Friday 16 March 2018
For most of my working life I worked in marketing and advertising, so I know how people are influenced, persuaded or swayed by such things as branding and repetitive advertising. Companies spend millions of dollars to subtly brainwash you, to align you with a certain brand or product.
They will use all manner of persuasive techniques, including sex and deceptive packaging to solicit your good will and loyalty. They even measure the eye blink rate of women from hidden cameras in supermarkets to test colour reaction. Yes, it’s that sophisticated. And brand loyalty is what they want.
There are more psychologists employed in advertising in America than in the health industry. It is all calculated to take power over your decision-making. And it works.
The same can be said for Australian mainstream media. It also wants your brand loyalty and the power to coerce you into its way of thinking. It uses similar techniques to the advertising industry and the main ingredients are untruth and the creation of perceptions with subliminal messages.
In the media it is easy to apply. It can be a headline, a one liner slogan like “stop the boats” or a photoshopped photograph and on television the way you lead a story or conduct an interview.
We are almost manipulated beyond our free will. But of course the often repeated blatant lie takes precedence and is the best tool to use for an audience that is uninformed and in a malaise and thus susceptible to this sort of propaganda.
Now of course they have another tool, “Opinion Journalism” – it’s true because Andrew said …
Now let me add that there is nothing wrong with opinions (we all have them) so long as there is a diversity of them. But the fact is we don’t have a diversity and we would be a much better society if we took the risk of thinking for ourselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by a media who controls a large percentage of news in our major cities. We can also add self-interest groups and lobbyists.
The less-informed voters unfortunately greatly outnumber the more politically aware and therefore are the obvious victims of mainstream media deception where everything is reduced to simplistic slogans.
Where the opinion makers use all manner of tantalising, seductive and provocative words and imagery to win you over to what they want you to believe. Media is no longer about reporting news. It is about persuasion by opinion.
So it must have occurred to you by now that with a background like mine it would seem unremarkable if I didn’t use some of my learnt techniques to persuade you.
I don’t. The nearest I come is with the use of my fiction writing skills. But then it is only to make an article more interesting to the enquiring minds who appreciate my work and those who let me know when I get the slightest fact wrong.
Unlike Andrew Bolt who has to write for an average age of 13 to suit the demographic of the publication he writes for, I as do the other writers for The AIMN, seem to attract people of a higher level of thinking with a greater sensitivity for the things that matter.
As is often the case I get responses to my writing from a vast array of people – 99% of them are interested in explaining why they agree or disagree or fall somewhere in the middle.
Then there are those who use the platform as a means of letting off steam, expressing anger, looking for a fight, just wanting to be sarcastic, wanting to change the subject to suit their own argument and many more.
For the main part they all have something important to say. The last cohort however, for all their buffoonery require patience and kindness because they are seriously ill with mental problems that I’m not qualified to expand on other than to say one has to wonder about their upbringing.
So with all that said I hope I have explained that the origin of my writing stems from a long-held interest in social justice and inequality: of those who are deprived of a decent education, as I was, the environment and an urgent desire to repair and improve the standard of governance our politicians deliver.
Despite the laboriousness of writing everyday, at my age I am grateful that I have a megaphone by which I can express my opinions and await the comments that will adjudicate their worth. Being independent of mainstream media makes this possible. It is my fervent hope that in some small way my words might help to make the world a better place.
None of the things I believe in can be changed without a change in government. The AIMN is a blog that can influence that possibility.
My thought for the day.
“Finding the truth and reporting it is more important than creating a narrative where controversy matters more.”