Monday, August 17, 2009

Is Euranet propaganda?

Hell no! It’s ignorant fluff with less entertainment value than a Community College radio station at 2 in the afternoon, when some DJ nicknamed “the Bongmeister” lets his vending machine repairman neighbor cover for him while his DTs are acting up.

Such was the case with this brilliant, penetrating exposé, where the intrepid reporter was shocked to discover that exorcisms actually exist and that even thought they weren’t an actual product of a William Peter Bladdy feature, the existence of Catholicism in Poland surely must be.

Defending the mighty feather-pillow of virtue, Euranet and Radio Netherlands stringer Richard Walker asks of those who raise the point of biases in production (which is to say, about 3 radio reports a week):

It is our job to present the important but overlooked details of European life fairly and accurately so that they can better understand where their money is going.

I challenge the writers of this report to find more balanced coverage than ours on such issues. I suspect that they have not bothered to research it. I do not see any evidence of pro-EU bias in the EU-funded web and radio they speak of.
Which technically speaking, is probably right because the reports are so lacking in substantive anything that biases in reporting are hard to detect, assuming that you aren’t taking on issues local newspapers might not even bother with, and operate on the assumptions that there are no Catholics left to mock.
Privately funded media have products to sell and advertisers to please. Instead of a charter guaranteeing balance they must live by the first rule of free market economics – to maximise profits. I suggest the latter is less well positioned to offer unbiased news coverage.

So where does funding you can trust come from?
By which he means ”meal ticket”, and sitting at said meal, he can present his ignorance of things not run by states having “required” opinions or otherwise having first, before HIS FIRST notion of “maximizing profits”, to cover the real “first” thing: appealing to an audience, and letting that audience’s actual appeal inform whether or not the form of presentation should stay on the air. The reason he needs EU funding is because, as he notes correctly, individuals, no matter what subsector out there, would be willing to fund that kind of reporting by lending their ears to the potential advertisers.

"Maximizing profits", are we? Gruel being served up by "the bosses" again? If he got any more facile and archaic, it would stop being funny. Rule number one of radio is to get as many listeners as you need to keep doing what you're doing. In fact, I would wonder if outside of a handful of real cultural lightening-rods, ANYONE is living lavishly off of radio work, outside of state-run media, that is.

The idea that if MUST be funded “because if people wanted it, no commercial operation would produce it” is curious, if not also mildly interesting, if I can say so in the most unbiased way possible.

Which brings me back to one of the great bugaboos of their editorial interest: like the funding they want to see grow, the appeal of the magic of free stuff falling out of the sky, but a distaste for any form of philosophy that requires one to challenge your own weaknesses and the easiness of taking the path of least resistance.

If wizardry isn’t a form of philosophically vacuous religious quackery that the Catholic Church may warn the faithful about, what is? Oh, right! The ‘unbiased view’ that the Church may be mocked since all believers should themselves accept that their beliefs are quackery, but that ‘magical stuff for free out of thin air’ isn’t.

So it goes with the trying to read out the incantations that are supposed to keep your project funded. My feeling about the logical inconstancies is that they can only cause psychic pain if you’re smart enough to notice them, which in EUvia would make you biased, but biased in a way that’s opens you up to invective, as opposed to the popular kind that makes people who agree with you nod their chins sheepishly.

Let’s leave it at this: if you’re decent enough to respect the beliefs of another human being, you are able to find the cheap kind of bias in about 10 seconds flat. If, on the other hand, you are entirely incapable of recognizing that other people can have a world view unlike your own, even if they generally look like you, then you’re too stupid to be aware of the judgment that might present a bias. So, like, hey – no brains, no problem! Right?

Therein we find the basis of government funded mass media.

No comments: