How many writers are there who wonder why the stories they cover don’t get the traction they deserve. You’re not working for an established news site, you just have something to share that the greater public should, you feel, be made aware of.
The concept behind independent news, some times referred to as the alternative news (altnews), was to counter an established narrative from what is now referred to as the legacy media. This was/ is generally taken to refer to the likes of BBC, Channel 4, Sky News and other well established household names. Because of, or in spite of, this the altnews is populated by a panoply of small, poorly financed operations. The likes of Project Veritas, 21st Century Wire who broke the story of the Syrian White Helmets being allied to Al Nusra, UKColumn who broke the fake Novichok poisoning in Salisbury, as well as numerous others who were just blogging, or even vlogging like Horus covering constitutional history or Millennial Woes, observations on societal change. Even ex BBC sports presenter David Icke! stuggles to get any meaningful coverage. Some have, obviously, fared better than others.
Altnews were, and to some extent, still are very active on social media, trying to verify the authenticity of the legacy or mainstream media (MSM) claims. And they have maintained that ethos usually. When you read, or watch, an article by them, in the form of a blog or vlog, it is often factually correct. They go to great lengths to dig out the facts and make conclusions based on solid evidence, their reputation depends on it, more so than the MSM who have big funding accounts to rely on to remain viable.
One reason altnews continues to attract attention is a worry that it’s being used and refined as a political weapon of choice. Allegations of fake news, meddling in national and local politics, ‘fake news’ being the ‘weaponisation’ of news by foreign powers! (Russia-gate?)
The MSM argue that political fake news has the tendency to be reposted, shared, and propagated on social media at a much faster rate than ‘truthful’ news. Indeed, by the time a correction arrives, the fake news has spread and the damage can no longer be containable. And as such must be countered
So what happened? Why are these independent sources not referred to more often if they are so reliable? Well they engaged in spreading truth that ran counter to the approved narrative, the MSM considered this an unacceptable threat, so they had to be brought to heel.
You see the MSM looked like it was struggling during all this blogging/ vlogging, especially as social media was often used in tandem to cross promote. This transition of blogs onto social media gave the MSM a new idea as outrage vendors, enabling them to further embed their message (or should that be propaganda?).
The MSM can instantly turn stories into old news, and signal-boost ‘on message’ tweets to make a sudden crisis. Part of that comes from lazy journalism and partly from our appetite for 24/7 timelines. If you look over the last few years, certainly since 2016, many MSM ‘breaking news’ pieces are just reporters building a story from some selected tweets or Facebook posts, all from the comfort of a corporate office. Of course, the MSM only signal-boosts outrage that agrees with its political and cultural slant, and activists with the right political credentials are very good at getting their outrage noticed, and then heavily echoed by the MSM.
It’s easy to create a feedback loop: a few left-wing activists write angry social media posts, the media picks it up, a social media ‘trending’ forms around the media story, another story gets written about the storm of controversy and ‘growing outrage’.
Of course, you or I won’t get that sort of coverage. If a real Internet grass roots storm of political incorrectness becomes too big to ignore, (say the grooming gang story in Rotherham) the MSM news brokers will try to make it look rightwing, conspiratorial, gammon, even dangerous. When media-approved outrage has been managed into a big story, reporters start asking politicians (and now, corporations) how they plan to go about addressing the injustices and concerns of a ‘movement’ that began as a load of neurotic SJWs with too much spare time and social media accounts.
If the media-disapproved outrage grows too large to ignore, reporters begin asking politicians and CEOs to denounce it, to ‘disavow’ and distance themselves from it. Those captains of commerce often know little about the back story, conveniently memory holed, so they are easily bullied into snap reactions.
This managed outrage allows small groups to completely rewrite our common sense and reasoning, and they can opften get those changes supported by laws and ‘best practice’ policies while the public (you and I) are still wondering what on earth just happened.
The Woke Left has discovered commercial multi nationals are easier to steer, politically, than any government, especially with this new tool of anger and outrage, nourished and promoted by a deeply embedded MSM.
Corporate policy is now the weapon of choice for managing the general public’s psyche. Simultaneously the outrage vendors can ostracise and dilute any genuine counter movements, preventing them from gaining any meaningful traction with the average consumer of news and social media – and, crucially, blockading them from obtaining any political support. Everything that happened during the era of blogging was studied carefully by the Left. They have laid plans to ensure nothing like Brexit, an outspoken Laurence Fox, Nigel Farage or even the somewhat ineffective FreeSpeechUnion can ever happen again.
A key part of that strategy was preventing the new media from completely bypassing old media and making it obsolete. Instead, the Left joined old and new media into a hybrid to create today’s outrage vendors, and used the old established MSM to boost or muffle signals to the Internet as needed.
Main image courtesy of Anastasia Gepp
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