News, Views and Your Opinion Do They Count?

There is always two views

It took me many years to realise that news, the sort you get fed to you on the radio or TV, isn’t always correct.  I can’t believe that I was well into my thirties before I started to get it, or not get it as they wanted me to get it. It’s said that history is written by the victors.  Well I think it’s more than history, it’s every day events.

 Now here’s an example.  And before I give this example, I’m not condoning one side or the other, but it strikes me that we’re being fed a view.  Syria.  I don’t know much about Syria.  It’s somewhere in the Middle East.  But there’s trouble there. It’s another country where, according to the news, the military led government is ‘killing its own people’.  Those were the words used on ITV News earlier this week. Mobile phone footage was used to show lots of people running, and shots of wounded people in hospitals. 

 The news piece also showed huge crowds in Damascus welcoming the Russian envoy who are trying to broker a deal with them – or something like that. The words used by the reporter was along the lines of ‘this is what the Syrian leader would like the world to think’.  A leading statement. Now it wasn’t a small group of people which the military had rounded up and threatened them with extinction if they didn’t cheer.  I mean, there were thousands and thousands of them. And yet in another part of the country, there is violence on the streets.

 But what struck me about this was that if, and I say if, there was violence on our streets in the UK, and what appeared to be uprising by certain parts of the population or towns and cities, and heaven forbid, we brought in baton wielding police, riot squads, and even the army to support, how would we feel if other countries used the same reporting techniques that we use.  And why wouldn’t they?

 Surely news ought to be independent, there to allow you to form your own view.  But it’s difficult.  Any form of reporting will usually offer an opinion. That opinion is swayed by personal beliefs or personal prejudices, or by the way the state thinks, or by the way the reporter is expected to think.

 I’m just glad that I can see the other side. The best news programmes are those that try and offer a balanced view, however uncomfortable that might be.

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