The press is supposed to ensure fair and open exchange of information and opinions, but in recent times it seems to be serving a contrary purposes – information filtering and message control. Paul Krugman uses his excellent blog at the country’s biggest newspaper to make this point in very direct terms. Simply put, by doggedly choosing representatives of certain viewpoints and ignoring others media easily defines what “mainstream” is rather than present it.
Another tactic frequently used is given one position on an issue they will present a competing viewpoint in opposition, spouting misinformation and flawed arguments, as if the two were equally valid and reasonable.
Trickery like this turns the media into a tool to perpetuate an agenda – all the more effective because it operates within a system of democratic rules. It’s a level playing field, but but one where individuals cannot begin to compete with concentrated wealth and power.