Journalism is North America has always relied on narrative to package facts. Tell a story, even if one isn't actually there.
Here is a silly and oblivious story in USA Today with a headline that shows how out of touch journalism is with reality:
Gay Pride parades used to mean protests. Now they're an excuse for straight kids to party
I hate to burst the bubble to the LGBTQ identifiers, but pride parades were always protests for their in-group...and always a hip place to party for out-group straight kids because their parents got that ball rolling by taking them there for free entertainment. I know multiple generations of straight women who go every year to pride parades to hang out and party.
Just as there have been straight women hanging out in gay bars for the same reason.
It is usually nerdy straight white women who do not see Pride as a protest or an affront to their group because they are Princesses Without Flaw, but a place to brag to who she believes are nerdier and more conservative friends and acquaintances that she is doing something more hip, edgy, and enlightened than they ever will, and this is the easiest, cheapest, and most passive hack to do it.
What you have is two groups completely disconnected from one another who are running parallel in the same space, albeit on two different hamster wheels; so self-absorbed by their own mutually exclusive goals that they absolutely fail to see each other or comprehend how the other is actually interpreting this contrived environment.
One group thinks its parades are making a protest statement of defiance and anger, not realizing the other side interprets this as a fun and frivolous outing that someone spent time and resources putting up, and all they have to do is show up and reap the benefits. It is free entertainment and cheaper than going to the movies. It is also rarer, bringing up its cache for attending: anyone can go see a boring old Star Wars movie; but not everyone can go to a one-a-year parade.
The other group thinks here is a fun and flamboyant little party that is Instant Cool Fun and has nothing to do with icky things such as politics or telling off their own psychographic.
This phenomenon is nothing new. I know lots of straight people who have been seeing Pride as a Fun Thing To Do for decades -- and it's not even to show solidarity -- just to have some fun standing around and then rave to their Middle Class friends. Some of these straight parade crashers have even gotten insulted multiple times by those on the other side of the line in the sand, and never saw it as such, bragging with a completely opposite interpretation of those cutting remarks. No matter what Pride organizers say or do to make it clear what the intentions of this outing are, it will not be interpreted that way to their target audience whose lofty self-assessment filters out any negative implications.
They think they are perfect, as in without flaw; ergo, they never think, say or do anything wrong. Good luck having a parade with a message that implies the opposite. The word breeder is turned into a term of endearment to those stay-at-mall moms who see a Yummy Mommy every time they stare at their smart phone taking another selfie, and then all words and actions become nullified in the bargain and those protests are misinterpreted as something chic, slightly naughty (think 50 Shades of Obliviousness), but still acceptably mainstream kawaii, and that rainbow flag might as well be shucked for a Sanrio character, perhaps Kuromi.
It is akin to having two groups of people being tricked into wearing virtual reality glasses, and have no idea what is front of them is not what anyone else is seeing.
So, how to do you ensure facts can bypass self-preserving filters when the audience's interpretations of reality have a narrative that is rigged to ignore your intent?
Narrative is a problem when it doesn't align with reality, and when it doesn't, it becomes propaganda.
And right now, we do not have news. We have paranoid narrative, which is just another way of saying propaganda.
Journalists lost their minds in November 2016 when all of their decrees that no one was allowed to vote for Donald Trump fell on deaf ears. It was a shock that they still have not gotten over, and it should surprise no one that their breakdowns are getting out of control.
They are blaming Trump for separating children from their illegal immigrant parents, when it wasn't too long ago, they thought little boys who travelled hundred of miles allegedly by themselves was just so darned cute!
Which means these sentiments are mere Morals of Convenience, and it rings hollow, even with those super fake crocodile tears. For those of us who had sounded alarms about this global problem for years and were ignored, we are being ignored again because the facts we find still do not align with the journalistic narrative.
It must be maddening for the Western press whose tantrums help build the Trump brand and have turned his voters into his guardians. The press has even gone to smear with all sorts of sick allegations of incest, and nothing.
Even The Hill is starting to clue in that this whole Trump as Hitler propaganda campaign is not helping a dead profession resurrect itself. The rest of the press is not clicking with that reality.
I am surprised they haven't accused the First Family of cannibalism yet.
They did with Serbs, however.
Journalism, and "investigative journalism" is nothing but a joke -- and one filled with self-serving motives. The Russians are being made into the Villains who got Trump elected because it is too humiliating for the press to admit that one man could entirely bypass them to become president.
Here we have McClatchy -- a rickety media outlet with no teeth, babbling about how the Evil Russians are trying to "tear Americans apart" with their propaganda.
File it under "National Security."
Of course, the McClatchy story is meta-propaganda: it is propaganda about propaganda.
And it is pure bunk.
The entire purpose of the McClatchy propaganda and paranoid narrative is simple: to force monolithic thought and rig it to favour McClatchy.
The paint themselves as noble authorities and the subtext is clear: Villains want to divide us; ergo the solution is for all Americans to think alike and we will issue the directives on what you are supposed to think because you are not smart enough to know how to do it yourselves...
And don't vote for Trump in 2020. You are forbidden from having a nation with diversity of thought and opinion.
This is what so-called journalism has sunk down to: proving the Clash was right on the money with the song Know Your Rights.
It is just another scary story used to try to regain the power the press once held but lost because of their own arrogant and irresponsible nature.
That's not journalism. That's a scam.
Besides, nations have been meddling in other countries's affairs for centuries. The US does it all the time, but see their meddling and breaking up of other countries as Good for Democracy. Journalists have been doing it -- and it is the reason they are trying a little misdirection themselves: if they point out other people's meddling, no one will be looking at their meddling.
But their propaganda is based on an old model that is no longer in sync with a changing world, and it comes off as pathetic, self-serving, cringeworthy, and obvious.
It is the reason journalism is no longer a thing. Those in the profession are willing to throw half their population under the bus to reclaim their old power.
And you cannot resurrect that kind of information dissemination through the old methods because you still have immoral elements who would hijack, sabotage, and co-opt any attempt to improve the product because when you are dictating to the little people what to think, your motives are not to tell, but to sell.
Not to inform, but to persuade.
And that's not what the world needs.
It needs facts, data, and evidence free of those strings.
It is a method that liberates facts from narrative, and in such a way that it is useful to a general public.
One that already has their own blinders of narratives tainting information coming in.
But if there is a way to present facts that challenge narratives and propaganda, then we break a barrier.
And we can separate fact from narrative.
We have activists who are our flare-guns: shooting light on issues and people who have fallen into the cracks. They may have important information, but they often come with narratives that skew too much in unrealistic fables, moving too much into PR territory.
F.R.E.E.D. is the system to ensure those lost voices are heard and those lost souls are seen, but in a realistic light. They may be victims, but they are also mundane people, just like everyone else. Not better, not worse, not special, not deficient.
F.R.E.E.D. gives their facts and realities equal footing without the added public relations baggage that often hides the facts we need to know to find the right and just solution.
F.R.E.E.D. is about removing the compulsion to deify and demonize people as it rebels against labels. it has respect for audiences. It doesn't tell them how or what to think.
it gives them the fuel to drive their thought, however.
it is much more than just a laundry list of facts, however.
It shatters illusions and delusions. It shows reality to find truths.
it passes no judgement, but it does not use shame to condemn people, either.
Let the facts speak for themselves by opening up each atom to unleash what we need to know.
It shifts thinking away from narratives and asks questions such as why do people do absolutely everything except the very thing needed to be done to solve a problem?
That is the first and core question: Why do people stay locked in their own prisons when they can make their own key to their own freedom?
That was journalism's job: to find the keys to freedom, and they did everything else but that. They saw the lock and then a bad thought took hold: why not keep that lock in place where we have a captive audience who will listen to us as we promise to find that ever-elusive key for them?
And then the Internet hit them like a tidal wave and tore the door open, and the captive audience escaped.
November 2016 was the first realization that the door of the cell could no longer keep everyone in -- and they went in all sorts of shocking and unpredictable directions.
In a world of freedom, journalism is not the conduit of information anymore.
It is F.R.E.E.D.