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The Media, the Press and Fake News

Opinion Blog by Faye Lowley

The Media has frequently been in the news of late! For many long years we in the public never doubted the validity or truth of the news we were fed, whether it was in print form or via television or radio. With its impartiality and expertise the BBC in particular has been like a shining light in times of war and problems throughout our recent history.

Alas, the media has become politicised and the public are constantly being fed propaganda and lies. We have learned not to trust the media through painful experience, one example being the referendum in June. Research showed that during the referendum campaign, and indeed since, the BBC has been blatantly anti-Brexit. The Guardian has always been a left-leaning newspaper that I have never cared to read-they have a nasty habit of slamming anyone that does not conform to their ideology.

In particular, their stance on the issues of Brexit and Donald Trump in the run up to the US election. They were so pro Hillary Clinton, with their bias against Trump verging on hysteria. He has been called every name imaginable-I will try to remember them all! Misogynist, Racist Sexist, Fascist, etc. will do for a start. On the subject of the proposed State visit of the US President to the UK their articles have been hideous and defamatory.

But Trump won't stand for any nonsense. I just read that the BBC along with other left-leaning mainstream media were banned from the White House press briefing. How utterly shameful for an organisation with a history and reputation like the BBC's to be barred, all because they allowed reporters to ask inappropriate questions of the President who is a very close ally of ours. In their professional capacity no journalist has a right to slam the president, as they have done, even if they don't agree with his politics. We need someone like Trump in this country to call the media out on their hatred and bias. It is intolerable because it is the job of the media to inform the public impartially.

With Brexit these same media were pro-Europe in the extreme. I wouldn't have minded if their arguments had been valid, but they were so opposed to leaving the EU that they simply demonstrated a lack of understanding of why the people wanted out. In the process some of their articles belittled the public and sneered at them.

I was really appalled to see in Parliament the other day so many MPs from every party ranting about the US President's forthcoming visit to the UK. They were debating a recent petition raised by the public against Trump's visit. Their hatred of him, their lack of integrity and professionalism were so obvious I was completely taken aback. To top it all, we then had MPs, led by Diane Abbott and Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, protesting against his visit on the streets of London. I would like to see what proof they had to back up their arguments against the President. There is none-they have simply read perhaps an article from the NY Times (very anti Trump) or watched a broadcast from CNN-another beauty, as Trump would say! In other words there are no facts, it is fake news!

Newspapers like the Daily Express, the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, are more plausible to read. They give fair coverage to all the parties. However, because of all the lies and fake information that the public have been fed over the years by the mainstream media, social media has become the main source for people to get truthful news. The discerning public are forming their opinions about who to vote for by sharing information with each other. Twitter and Facebook have played a big part in this media revolution and the rise of 'populism'.

The Press ought not to be the enemy of the people, but if they fail in their duty to keep the public informed of the truth they are certainly not a friend.


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