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Question by reynolds: advertising in disguise: is most information found in news papers, magazine, etc….?
…nothing more than disguised advertise
It seems that most news articles are driven towards influencing us rather than informing of us of something. This includes pretty much everything — articles on politics, consumer products, financial markets, global warming, and so forth. If advertising (and hence money) is driving these articles, are these articles just nothing more than disguised advertising?
Answer by spark It is possible that there is more to many types of news articles than just presenting facts. After all, what sells newspapers, magazines, and the rest is ratings. How do they get these ratings? By having something interesting to read. How is this accomplished? One word: sensationalism. Thus, a report that is truly dry and impartial by presenting only facts will be overlooked whereas something that is exciting or “sexy” will get the reader’s attention and keep it. While the attention is focused on the article, the writer may attempt to sway the reader into following a certain line of logic (in a controversial issue) or becoming interested in a certain new piece of technology or some such thing.
When it comes to product reviews in big magazines such as Computer Shopper, PC World, etc. or similar websites, oftentimes the reviews are “bought” by advertising dollars. Specifically, the publications say in essence, “we will give you a high rating if you will give us X amount of cash.” One source of uncorrupted reviews is Consumer Reports magazine. This is because their only support comes from the subscriptions. They do not accept advertising for their magazines.
Overall, the easiest way to beat the game of manipulation is to gain access to information from multiple types of sources rather than just from the big media. For general news (such as the war in Iraq), that is often more difficult because the major media sources all try to put a spin (often very left-wing) on the topic and this application of spin becomes even more prevalent in weblogs and other amateur sources. However, given enough sources, one should be able to sort through the proverbial ore to find the gems of fact and truth.