Media and perception management
By Umar Waqar
The modern media has achieved the capability to effect collective change in the psyche of people or group of people and drive agendas, according to the desire of media masters, by continuously feeding minds with false or true pictures. It is up to the media whether it sides with truth or falsehood. According to Goebbles, it can prove that a circle is actually a square. Time is its chief source of revenue; with time the media can achieve its objectives – perhaps, very slowly but effectively.
But when did the media gain authority in this world? Well, no one actually knows the answer to this question, but the use of media and propaganda became common during the middle ages. During the Mongol invasions, it projected itself in horrifying pictures and narratives propagated by the agents, who would spread the news of terror before the invading hordes arrived at the gates of cities. False stories made by the tradesmen about the Mongols gave birth to fear in the minds of the opposing people, and they would prefer surrendering, rather than fighting the golden horde. Fear was a weapon for the Mongols, as it made their conquests effortless. This was probably the first ruthless, but effective use of psy warfare.
The media became a power during the World Wars, as Axis and Allies used it for propaganda against one another. During the period after World War II, it became the fourth pillar of power. Meanwhile, the information age has brought the media to the forefront of everything, from economic wars between multinational corporations to the Facebook revolt now taking place in the Middle East. Today, the media has its own role, accountability, market and direction. It needs watchful attention in a country, like Pakistan, where its exponential growth has created new avenues of the use of soft power, which can be used both positively and negatively.
Suppose you are Mr Sheikhoo. This year you have not been able to do well in studies, and everyone in the house starts scolding and advising you – your grandpa blames your disconnect with elders for poor result in the exam, your sister gives you negative dozes of advice on a daily basis, father physically thrashes you once in a week, and mother asks you to quit studies and help father in running the grocery store, on top of everything your teachers (instead of guiding you) issues warning notices on a weekly basis to improve upon your performance. You will get depressed and finally collapse.
Source: The Nation