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  1. #346
    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    Finally, an understanding of the fundamental belief systems of journalists should be a more valid means of understanding their biases and behavior than would an understanding of their socio-politico orientations. The same should be true of media consumers.) The growing body of research on perception and belief systems seems to be concluding that man constantly strives for cognitive balance as he views and communicates about the world, and that man will select and rely upon information consistent with his basic perceptions. This holds true for the journalist as well as the journalist's audience. To do otherwise runs contrary to an apparently basic human need, which helps explain why open-mindedness is an elusive objective for the journalist. A recent Journalism Quarterly study by Donohew and Palmgreen, for instance, showed that open-minded journalists underwent a great deal of stress when having to report information they weren't inclined to believe or agree with, because the open-minded journalists' self- concepts demanded that they fairly evaluate all issues. Closed-minded journalists, on the other hand, underwent much less stress because it was easy for them to make snap decisions consistent with their basic world views, especially since they were inclined to go along with whatever information was given to them by authority figures. (Winter, 1971, "An Investigation of 'Mechanisms' of Information Selection,") In short, it appears to be far more difficult and stressful for both journalists and media consumers to keep their pluralistic orientations. What Donohew and Palmgreen seem to be telling journalists is that if they are not undergoing any mental stress, it may be that they aren't opening their minds long enough to allow belief discrepant information to enter. And, one might imagine, the same holds true for audiences. If they don't undergo some 'mental' strain upon reading their daily papers or viewing their television news or listening to their radio news or reading their weekly newsmagazine, it may be that they are closing their 'minds'. This is not to say that stress and strain in and of themselves make for open-minded media behavior. They may just make for confusion, and result from confusion. But if journalists and news audiences never find themselves concerned over contradictory information, facts that don't add up, opinions that don't cause them to stop and think, then they are behaving as Hohenberg's and Seldes' closed-minded journalists and members of the public, and as purveyors and passive receivers of propaganda.

    Most of the empirical findings of belief systems researchers are entirely consistent with the body of knowledge referred to as 'general semantics', as both study how people perceive the world and how they subsequently communicate their perceptions or misperceptions. Recent empirical studies of semantic behavior have begun to validate many of Alfred Korzybski's original statements (Science and Sanity, 1933) that unscientific or "Aristotelian" assumptions about language and reality result in semantically inadequate or inappropriate behavior. Studies of children and adults trained in general semantics principles have demonstrated that semantic awareness results in such diverse achievements as improved perceptual, speaking, reading, and writing skills (Berger, Glorfield, Haney, Livingston, Ralph, True, Weaver, Weiss, Westover), generalized intelligence (Haney, Steele), decreased prejudice (John Black), decreased dogmatism (J . J . Black, Goldberg), and decreased rigidity (J .J. Black). These studies offer substantive refutation to early criticisms of general semantics as an overly-generalized and pedantic system of gross assumptions about language behavior. From the studies emerges a series of semantic patterns typifying the semantically 'sane' or 'un-sane' individual, patterns reflective of Rokeach's typologies of the open-minded or closed-minded individual and of propaganda analysts' descriptions of the non-propagandistic or propagandistic individual.

    Highlighting general semanticists' descriptions of 'sane' language behavior are such concepts as 1) awareness that our language is not our reality, but is an inevitably imperfect abstraction of that reality, and that tendencies to equate language and reality (through the use of the verb "to be" as an equal sign) are setting up false-to-fact relationships. This is seen in the "intensional 'is-of-identity', "and is to be replaced by "extensionalized" analysis and description of reality as we perceive it; 2) awareness that the use of "to be" to describe something usually tells more about the observer projecting his bias than it does about the object described. This is seen as the"intensional 'is-of-predication"' and is to be replaced by "extensionalized" awareness of our projections; 3) awareness that people and situations have unlimited characteristics, that the world is in a constant process of change, that our perceptions are limited and that our language cannot say all there is to be said about a person or situation. This is seen in attempts to replace a dogmatic "allness orientation" with a multi-valued orientation that recognizes the "etc.," or the fact that there is always more to be seen and observed and described than we are capable of seeing, observing, or describing; 4) awareness that a fact is not an inference and an inference is not a value judgment, and subsequent awareness that receivers of our communications need to be told the differences; 5) awareness that different people will perceive the world differently, and we should accept authority figures', sources', and witnesses' viewpoints as being the result of imperfect human perceptual processes, and not as absolute truth, and 6) awareness that persons and situations are rarely if ever two-valued; that propositions do not have to be either 'true' or 'false', specified ways of behaving do not have to be either 'right' or 'wrong', 'black' or 'white', that continuum-thinking or an infinite-valued orientation is a more valid way to perceive the world than an Aristotelian two-valued orientation. (I would append this with the notion that William James proffered - "The Truth is what the future proves it to be")
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

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  3. #347
    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    Numerous other semantic formulations exist, but this half-dozen can begin to offer a framework for semantic analysis. As noted above, awareness and application of these formulations have resulted in empirically improved levels of perception, reading, writing, speaking, generalized intelligence, and open-'mindedness'. And, as in the case of being open-'minded', it can be seen that being semantically 'sane' or sophisticated is not the easiest way to go through life, because it tends to result in a mass of often contradictory perceptions and la nguage behavior
    that the semantically unsophisticated or 'un-sane' individual never has to worry about. But such is theresponsibility of the professional journalist, and the fate of the mature media consumer.

    PROPAGANDA--A NEW DEFINITION
    At this juncture, insights from propaganda analysts, journalistic critics, social psychologists and general semanticists can be amalgamated into a reasonably objective insight into journalistic performance... both the performance of journalists and media consumers. Taken in their extremes (and recognizing that people fall somewhere along the continuum at any given time, rather than resting at a pole), the pictures of propagandists/propagandees and non-propagandists/non-propagandees as uncovered by the preceding discussion show very definite patterns of behavior. On the one hand, the dogmatist (typical of both propagandist and propagandee) may be characterized as having a heavy reliance upon authority figures, a narrow time perspective, a tendency to make irrational evaluations, and display little sense of discrimination between differing sets of information. On the other, the non-dogmatist (typical of both nonpropagandist and non-propagandee) faces a constant struggle to remain open-'minded' as he evaluates and acts on information independently of its own merits, is governed by self-actualizing attitudes rather than irrational ones, doesn't get hung up on what is being said or by whom, recognizes contradictions, incomplete pictures of reality, and the interrelationship of past, present and future.

    The above typologies help lead us to an original definition of propaganda, one that can be applied not only to mass media studies but to a broad range of communications behavior in everyday life. The definition is broad enough to apply to creators of messages, the messages themselves, the media in which the messages are carried, and the receivers of those messages. It goes as follows:

    While it may or may not emanate from individuals or institutions with demonstrably closed belief systems, the manifest content of propaganda contains characteristics one associates with dogmatism; while it may or may not be intended as propaganda, this type of communication seems non-creative and seems to have as purpose the evaluative narrowing of its receivers. While creative communication displays expectations that its receivers should conduct further investigations of its observations, allegations, and conclusions, propaganda does not appear to do so. Rather, propaganda is characterized by at least the following : 1) a heavy or undue reliance on authority figures and spokesmen, rather than empirical validation, to establish its truths or conclusions; 2) the utilization of unverified and perhaps unverifiable abstract nouns, adjectives, and adverbs, rather than empirical validation, to establish its truths, conclusions, or impressions; 3) a finalistic and fixed view of people, institutions, and situations, divided into broad, all-inclusive categories of in-groups and out-groups (friends and enemies), situations to be accepted or rejected in whole; 4) a reduction of situations into readily identifiable cause-effect relationships, ignoring multiple causality; 5) a time-perspective characterized by an under- or over-emphasis on the past, present, or future as disconnected periods, rather than a demonstrated consciousness of time flow, and 6) a greater emphasis on conflict than on cooperation among people, institutions, and situations. This definition allows for an investigation of mass media behavior in its full range. News media in particular (plus, of course, advertising, public relations, photography, editorials, entertainment, etc.) can be investigated as falling somewhere along a propaganda--non-propaganda continuum. Since most people expect the advertisements, public relations programs, editorials and opinion columns to be biased and persuasive, they may tend to avoid analyzing these items for propagandistic content; but the arguments in the present paper hold that ads, public relations programs, editorials and opinion columns can meet their basic objectives without being propagandistic. Indeed, persuasive media that are propagandistic, as defined herein, would appear to be less likely to attract and convince open-'minded' media consumers than they would to reinforce the biases of the true believers.

    CONCLUSIONS

    We are not suggesting that the necessity for mediating reality inevitably results in propaganda. Far from it. But we might suggest that when there is a pattern of behavior on the part of media practitioners that repeatedly finds them jumping to conclusions, acting as advocates, making assumptions based on previous experience rather than the evidence at hand, and approaching their assignments with preconceived notions of what is happening and how the event should be depicted... when they have this pattern of behavior, we can say they are acting as propagandists. THEY MAY BE DOING IT UNCONSCIOUSLY. They may not be attempting to propagandize or ever be aware that their efforts can be seen as propagandistic. (In this sense our definition of propaganda differs from many standard ones.) It may well be that their view of the world is such that their work habitually follows propagandistic patterns. But this doesn't excuse them. Nor does it excuse the media audience member who readily accepts the distorted pictures of reality. Surely, if people want spokesmen and authority figures to run their lives, they'll swallow what they're told by 'our usually reliable sources'. If they wantto believe in simple explanations for complex issues, they can find them. If they want to believe in simple explanations for complex issues, they can find them. If they want to believe that everybody of one race or sex or religion behaves one way, that things never change, that everything is a conspiracy, that the newest and most heavily advertised products are indeed panaceas, they'll find enough evidence in their mass media to perpetuate their beliefs. If they want
    to subscribe to only one type of newspaper, magazine, book club, or view only one type of television program or movie or listen to only one type of music, rejecting all others, they are probably acting as unwitting propagandees. More than one observer has noted that no society has ever had a media system much better or worse than the society deserved. That may be something to think about .
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

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  5. #348
    Senior Member Hungary
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    This is exactly what I mean when I talk about Left-Wing and mainstream media bias. Not one mention of the fact that Muslim gangs (or, according to the Guardian: Swedish Gangs) are waging a war inside Sweden, which has now spilled over into Denmark, with almost daily bombings, car burnings, grenade attacks and whatnot.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-as-gangs-feud

    Sweden bomb attacks reach unprecedented level as gangs feud

    Police say lack of fatalities ‘incredibly lucky’ after 30 bomb squad call-outs in two months

    Sweden’s national bomb squad has been called out to 30 blasts in the past two months and 100 so far this year, more than twice the number in the same period in 2018, as concern grows about rising levels of violence by criminal gangs.

    Police arrested three people over the weekend following an explosion in an apartment block in the southern city of Malmö early on Friday that blew out the building’s main door, shattered windows and substantially damaged the entrance level.

    The blast was the first of three in the space of 24 hours, local media reported, with others destroying cars and damaging property in Växjö, 127 miles (204km) north-east of Malmö, and Landvetter outside Gothenburg on the country’s west coast.

    “There are 10 million people in Sweden and I have not found the equivalent of this level of explosions in any industrialised country,” Ylva Ehrlin, an analyst with the bomb squad, told the public broadcaster SVT.

    The number of recent explosions was “unacceptably high” and “obviously undesirable”, she told the news agency TT. “It’s very serious, a social problem. We not only must find the explosives and tools, but uncover the cause.”

    Most of the blasts have occurred in big cities, authorities said. Almost a third have taken place in Malmö, scene of a string of increasingly violent gun and bomb attacks that rightwing politicians have linked to the large flows of immigrants who arrived in in Sweden during the 2015 migration crisis.

    Nineteen bombs have also exploded in the capital, Stockholm, so far this year, and another 13 in Gothenburg, compared with 39 nationwide in 2018. The squad have also defused 76 suspected bombs that were spotted before they could be detonated.

    Ehrin said that although no one had died in the explosions so far, the risk of fatalities must be considered very high. “We’ve been incredibly lucky. You just don’t usually have that kind of luck,” she said.

    The bombs, which mostly target empty buildings, offices and cars, are usually small and experts believe they are intended to intimidate rival gangs. Police have said, however, that some could have been deadly. One device in Linköping earlier this year contained about 40 times the usual explosive charge, seriously damaging two residential buildings and injuring 25 people.

    The bomb-makers themselves “usually do not know how dangerous, how sensitive these substances are” and are risking their lives, Ehrin said, noting that an 18-year-old man who was seriously injured when a bomb exploded in Malmö last December was later charged with trying to detonate it.

    But the greater danger was to innocent bystanders, such as the female student who suffered severe facial injuries in September when a device inside a shop exploded as she was walking past on her way home from a night in Lund. “With a gun, you control it until you press the trigger,” Ehren said.
    “Also, you usually aim at the intended target, but you do not have the same control over an explosive charge, especially if you are a criminal without much education or experience in the field. You have no control over the target or the effect.”

    Experts have said the growing use of mainly plastic explosives is part of a wider increase in reckless violence among Sweden’s gangs. Fatal shootings ascribed by police to criminal networks have surged from an annual average of about four 20 years ago to more than 40 in 2018, official figures show.

    The government has announced a 34-point plan to combat the violence, including measures making it easier for police to search homes and read encrypted phone messages. Denmark, however, is alarmed enough to have reintroduced border controls following two blasts in Copenhagen linked to Swedish gangs. (My emphasis. WTF, honestly ??? Could this be any more misleading)

    Despite the gang attacks, Sweden’s murder rate has fallen since the 1990s and remains among the world’s lowest, with killings linked to domestic violence, hate crime and “spontaneous fights” all significantly down.

  6. #349
    Moderator Wind's Avatar
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    Sweden is perhaps the most liberal country in the world and yet they have such a big problem with criminal gangs.

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  8. #350
    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    I’m sure u have 1st hand knowledge but I have read that it is overstated in terms of immigrants but I can’t speak to the homegrown ones. This I do know downward pressure of any kind results in commensurate downward behaviors. Those pressures are often missed by those that don’t literally study and contemplate the myriad ways that things manifest
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

  9. #351
    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    So this is what I would. Chris. Search as many sources as possible. If it plays out that a preponderance of right wing sources are flooded and left is missing in action. We can assume it is likely misread mostly not true or complete fantasy
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

  10. #352
    Senior Member Hungary
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    Quote Originally posted by NotAPretender View Post
    So this is what I would. Chris. Search as many sources as possible. If it plays out that a preponderance of right wing sources are flooded and left is missing in action. We can assume it is likely misread mostly not true or complete fantasy
    Well, no. I just quoted a typical example of Left-wing media bias. This has been reported by right wing sources for close to a decade now. Crickets from Left-wing media sources. Even when they're forced to write about it as the problem can no longer be swept under the carpet, they lie, either outright or through omission. This is just one example, there are countless others. I can write about them in the safety of Hungary. I'd probably just keep my mouth shut if I still lived in the UK for instance, as I'd risk going to jail by pointing out the truth.

  11. #353
    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    I know it’s not funny to you, Chris. I’m going to look closely myself.
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

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