(JollofNews) – The power of misleading propaganda is overwhelming, and will remain so for as long as its very existence is politely ignored. Politicians of all stripes are loathed to call it out, because propaganda is its own defense. Those who call it out will face its wrath. “Modern political journalism is a protection racket,” in the words of unashamed racketeer Niki Savva.
If not politicians, who will speak out and resist the anti-social force of politically motivated, counterfactual propaganda?
It is the democratic duty of all of us to do so. But some among us are better placed to have their voices heard. I’m thinking especially of commentators and journalists. Journalists — those whose vocational purpose and professional ethics supposedly center around seeking and disseminating the truth — should be more affronted than anyone else by the political power wielded through disinformation and emotive propaganda.
Journalists and commentators are aware of the political propaganda games that go on. It is not good enough to commentate from the sidelines as if calling a game of chess or a boxing match, accepting the rules as played and praising the skill of the players. Nor is it sufficient on its own to enter the debate yourself with evidence-based opinion.
Journalists, you need to stand up and call out the misleading and emotive propaganda content of our political process as illegitimate and anti-democratic, and denounce those who employ it or disseminate it (the latter includes some of your colleagues).
You will be accused of bias, probably by opportunist or job-seekers. That, too, is propaganda. Ignore it.