Tag Archives: Media. Pascale: Weaponization of Language

The Weaponization of Language (Part 2): Censorship

Continuing extracts from the article The Weaponization of Language: Discourses of Rising Right-Wing Authoritarianism by Celine-Marie Pascale. The previous post is here.

Censorship

On how capitalism survives and thrives through propaganda see posts addressing aspects of Alex Carey’s Taking the Risk Out of Democracy. Or better still, read the book to see how capitalism relied on advances in propaganda techniques to survive against popular interests and guide the democratic processes.

While media censorship may be the hallmark of authoritarian regimes around the globe, censorship also is associated with capitalist systems that prioritize the interests of advertisers, boards of directors, and profits over the interests of consumers and the general public . . . .

In an era that might be called ‘the information age,’ censorship flourishes in old and new forms. Fundamentally, censorship prohibits language that threatens hegemonic power. Consider that the interests of a free press have long been overshadowed by governments, corporations, and religious groups.

. . .

Historically, US news corporations have censored information that would negatively affect the interests of advertisers and owners. Recently, censorship has taken a different form in the US. 

. . .

This is a new face of censorship for the United States and in line with what appears to be the cultivation of state control over news.

George Orwell is credited with warning that the further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. 

[Though the quote is widely attributed to Orwell there is no confirmation that he wrote it. A similar sentiment was expressed by Gramsci — we have posted about him before — who said, “To tell the truth, to arrive together at the truth, is a communist and revolutionary act.“]

. . .

In 2019 the number killed dropped but that’s hardly a substitute for not being targeted by death squads at all.

Reporters Without Borders publishes a World Press Freedom Index.

According to the International Federation of Journalists,

  • 94 journalists and media staff were killed in 2018 
  • Ninety percent of all journalist deaths remain unresolved.

According to Reporters Without Borders, 

  • Around the globe 348 reporters were detained in connection with their reporting in 2018 

. . .

Journalists are persecuted in countries around the globe including Eritrea, Turkey, Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, Honduras, Guatemala, China, Russia, South Africa, and Uganda.

In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s regime collects detailed information about journalists as well as about media advertising and editorial content …

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has called reporters ‘spies’ …

In the United States, Donald Trump has called both the press and individual journalists ‘enemies of the people’ …

Trump also has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to collect information on reporters and news media, as well as on individuals who post news on social media platforms …

The US State Department’s Global Engagement Center, created to combat disinformation and online extremism, has recently used online trolls to attack US journalists for disinformation, branding them as ‘Tehran collaborators’ for writing articles the US government perceived as being ‘soft on Iran’ …

Reporters Without Borders added the United States to its list of most dangerous places for reporters after a mass shooting at a local paper that left five reporters dead …

. . .

To break for a moment from Pascale’s article and look across at other instances of media censorship in the West, in particular USA and Australia: read more »