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Understanding manipulation, empowers us to make better choices

By understanding the ways in which we are being manipulated, empowers us to make better choices on the information we consume.

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about  fake or unreliable news and how Facebook intends to deal with it. To be honest, I’ve kind of skipped over it as a bunch of nonsense. Then a Facebook friend recently posted a a list of Unreliable / Fake News sites and sources, to which I made the passing comment “There’s no such thing as reliable news.”

Here’s the list if you are remotely interested

Clearly by the response, I insulted his world view (it’s a gift) “Yes there is! Saying that just reinforces this crap. Good journalism where they verify the facts before publishing exists. That’s not to say that a journalist can offer an opinion on the facts but most of these websites just make shit up.”

You see, when I say that there is no such thing as reliable news, I’m referring to the simple fact that all news, even the so called reliable sources, is written by humans and is subject to having the facts interpreted, warped and manipulated through the biases, emotions, and beliefs of the writer.

For truly reliable news it would simply be a list of dot points, stating all the facts only, with no use at all of emotionally leading language. Very few people would read or listen to this as there’s nothing relatable, nothing to draw you in. Even with this kind of reporting, if one fact was left out, it has the potential to lead the reader to make judgements in one direction rather than another.

The written word is, in it’s purest form, the manipulation of language for a desired outcome. I use the term “written” when referring to all news, as even when spoken on TV or radio, it is first written down. Once language becomes part of the equation, even when reporting only the facts, it can be presented in a way to sway the reader to make certain judgements. Even if the journalist or whoever is writing the news is unaware that they are doing it, all news will point the reader to make a judgement.

Allow me to give you somewhat of an extreme example with everyones favourite scapegoat; The Nazis!

“Hitler’s Nazi Germany systematically murdered around 6 million Jews and another 5 million non-Jews. Whereas the allied forces are reported to have only killed 2.3 million Germans.”

All of this is fact that can be referenced at these two links at Wikipedia.

The Holocaust

World War II Casualties

No one will dispute the facts. However, the wording, even in the trustworthy Wikipedia, is very manipulative. Simply by using the emotionally loaded word “murdered” in reference to the Jews being killed, as opposed to the sterile, emotionless “killed” in reference to the number of Germans killed, sways the reader to take on a moral judgement that the Nazis were worse than the Allied forces. And that may well have been the case, but that’s a moral call that only an individual can make.

As soon as there are words written down and constructed into sentences and paragraphs to tell a story, it is no longer a reliable source of facts. Language is manipulative and incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to construct and write without being persuasive in some form. For this reason all News, even so called factual news, is unreliable and a source of manipulation toward the audience.

On a personal note; I quit my News addiction about two years ago and noticed a massively positive affect on my life. The only news I receive now is through friends and family and whatever appears on my Facebook wall. All hugely filtered and filled with biases to my way of thinking. Have I lost anything? Sure… Fear, anxiety, frustration, anger, etc. Basically all the negative emotions that journalists like to stir up in people. What I’ve gained is time, freedom and a more positive mindset. A worthwhile trade if you ask me…

By understanding the ways in which we are being manipulated, empowers us to make better choices on the information we consume.

Are you still consuming the news? What would happen if you didn’t?

By understanding the ways in which we are being manipulated, empowers us to make better choices on the information we consume.

Author

James Cole

Empowerment Coach - Filmmaker - Writer - Artist

James worked in the film industry for 20 years studying the nuance of human behaviour in the edit suite before adding structure to his knowledge and studying a Masters of Life Coaching. He now utilises his skills as a Master Practitioner of NLP, Conscious Hypnosis and Advanced Matrix Therapies to Empower people to live at their highest potential. James is also a talented digital artist having had his artwork shown in a number of galleries around Australia.

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FREE Guided Hypnotic Meditation for DEEP RELAXATION

Take relaxation to a whole new level with this powerful meditation that will leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and amazing.

By entering your details, you agree to receive updates from Rebellious Coaching with News, New programs, Free stuff, Events & ways to Empower your Life. You can unsubscribe at anytime via a link within each email. PRIVACY is important to us as we hate spam as much as you. We will never give or sell your details to anyone ever.

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