Thursday, March 22, 2018

Vox Popoli: That suspicious impartiality - (as in a myth)

It's rather remarkable that the journalists attempting to attack the credibility of Russia Today don't realize what they are implicitly admitting about the BBC, Sky TV, CNN, and other Western media organizations:

Staffed in London mainly by Western journalists, a cursory viewing of RT might suggest a respectable international broadcaster in the mould of the BBC, Sky and CNN. It broadcasts daily, a mix of news bulletins, talk shows — on which many peers and MPs, including Mr Corbyn, have appeared — and documentaries.

Its viewing figures in the UK are minuscule (560,000 people tune into RT at some time during the week, compared with 6.1 million for Sky and 10.4 million for BBC News), but its output is amplified by YouTube channels and social media feeds which cater for an audience of ‘metrosexuals and bums’, according to one rival Russian channel.

And while it is true that many stories are delivered impartially, this selective impartiality appears to be a strategic ploy. According to Ben Nimmo of the Atlantic Council, an American international affairs think-tank: ‘[RT’s] job in quiet times is to build up an audience, so it can propagandise to them in crises. You must not confuse RT with bona fide journalism: not all its output is propaganda, but its purpose is.’

Whenever Russia interests are at stake — as in Ukraine, Crimea and Syria — it pumps out programmes, videos and tweets that almost invariably toe the Moscow line.

How terrible of them to reliably be impartial on most issues, only to stick to a narrative on matters important to Russia. This is very different from the BBC, Sky TV, and CNN, where "bona fide journalism" means all propaganda all the time.

The purpose of all media is propaganda. It is all rhetoric. It is intended to persuade, not to simply inform. The big difference is that Russia Today doesn't feel any need to constantly uphold the neoliberal world order's narrative all the time.