieve their wealth through the maiming and killing of millions of innocent people ?????????? WHY??????


  3. Enrique Ferro says:

    Well said, Alberto!
    The concept of “Peace Media”, as related to professional “mainstream media” (MSM)is utterly non-realistic, or rather, deceptive, for the reasons Alberto names. But even most of journalists aren’t interested in that, if they want to stay in the profession and enjoy prestige, promotions and so on. They are well aware that whatever they write that would annoy their employers would be ignored all the same, and they would be told off. The graphic joke goes like this:
    Boss: “Write this”
    Journalist: “But this didn’t happen”
    Boss. “Write it! I pay you for that!”
    I suggest we stop calling the corporate media “MSM”, which is a euphemism, a manipulation via language, and call it something like IPM, i.e., Imperialist Propaganda Media, or else, Warmongering Capital Media WCM… I mean something that lays bare its real nature.
    It would be a step among the on-line critics of the system, to begin with, in order to drop the deceptive use of language which is only useful for the owners of power and capital.

  4. Thank you Enrique for approving of what I wrote.

    I understand what you propose about changing MSM for IPM. However, I feel this sounds like the idea of a Left Wing mind wishing to tarnish the Right and that will not help.

    The Media “IS” controlled by ALL powers, from extreme Right to extreme Left. During the years of Soviet Union, intellectuals and many other citizens in Russia, Poland, Romania, etc, etc, were desperate to read some Western Press and less Communist propaganda. In fact, many intellectuals ended up in a Siberian prison for speaking their mind in Media outlets.

    Today, newspapers in China and Cuba are as full of lies as their counterparts in the Imperialist world.

    Peace Journalism could never succeed simply because it is read almost exclusively by lovers of Peace. This is, in plain English, “Preaching to the Converted”.

    You talk of “deceptive use of language which is only useful for the owners of power and capital.” and this is why I wrote what I wrote two paragraphs above this one.In Right, Centre and Left politics you have “deceptive use of language” because in Right, Centre and Left politics you have “owners of power and capital.”

    Competition between Communist and Capitalist countries has already caused so many wars !!!!!!!! weapons have no political colour!!!!!! they love anybody, as long as they can kill !!!!! we must rid the world of Militarism !!!!!
    Even the Militaries I speak with agree with me. During a conversation with four Navy Commanders, one of them said: “Alberto, you are absolutely right. Whilst people like us exist, prepared to make a living out of following politicians’ instructions to invade and occupy countries, kill people, destroy buildings, etc, there will never be Peace in the world.

    Coming back to your conversation between the journalist and his boss, I’d like to end with the words uttered by John Swinton, past Chief-of-Staff at The New York Times. “To keep my own opinions out of print,I was paid a handsome salary for 30 years”, adding, “had I dared publish my own, genuine, sincere opinion, within 24 hours I’d have been looking for another job”.