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On Main & Lame Stream(ing)

The world has learnt a lot about the realities of the post-truth media world, but there, still, is much to learn. The word, like Clickbait, may be stated to be one of those. It means content (on the internet), whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page. One can also learn how the term Lamestream Media has been born. In the 20th Century, the Leftists had coined the word Mainstream Media (MSM), which was basically a derogatory term. In a similar fashion, the Rightists have come out with the term Lamestream Media (LSM) or Big Media in the 21st Century. According to the Rightists, LSM only sell lies in the guise of telling the neutral fact.

It is especially important for media persons and people, who love to read news, to be familiar with these words. Needless to say, these words are quite important for those, who do not write or read news articles in English. In his 2020 publication ‘News and How to Use It: What to Believe in a Fake News World‘, British journalist Alan Charles Rusbridger (b. December 29, 1953) has discussed about these words. Rusbridger, the former Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian and then Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, is of the opinion that these words have found their places in global discussions on important issues. Hence, it is necessary for journalists to get acquainted with them properly in order to provide people with actual facts in other languages. Here lies the importance of the publication. One can compare this book with a dictionary, as the author has followed the alphabetical order while analysing those words.

In a world of Fake News, one may face a dearth of words, if the person has to keep pace with the times. Rusbridger has rightly said that if a person finds a way in the deep jungle of vocabulary, then it is possible to empower that person a lot. According to the seasoned British journalist, the Global Community is gradually losing faith in the news. In order to keep the media alive, more discussions on issues, such as how news items and journalists get attacked, how the journalists become efficient in the art of telling lies, et al., are needed.

Alan Charles Rusbridger

It may be noted that many Statesmen have started suppressing facts in the pretext of tackling Fake News. They are doing so in order to serve their vested interests. It may be noted that Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (b. October 7, 1952) signed into law a bill on March 4 (2022), introducing jail terms of up to 15 years for spreading fake news about the Russian Army. He took this initiative, when the Kremlin pushed forward with its invasion of Ukraine. Earlier, the Russian lawmakers adopted the bill in which it was clearly stated that jail terms of varying lengths and fines would be applicable for people who would publish “knowingly false information” about the Russian Forces. Furthermore, they would have to pay harsher penalties, if the dissemination would have serious consequences.

The Russian strongman also signed a bill, allowing fines or jail terms of up to three years for calling for sanctions against Russia, as Moscow is facing harsh economic penalties from the West over the military operation in neighbouring Ukraine. Reports suggest that the Kremlin has suppressed independent and critical voices since the beginning of the invasion on February 24. Russia’s media watchdog has confirmed the news, saying that it has restricted access to the BBC and other independent foreign media websites, apart from blocking Facebook. While two media outlets have decided to stop reporting on Ukraine in an attempt to protect their journalists, the BBC has halted its operations in Russia.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has asked the frontline Russian media to publish information provided only by official sources, which describe the invasion as a military operation. State-controlled broadcasters have no other option, but to reinforce the Government narratives about Nationalism in Ukraine. They have also been asked to highlight Moscow’s claim that Ukrainian soldiers are using civilians as human shields.

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