Due to the value I place on my mental health, I limit my exposure to mainstream and social media. These information channels have altered the role media plays in society. Where once factual information and news predominated, there is now mostly propaganda and gossip.

As has been the case since Johannes Gutenberg introduced the printing press to Europe in the 1440s, the main role of the press is to inform the public and, in so doing, hold power to account. One of the main reasons for the gradual and almost unnoticed rise of despotism in once democratic nations is that media no longer fulfil that role.

The press, which must now encompass the wider term media, is the ‘fourth estate of a functioning democracy’. In order to perform that function, it must be free and independent of both corporate and political influence. It would be hard to make a case for New Zealand being a democracy at all today.

Good Boy! Cartoon credit BoomSlang The BFD.

Acts and Statutes are passed without due process. While the government rules by unlawful decree, mainstream media mostly remain silent. A Northlander who simply asked Ardern in relation to the vaccine rollout, “What about Israel?” was branded a heckler. The reports said he was “unaccredited”. Since when did reporters require accreditation from the government? Ardern refused to answer this perfectly sensible question, packed a sad and left the province.

Power-hungry tyrants mock the people by issuing ‘Mandates’. Look the word up and you will find that its meaning includes ‘authority bestowed by electors for a license to Govern’. The public has not given a mandate for government decreed mandates. Why are mainstream media refusing to do their job?

In corporate media, journalists who are trying to make a living from their profession are loath to bite the hand that feeds. They must please their editor if the mortgage is to be paid. As a former freelance writer myself, I know that at some point, you must give up writing for the good of people and instead tailor work to please an editor. I have never had to depend on a publication cheque as I have always had other sources of income. This put me in a select class of writers that can write with their readers’ interests at heart rather than the agenda of an editor or the corporation that owns the paper.

There are other pressures too. Every good journalist has sources of information. I have received reliable information from reliable insiders that I do not write about. I already have a reputation as a ‘conspiracy theorist’ and I can see no point in publishing something that, although true, will simply not be believed.

There are always those who wish to disseminate information, not with the intention of raising public awareness but rather to manipulate public opinion and manufacture consent.

It has long been known that the CIA not only feeds stories to media outlets but also has agents installed in positions of influence. Former British intelligence operative Colin Wallace said of journalists that he fed information to, “They know that unless they toe the line their source of information will be cut off.” There are many means by which a narrative can be steered.

Corporate editors are put in their positions by corporate executives. Those with a propensity to challenge established ideology or who hold views likely to conflict with their bosses’ interests are not selected for these positions. These in turn favour journalists who work within that agenda and reinforce the prescribed view.

I have much evidence that in New Zealand these same corrupting influences have also infiltrated our public service. As those with dissenting ideologies leave or retire they are replaced with others who possess a world view more suited to the purposes of those at the top of an ideological pyramid.

Even small media companies depend on advertisers’ money to survive. If a large advertiser threatens to remove support unless certain topics are avoided, then those topics will almost certainly be avoided. The current ‘cancel culture’ is predicated on this. Indeed if you are reading this you will know that the medium that carries it champions freedom of speech. I would encourage readers to support those who advertise through free and independent media. Sadly in these days of blatant propaganda, alternative views are often branded as misinformation or hate speech.

In a democracy where there is freedom of speech, anyone should be allowed to put forward the theory that the earth is flat and the moon is made of green cheese, even though everyone knows the earth is lumpy and the moon is made from cheddar. In a democracy it’s up to the reader to choose what and who he or she believes. The check and balance are whether a specific commentator has been consistently right or consistently wrong.

Like all on the face of this lumpy earth, writers will be judged on their words and actions. I seek to speak truth to power and I’m not ashamed of my words or actions. My image, my reputation and my names (yep both of em) stand with my words. Recently many of our freedoms have been stripped from us, but you are still free, at least for the time being, to judge who and what you believe. So judge away. 

Free Speech and Free Media
Worzel

Worzel

Like all good prostitutes, I started writing to indulge myself. I continued because I found I could entertain others. I then started getting paid for it. But that was never my end. In my life and in my...