Derek Bateman makes an excellent point. Really, it shouldn’t surprise us in the slightest if professional journalists get it wrong. They are, for the most part, concerned more with manipulating the public mood than with reading it. They don’t ask what the public mood is and then pursue and answer to that question. They formulate their own notion of the prevailing mood informed principally by their perspective from a location within the British establishment, and then grace us with their conclusions. They have their cosy consensus, and that which lies outside it is largely unknown to them because it is of little interest to them. Taking an interest would be effortful. The cosy consensus has its own gravitational field, and achieving escape velocity would be demanding of both intellectual and physical resources.
Why bother? The most readily available rewards come from exploiting the professional journalist’s location within the establishment. Why risk losing ones place within the circle which enjoys privileged access to established power – at some level – by stepping outside that circle? Why rock the boat? It’s a very nice boat.
Things have changed since the days when Mrs Gould of Cirencester in Gloucestershire was a brief media novelty because, almost accidentally, she gained brief, one-off access to established power without being a member of the elite – and was able to make very effective use of it. Now, that one little old lady politely quizzing Margaret Thatcher under the watchful eye of a media professional has developed into a substantial alternative media machine interrogating established power incessantly and relentlessly. And doing so from a location outside the British establishment. Outside the circle. Not part of the cosy consensus.
The media accustomed to manipulating the public is being challenged by media manipulated by the public.
It was the alternative media – citizen journalists, if you like – who asked questions about the nurse who claimed to have been referred to a foodbank because she couldn’t afford to feed herself. It was on social media that those claims were scrutinised. The traditional media were smugly content that the attack on the First Minister fitted very nicely within their cosy consensus.
An army of Mrs Goulds decided that the public mood demanded facts rather than professional media spin. And they know what the public mood is. Because they are the public. I salute them.Views: 3112
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