The Art of Deception

April 30, 2012 by

L’arte dell’inganno

From Syria to 'Afghanistan, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the Arab Springs, media wars - those that are fought in the mainstream media, to the search for consensus and the control of international public opinion - have become more important than the wars of combat, those fighting each other instead of on the battlefield. And it is only in appearance that the former are less victims of the second. The first kill in fact the truth, burying it (or annacquandola) in the sea of propaganda and disinformation. And this prevents us citizens to exercise our right and duty to be informed, in a free and fair.

Ai Media as a Weapon has dedicated the last special issue of Limes. And there are various interesting thoughts on the matter, also in relation to the current geo-media theaters. Common is the underlining of the excessive power exercised today by storytelling, an ancient art and which in the past has been an important tool for sharing the values ​​- as explained by an excellent book came out a few years ago - but it has turned to the present day in a terrible weapon of persuasion in the hands of the gurus of marketing, management and communication policy and military, through which mold the opinions not only of consumers but also the public. Now - is a given under the eyes of all - do not sell neither the facts nor the ideas but the "stories". And stories are so well-scripted, so exciting, that it is hard not to believe it. Thus falling into deception.

Storytelling dazzles the defenseless citizens and journalists themselves. even the best. Matter of laziness, often, or carelessness, hurry, connivance or lack of competence. The fact is that the charm of the "good stories" - especially those packed according archetypes consolidated, as good and evil - is hard to resist, even when it is suspected that they can not be true. On closer reflection, the Arab Springs erupted in recent years have been told by the mainstream media not as a "process" - as was proper, it is a historical phenomenon - but as a sequence of "stories", selected with the intent to touch hearts more than to speak to the minds, and at the risk of forcing the facts and their interpretation. To tell stories, moreover, are primarily the protagonists, the governments involved and that their protesters, as was demonstrated in Libya before and then in Syria. And extricate the sea of misinformation is not easy, even for the most seasoned professionals.

For the same reason it is not easy to understand what is happening in Afghanistan. As he explains Federico Petroni in this issue of Limes President Barack Obama has managed to exclude it from the market of the news this unpopular and costly war, which he himself helped to "inflate", both in terms of troops and budget. All thanks to a "narrative" ad hoc, so charming and well articulated that the media maistream have not actually ever challenged, that is, without ever trying to examine the validity of his thesis. This result also contributed to the increasingly common practice of embedded journalism, which - as I have tried to argue , too , on the basis of my experience - is losing autonomy and "tends to develop a point of view close and sympathetic to that of troops. "The result, apparently paradoxical, is that Barack Obama has managed in the space of two years to ensure that his constituents, his audience, they had little interest in knowing how would end the conflict in Afghanistan. Brought home this objective then changed the narrative, focusing today to bring back "home" his boys.    And this points to be re-elected.

{Lang: 'en'}

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