Friday, December 09, 2016

Perception

"I used to be employed as a field engineer servicing [a major broadcast network's] distribution equipment, specifically their affiliates' satellite dishes. I've had many talks with TV newsmen. The most telling was one who confessed that he didn't think he could continue his job and live with himself because he daily saw 'the difference between what I am forced to report and what's really happening.' He told me that, at the first meeting with 'corporate's' news director [from the corporate holding company that owned the station, not the network], the ND told them that 'our job as reporters was to shape public opinion.' When someone protested that their job was to discover and report the truth, the ND responded, 'Whatever the public's perception is is the truth and it's your job to make sure that they have the proper perceptions.' That man's statement is always in the back of my mind whenever I see or read anything in the 'news,' that the job of reporters today is not to report hard, verifiable facts but rather to shape public opinion using selected facts presented in carefully arranged fashion."
--Chris Meissen

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