On the Limits of ‘Reports and Facts’ vs Propaganda

Viewing “two excellent pieces by the American News Project about the Fed’s astonishing actions during the current meltdown,” A Tiny Revolution‘s Jonathan Schwarz (7/12/09) confirms that “ANP does great work, and I commend them for taking on this subject–especially since it’s covered nowhere else, including on progressive blurms.” But he’s nonetheless reminded of a June 29 TruthDig piece in which war reporter Chris Hedges tells why “The Truth Alone Will Not Set You Free“:

The public is bombarded with carefully crafted images meant to confuse propaganda with ideology and knowledge with how we feel. Human rights and labor groups, investigative journalists, consumer watchdog organizations and advocacy agencies have, in the face of this manipulation, inundated the public sphere with reports and facts. But facts alone…make little difference. And as we search for alternative ways to communicate in a time of crisis, we must also communicate in new forms… This style, one that turns the abstraction of fact into a human flesh and one that is not afraid of emotion and passion…will permit us to counter the force of corporate propaganda….

We will have to descend into the world of the forgotten, to write, photograph, paint, sing, act, blog, video and film with anger and honesty that have been blunted by the parameters of traditional journalism. The lines between artists, social activists and journalists have to be erased.

Despite their great efforts, Schwarz feels ANP still are “suffering from exactly the problem Hedges describes. To start with, what is the Fed? How does it work? Perhaps 900 people total in the U.S. could tell you. So for everyone else it’s automatically like gossip about strangers–i.e., extremely boring.”