How Global News Agencies and Western Media Report on Geopolitics
This study by Swiss Propaganda Research was first published in 2016, it is presented here in English for the first time. Translated by Terje Maloy.
The Propaganda Multiplier: Governments, military and intelligence services using global news agencies to disseminate their messages to a worldwide audience.
Therefore you always have to ask yourself: Why do I get
this specific information in this specific form at this moment?
Ultimately, it’s always about questions of power.”
Dr. Konrad Hummler, Swiss banking and media executive
It is one of the most important aspects of our media system – and yet hardly known to the public: most of the international news coverage in Western media is provided by only three global news agencies based in New York, London and Paris.
The key role played by these agencies means that Western media often report on the same topics, even using the same wording. In addition, governments, military and intelligence services use these global news agencies as multipliers to spread their messages around the world.
A study of the Syria war coverage by nine leading European newspapers clearly illustrates these issues: 78% of all articles were based in whole or in part on agency reports, yet 0% on investigative research. Moreover, 82% of all opinion pieces and interviews were in favor of the US and NATO intervention, while propaganda was attributed exclusively to the opposite side.
INTRODUCTION: “SOMETHING STRANGE”
“How does the newspaper know what it knows?” The answer to this question is likely to surprise some newspaper readers:
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