Background Briefing offers an educational approach to providing information in an era of “fake news”.
A Pew Research study finds that 67% of Americans get their news from social media, mostly Facebook, in a form of reality-shopping where outlooks are shared and opinions reinforced, often by political spin or even foreign manipulation. This is undermining our country’s consensus on what is real and true and making us less able to deal with the challenges the nation faces.
In an increasingly divided country with a leader who calls the press “the enemy of the people” and has his followers swallowing his lies while believing that the media spreads “fake news”, we need to find a way to inform citizens and restore civic engagement.
Five days a week the one hour daily news analysis radio program “Background Briefing” covers three or four major issues in the news offering the equivalent of the Presidential Daily Briefing which is largely ignored by this White House. We invite our listening audience into a public radio Oval Office as we all learn from an open-source version of the daily briefings, receiving fact-driven intelligence from the most informed specialists, closest to the scene analyzing and contextualizing international events and national issues without false equivalence or “balance”.
The nationally-syndicated one hour daily public radio program “Background Briefing” with Ian Masters available 24/7 at backgroundbriefing.org offers an alternative media platform in a media landscape dominated by monopolies and oligopolies following the loss of net neutrality in what could be the last frontier of non-commercial non-corporate media left in the country.
Instead of the interviewer as the anchor or media personality, the guests are the “stars” and the goal is to extract the most insightful and salient information while allowing the facts to speak for themselves and the objective truth to follow its own non-ideological course.
“Background Briefing” focuses on national security in the broadest sense going beyond defense and intelligence to encompass the soft power of cultural influence, economic strength and social justice covering everything from healthcare to human rights, the environment to enterprise, sociology to science, the law to labor, immigration to innovation, race to religion, economics to education, transportation to technology.
America has already entered an authoritarian mediascape similar to what Vladimir Putin has perfected. There is no consensus on what is real or true anymore as daily lies issue forth from the White House, echoed and amplified by Fox News and right wing talk radio. Yet as Apple’s Tim Cook warns, today there are far more powerful and pervasive media tools like Facebook which are being used to divide Americans and manipulate them with fake news. If we are to save our Democracy, facts must be weaponized to stop the spread of authoritarian fictions.