By Robert A. Vella
Everybody hates the mainstream media. Conservatives say it has a “left-wing bias.” Progressives (like myself) criticize it for conforming to a corporate/establishment agenda. Young people have abandoned it in droves (news publications, that is… not the entertainment products which they can’t get enough of). Anarchists claim the mainstream media is part of an intricate global conspiracy taking over the world. Old folks still sit in front of their aging television sets watching the broadcast evening news with no more awareness than a drugged-out hippie at a Mensa convention.
But despite all its real and perceived flaws, the professional journalists who work within the mainstream media perform a function that is absolutely essential to a free and democratic country. All anyone need do to appreciate this fact is to observe nations recently taken over by extremist factions be they left or right… like Poland.
Polish President Andrzej Duda on Thursday signed into law a controversial bill handing the conservative government control of state media, despite EU concern and condemnation from rights watchdogs.
It’s called authoritarianism, and one of the first things it does after acquiring power is to seize control of the flow of information.
In other important international news: