‘Informed’ information

People deplore the fact there is no “neutral” press in Lebanon, or for that matter in other parts of the world. People don’t realize that press ‘neutrality’ does not exist indeed cannot exist, because of the very structure of a press outlet. Newspapers, TV or whatever are bound by the territory or the history in which they inscribe the information they publish. The first and foremost ideology a newspaper projects is a national one. Lebanon has several versions of that. Every newspaper project several construction of what “the Lebanese” is, as opposed to others.

The real question to ask is why the hell people think that press neutrality could exist? What are the various factors, powers, etc. that contributed to convince people of such an absurd thing? It is a bit like the fact people are convinced that they are ‘free’ that something called ‘freedom’ exist, that the concept we have of it has a direct link to something being played out in reality.


5 Replies to “‘Informed’ information”

  1. agreed. but the thing is at least in lebanon people know that when they buy a particular newspaper, or watch a particular news channel, that they are getting a particular point of view. in the u.s., most people still believe in this mythology of the press as “objective.” i much prefer people to be honest about the point of view they are selling us to this thinly veiled notion of “neutrality.”

  2. Hm, yeah, the idea of “neutrality” is overrated anyway. It really is all about varying conceptions of morality and justice. And then again, I would say the main problem is not so much the absence of neutrality as it is lack of attention to events that ought to be covered but aren’t (e.g. starvation of Gazans/the reality of the savage blockade)… But I guess that, too, could be the result of lack of neutrality, although it could also stem from ignorance or what I call “first worldness” (has it been coined?).

  3. Marcy, knowing in lebanon is not really an enlightening experience. you know what you choose to hide from. you react to the realities that you prefer to keep in a closet. and so you constantly nourish, and replenish your own fantasies by reading what you think reality ‘should be’.

    yes shoghig you’re right, but i also wanted to point out that the very structure of a newspaper bein edited on one ‘national’ territory, dividing its page between local vs regional vs international politics already inscribe some form of nationalism. the ideological is there before actual textual content. Then it gets worse!

  4. In Lebanon, the problem is not neutrality or bias, but outward incitement to hate among Lebanese and the absence of accountability under any form for slander and calumny and thinly veiled sectarian and political instigation in the media

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