Wed | May 25, 2022

Letter of the Day | Today’s media influencers

Published:Wednesday | May 11, 2022 | 12:10 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc, carry so much information, misinformation and disinformation exchanged every millisecond of every day. Influencers with followings that range from minuscule to monstrous play a huge part in a somewhat crazy interconnected world of cyberspace.

Huge influence also comes from the mainstream media, which is just as polarised in many countries today as it has always been. Just two quick examples are the vital and vibrant UK daily newspapers which have forever been mouthpieces aligned to one or the other of the two main British political parties; and American cable television news where CNN and MSNBC are echo chambers for the Democratic Party, while over at FOX News the Republican Party viewpoint is predominant.

Getting to the actual truth on any topic usually takes a bit of figuring out to know if the guy riding the moral high horse is really astride a bucking bronco.

These days much of the coverage also suffers from omission, being things that are deliberately not reported.

For example, mainstream media has briefly put party affiliations aside, with universal condemnation of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin for waging war, and labelling him as a war criminal causing civilian deaths in several Ukrainian cities. Yet there are never comparisons drawn to similar atrocities occurring in recent wars waged by those countries now complaining the loudest.

Details can be easily found online at the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs, whose pages tabulate ‘Human Costs of War’, including ‘Civilians Killed And Wounded’ in post-9/11 conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries where the US and other NATO members participated. The renowned research centre based at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, details violent deaths to an estimated 387,000 civilians from September 2001 to September 2021, in those war zones.

Fatalities occurred due to bombs, bullets, fires, mines, cluster bombs, drones, etc, caused by invasions of the very nations now condemning Russia’s belligerence, yet such brutality in recent history is never mentioned by today’s media influencers.

BERNIE SMITH