Three medieval men, one with a blindfold, the others distracted, with death looming over one's shoulder.

Credit: Maurice Henry Hewlett

Can You Tell Who the Bad Guys Are?

Mar 10, 2022

A common method of media manipulation is to suggest to the audience whom we should trust, and whom we shouldn't.

Look at the PSAs at the bottom of each of these screencaps from Youtube, taken the day of publication.

Note that "Public", "Broadcast" and "Service" are all words with generally positive connotation, while "State-Owned" has a negative one here in The United States.

Also notice how corporate media like CBS, (as well as Fox, NBC, ABC, and for-profit international outlets) have no ownership disclosure.

What is the difference between a 'public' broadcaster' and 'state-owned' media?

The official difference is that public broadcasters get their financing from the state and 'individual donors', while state-owned media get all their financing directly from the state.

Splitting hairs, if you ask me, especially when you look at this list of top PBS donors. It reads like a list of American oligarchs. These are definitely people interested in continuing the status quo.

So 'public broadcasting' may not be wholly financed by the state, but they are certainly a mouthpiece for state interests.  

Also, DW, NHK, and France 24 are all state-owned. And the BBC has a royal charter.

There's no real difference between state-owned and public broadcaster, except for a few layers of plausible deniability.

These messages exist only to influence your levels of trust.

Just a friendly reminder. When  you're consuming any messaging, whether it's from me, a news outlet, or from your dearest friend, keep an eye open for what we want you to trust,  what we want you to disregard, and why.