Better late than never

eventually, 23 years later…I have come to believe that the media is the problem – or a large part of it – and not the solution. The media is a centre of corporate power, and it is inextricably tied into the other centres of corporate power.

There is a vivid contemporary illustration of how the media is part of the problem and not the solution. There is a virtual unanimity now that the resolution of our fiscal crisis necessarily involves cutting social welfare, and the rationale for this is that social welfare payments increased in 2009 in real terms and now have to fall.

That unintended boost to social welfare payments in 2009 represented a tiny step towards a fairer distribution of wealth and income. This is the very reason why that must now be reversed. There is not a single national newspaper or radio or TV station that persistently argues the opposite. All are caught in the headlights of the official orthodoxy.

Along with the education system and the churches, the media is the major propagator of ideology and, as spectacularly happens in the case of RTE, this occurs unwittingly.

It is common sense as, for instance, it is common sense that the fiscal crisis cannot be resolved through more taxation (ie through redistribution of income) ; it has to be done through public expenditure cuts and that must mean social welfare cuts. It makes sense.

Anything else is a cop-out. Not once, I think, did any of the press own up to its part in the crisis that has befallen us. For instance, most newspapers made large profits from the property boom which they did a great deal to inflate. Where has there been any recognition of that?” [Vincent Browne, Sunday Business Post]

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