I meet a lot of interesting people in my job and from a wide network of backgrounds here in Thailand. Earlier last week I met someone involved in military, I won’t go into too much detail, but some of the things he told me were eye openers. One of which was about how the media is not as transparent and neutral as many of us thought. Hardly that much of a surprise, but what may surprise you is just how selective and controlled they are.
I must add a quick note, this is not your usual Dan about Thailand blog; but I felt strongly about this subject so as to pen something on it.
Most of us will recognise many countries own Governments have a firm hold over its media, after all they know media shapes views and opinions; but this guy was adamant this is the case with ALL media world over. Among other things he spoke about how the military in Afghanistan located suspected terrorists with insiders in each compound and how they killed them with over head strikes. This and some of the other things he said go on all the time and is never reported. And they go unreported because the media know the rules.
Many of you may say that media has a right to keep things quiet in the interest of national security, but it also makes me feel a little vulnerable in this world. What other things are being kept from us?
The current Syrian conflict and Russian/American stand off is scary stuff and yet none of us know the truth. As a Westerner we tend to side with our own, driven by media propaganda, but this is dangerous. Is nobody else as frustrated as I am that we will never know the truth? Some of the things the Russians are stating about unlawful activity proposed by the Americans, British and French does actually look unlawful. I would not be surprised if the real issues were related to oil. You know we don’t really know if chemical attacks took place and who really did it? The truth is we just do not know, our views are the views of what our media tells us. And they don’t tell us the full story.
Anyway, I want to come back to the relevance of my conversation with the ex-military guy. He said the risk for military now is the number of vloggers in this world that have a voice. In conflicts now it is not just media on tow but freelance vloggers, and these guys report how they see it. Very interesting and such a potential shift in how things are done now that it changes the rules of mass communication.
His point was that messages cannot be contained, but for me it was a glimmer of hope. Hope that one day the average guy like you and I may be privy to the truth. The pure and absolute truth devoid of any political propaganda.
Media has long be lauded as societies way of regulating those in power by sharing the truth and keeping things in check. But in reality that could not be further from the truth. If anything media is used by those in power to keep the masses in check.
So vloggers roles in society could be our saviour, when you overlay this with social media giving a platform to vloggers; it creates a problem for those in power wanting to maintain status quo.