Welcome to TRENDS Magazine! And thank you for whatever you are doing to support fact-based media in the public interest (like TRENDS) that does not knowingly distort the truth, disseminate false information, engage in hate speech or advocate for violence in any way for any reason. For some of my favorite examples of public interest news media please see this article.
Why is knowing and supporting reliable fact-based media so important? In the USA we are living during a time of extreme political polarization that is fueled by disinformation campaigns that are carried out for monetary, political, ideological, religious or other reasons.
This disinformation is being spread by an array of prominent politicians, online platforms and influencers, major cable and other TV news programs, as well as cult- like groups that employ psychological manipulation.
Taken together, the result is that many fear we are becoming a “Post-Truth Society”. For example, though there is absolutely no evidence of “massive voter fraud” or other irregularities at levels that could have changed the official 2020 Election results, it has been estimated that 25% of adult Americans, more than 50 million people believe that Democrats stole the election – even though across the nation State Republican Election Officials, Courts, and multiple Republican judges, some of whom were appointed by Trump, say that the election was fairly carried out.
To me this is staggering and dangerous. It represents a distortion and disruption of the public’s perception of reality. When information from reliable impartial sources is discredited by powerful politicians and others for political, monetary, or other reasons that don’t serve the Common Good, then our whole cultural fabric of shared reality starts to fall apart.
Disinformation campaigns and the resulting extreme political polarization have already led to the unnecessary loss of hundreds of thousands of lives to COVID-19 as well as violence at the Capitol on January 6th – both with unfortunate ramifications for People of Color. And we are likely to see more in the future unless there is some kind of high profile mass public reckoning – Truth and Reconciliation – to address this cultural fracture. Reform of Major Media platforms and outlets, along with the giant Social Media Monopolies, is also essential. I touch on this in my Media article on Page 46.
We, The World has developed the idea of Public Truth and Reconciliation Hearings. And we have proposed a Media Literacy and Communication Campaign as well that you can connect with us about.
Thank you again for checking out TRENDS Magazine!