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Means to Control Media

By Saswat Pattanayak

Media shape, mediate and direct much of our lives. The way we think and the way we act are largely due to the media contents. Media are in part owned, in part managed, and in larger part consumed. The managers and the consumers have no say in the control and ownership, but the owners have a say regarding the way media need to be managed and consumed.

That’s the irony: the majority of people on the planet have no say in how they will receive news, in what must constitute news and which news must prevail. We the journalists (managers), and we the masses (the consumers) do the jobs for the owner class and reap profits for them. Every now and then in the peoples’ history, when the independent voices among us have found an outlet for expression of resentment against the systematic control of news content and flow, the owner class, guarding its rich and powerful class interests, have imposed laws to prevent us from doing so. These days, in the most exploitative saga of all times as we have ever witnessed, laws are being proposed to control human thoughts.

Whose Media is the community of organized peoples who are connected together through modems and computers and are representing those who have been deprived from this ability, to voice the collective resentments in every way possible.

News as represented in mainstream media are presupposed on grounds, two of which are: the immediacy and the unpredictability. First, it does a disservice by focusing on the immediacy of event by not taking into account either of the logical connectedness of geographical distances (that is, by assuming the news nearer home is more important than farther—which is grossly fallacious, knowing the way international decisions affect every nook and corner of the planet) or, of the historical disconnectedness that are encouraged in this pursuit (that is, by assuming that the only important issue at hand is what is happening, not what led in the past to the present occurrence. This is pertinent to understand the way events are shaped over the elite history systematically to ensure dominance of the ruling class and to understand the other history of struggles constantly engaged to overthrow the exploiters). Secondly, journalists on the mainstream media continue the disservice by coining some surprise elements surrounding what they competitively announce as their “breaking news”. Indeed, we view, no news must come as a surprise. News are either premeditated by the ruling class to legitimize their rules, or they are byproducts of sustained struggles of the working peoples throughout the history to bring the changes that are being “legally” curbed.

News is what happens to us because of either our indifferent silences, or our radical voices. Silences are preferred by those interested in maintaining the status quo, of upholding the institutions of blind beliefs, faith systems, and societal values – that have always been instruments of oppression at the hands of the minority ruling class. In contrast, voices are raised by those interested in replacing the institutions of slavery, serfdom, competitive sweatshops, war-mongers, and conservative glorifiers of the ‘good old days’! Voices are raised against everything that was representative of the days of systematic oppression that continue to flourish in the garb of political systems that suit their class interests and the religious towers of inhuman submissions that go hand in gloves to maintain the “faith” among the peoples in the existing world of institutionalized poverty, war, and the misrule by the economic elites.

Whose Media is then the voice of the voices! Because most of us on this planet have been accused of being voiceless for too long.