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A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information. A journalist's work is called journalism. A journalist can work with general issues or specialize in certain issues, however, most journalists tend to specialize, and by cooperating with other journalists produce journals that span many topics. For example, a sports journalist covers news within the world of sports, but this journalist may be a part of a newspaper that covers many different topics.

A propagandist is someone who creates and/or disseminates propaganda! A propagandist is someone who actively creates propaganda material, or is involved in spreading it. A propagandist might be a writer, film producer, painter, photographer, musician, etc., but they are consciously involved in disseminating their material for the purpose of influencing attitudes.

Then you have the blurring into Advocacy journalism which covers most of the electronic media and much of what people would like to label as serious news. Most people know a “left wing” or “right wing” newspaper when they see one.

Advocacy journalism is a genre of journalism that intentionally and transparently adopts a non-objective viewpoint, usually for some social or political purpose.

The important words is transparent [mission statement] D-Kos has one “To elect more and better democrats”.

When an organization states “fair and balanced” as its mission statement and then is most evidently and provably not, we stray into the world of propaganda.

Much of the media revolves around trying to put a particular spin on data and the desperate need to find a counter argument, no matter how flimsy, if that data contradicts their objectives.

So rather than unfiltered news we get pretty much advocacy journalism, whether it is stated or not, we all have to filter the news in one way or another and this filter being the one we like, so the distortion increases. Most people don’t have the time and energy to cross reference everything they read or hear, some lack the intellectual curiosity, some find comfort in having their beliefs confirmed. Throw in centralized ownership of mass media and the picture is deformed further, sometimes/mostly intentionally.

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

Vladimir Lenin sometimes attributed to Joseph  Goebbels.

Goebbels expanded upon the idea

To attract people, to win over people to that which I have realised as being true, that is called propaganda. In the beginning there is the understanding, this understanding uses propaganda as a tool to find those men, that shall turn understanding into politics. Success is the important thing. Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners. It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. I do not care if I give wonderful, aesthetically elegant speeches, or speak so that women cry. The point of a political speech is to persuade people of what we think right. I speak differently in the provinces than I do in Berlin, and when I speak in Bayreuth, I say different things from what I say in the Pharus Hall. That is a matter of practice, not of theory. We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths. Those are found in other circumstances, I find them when thinking at my desk, but not in the meeting hall.

To have effective propaganda it must be popular and whether we like it or not racism, sexism and bigotry are pretty popular. If not popular enough fear and division can be the key in making them so, tell a lie that confirms a fear and you are on your way.

Whereas people like Trump and Fox News follow the principle

The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed.

Joseph Goebbels.

Goebbels would have loved the possibilities of today’s media, access to every home 24/7 and there are some pretty “huge” lies circulating that have popular appeal.

Some people are more susceptible to propaganda than others especially when that propaganda confirms their own beliefs. The sheer incessant nature of today’s media makes it harder to have time to listen, so people understandably tune into what comforts them most, it’s also called building up your audience, or as a politician would say “building up your base”. Ratings and polls are the arbiters of the effectiveness of what is being said, the role of the journalist is to get to the truth, the role of advocacy journalism is to favorably filter that news, the role of the propagandist is to create the news.

There are many good journalists out there, but they are rarely the bobbleheads you see on TV or that occupy the major positions in the major newspapers, at best they have an opinion [which fits the view of their organisation/owner]” no matter how hard they try to have “balance”; at worst they are tools [no matter how loudly they claim the contrary] used to spread propaganda and lies.

Wanting two sides to a story does not mean there are two, it maybe one or highly complex like the question “why are there terrorists”, we may want a bipolar world, but we don’t have one, it is highly complex anyone telling you otherwise is lying. The truth is subtle and may not be as user friendly as a simple lie, complexity is scary, it’s hard to categorize and may be hard to live with, but there is little comfort to be found in lies.

Sorry for the ramble, just a thought as the incessant information stream flows on.