Ştefan Vlăduţescu: Negative Journalistic Communication
by Mirela Teodorescu
Technological revolution “has brought” audio visual media, the government got the emission frequencies . In 1927, USA, The Radio Act (broadcasting low) developed by Radio Federal Commission declare that “he frequencies belongs everybody” as result of , “these can’t become the property of someone, so everybody has to benefit of offered advantages of these industries”. Joseph Pulitzer created at the beginning of XXth century, the first course of Journalism at Columbia University in New York. Pulitzer said: “Only a high ideal and scrupulous attention to action correct, only knowing exactly discussed issues and a sincerely conscience of moral responsibility can save the journalism of its commitment to business people interests and to assure selfish goals, opposed to the public good”. So, happened dramatic experiences by humanity in past century determinate the principles definition on social responsibility idea of journalism, principles professionalized codes national and international materialization.
The media as the fourth power in state, is seen in the literature as a “watchdog” of the society, a supporter of democracy. Power comes primarily from the fact that the media has access to an audience more numerous than can have any other public place (coffee shop, theater, cinema, stadium, markets etc.). All other powers (which media supervise) want to communicate with this public, so they need the press.
Ştefan Vlăduţescu presents a complete dissertation of mass-media communication, Negative Journalism Communication (Romanian Academy Publishing House, Bucharest, 2010), on an impeccably qualitative level, structured on specific elements of communication: target/receiver – opinionative, transmitter – the mass-media (groups of written press, spoken audio), data processing/ encoding – persuasion/conviction. If the transmitter and receiver are clear entities, the methods of preparation/processing information are diverse, insidious, aggressive, exciting, challenging, hidden.
Journalistic Communication is a product of „producer-consumer” with a transmitter that is sending messages to targeted receptors, fixed, dedicated, and also for any other receiver interested about the issued information.
Negative Journalism builds the reality of its influence project on the propagation of opinions of persuasive tone. „What is called generally public opinion represents in the alternative a mathematics of the media. From performed surveys, sociologists sample a stochastic medium that establishes that representing manifestation of public opinion on a certain topic. It is obvious that such surveys rarely result opinion of an individual involved in a group. They bring to light more of an abstract view, generic, in the measure that is artificially extracted and positioned at a time at nationally or internationally scale”. Opinions are sometimes contradictory. Only rare cases of uniform of the opinative are represented by the moments of crisis.
Political crises or revolutions build-up a party opinion. The wars coagulates a national opinion. In these cases, individual opinion is grafted mimetic and mathematical on an average of the expanded group opinions, macro group. „Every individual is a tendency that Gallup gave the name of „impression of universality”. This consist of in the most people’s propensity to follow not the opinion of the entire nation , but that of the small group that represents its world . The elector, believes Gallup, has a small, well- defined world , his view is taken over him. Individual becomes typical when, concurs to opinion of the group membership . This feature was named typical . When an individual refuses to take the opinion of the group , he becomes atypical . „According to Sigmund Freud, there isn’t a natural social instinct and primary . Individual universe is limited to a group of people who got in his eyes a prestige, a paramount importance.
„Thus, Freud and Gallup confirmed each other. The individual takes the opinions of the group. The change of the individual opinion occurs in the perspective in which has been formed within the group. This explains the view of individual and group opinion. It also decodes so that public opinion does not actually has original and authentic character, but it is relative to some or other of the groups. Acting on opinion means to change the data of a vision that, generally, is very far from reality, and this could bring it closer to reality”.
The author presents the evolution of opinative treatment over the time. „Plato remains in opinative history by irrecoverable segregation rationality- episteme (opinion/science, truth). Through him, the opinion reaches the lower point of its existence, come into contact with nothingness, being essentially an essence of appearance. The opinion is held that the lower level of cognition. The opinion cannot rise science, because it exists only as an innocent attachment of cognition to its immediate projects and capabilities. The Platonic view has the start point in a sensible evidence. This evidence may not be lived also by anybody else who is on the course of other personal reasons, theoretical and practical. The opinion is gathered thus as ephemeral experience, scientific unusable”.
According to Ch. Perelman, there are three species of audience. „The first species consists of all or at least humanity of all people and normal adults: this is universal auditor. A second species occurs in dialogue and consists only of the interlocutor to whom the speech is addressed. The third is made up of the subject himself who deliberates or represents the reasons of his acts. Subject interlocutor can be seen as a particular audience”.
The journalist collects information ,he structures, processes, commercializes it. He often samples or collects information, he looks for them or receives them. Information collecting is the long term process. Because of the duration, the work is proving to be expensive, tedious and disappointing. Journalistic process involves: selection of the acts and facts, checking them, putting in the intrigue and display of information. „The journalistic discourse has indices, indices and indicators of language and cogitation that makes them recognizable. As a discourse of a certain power , the first of its features is the autonomy . Authentic journalism is independent, its speech transforms independence, „the freedom” in autotelism and autonomy. The journalism has not any connection high level ordering in authenticity. His speech is driven alone, and more sets himself the principles of production. Autotelism and autonomy constitute the principles of journalism . Journalistic culture must be put into reality through autonomy and autotelism”. Whenever autonomy, autotelism and impartiality are violated, the journalism becomes negative”.
Individual of our society is better informed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The magnitude of information is not a result of decrease of ex- information, they are developed together and is done on the same principle: expanding of the influence Information is a principle. Ex – information appears as a persuasive strategy that is built on the principle of „other information”. „The foundation of humanity lies in solidarity. Social cohesion strength comes from the original tendency of attachment and trust. It is inevitable to become a human being without going through the selection corridor of communion. The engine of social consistency is the influence. In relation to this social reproduction system are defines two inertia. Centrifugal inertia of the social system called alienation. This type of social connection covers the phenomenon of remaining outside of social influence circuits. Alienation is a debile force. Alienation network is weak and lacks of consolidation mechanisms . Alienation appears thus as a system failure, as a gripping of the social influence gearing. The centripetal inertia is focused in the concept of power. Operators of power are those who know and can sit in the control nodes of social influence. Any power is a power of influence”.
The journalistic discourse is addressed to an audience in the universe of whose through the communication is intended to intervene. If the intervention of the positive journalism takes place by convictive means (logical cogitation and clear language), the negative intervention takes place by the means and the “ways of persuasion”. These ways of persuasion are: propaganda, disinformation, influence, intoxication, handling, rumor.
Ways through which negative journalism gets disorientation of opinable then to induce interested guidelines are various: attract maximum audience to newscasts, news apparently purposeful, audience deviation from the real problems of society, by inducing entertainment, for example, by changing the meaning of an event by moving the focus from social to individual, presenting information to limit of honesty by leaving it up to the order of the news editors.
„Stepping into social , it can say that, the long-term persuasion as pseudo – information, will cause the kickback of society itself. The system of social organization in which works sharp laws and exercising differentiating features can be brought in a state to depend on outside influences to its major interests. The society has a specific dynamic. The pseudo- information interventions represents for it a great danger, and their exercise for long time prejudices the social reproduction dynamics of the social automatism. The intent of pseudo – information, when it has character and durability and concerns large segments of the population, will look as a major threat . The idea of cheating, that one that stands persuasion , affects the fundamental function of social system: that of self-reflection and feedback. Ultimately , the victim is society”. Propulsion engines of persuasion are seduction and fiction with two its forms the lie and myth.
Psychologically speaking, the lie represents a protective strategy, adaptive and successive of insertion of the individual into a complicated social network. We lie to resist. We lie to others, we lie to ourselves. We lie consciously and sometimes unconsciously. We lie interestedly or unmotivated, guilty or innocent, open or secret. „In case of a lie (communicative operation of persuasive type), the general intentionality is constituted by reaching a goal, the present intentionality is represented by the circumstance (a saleswoman, a lesson, a party), and reactive intentionality is the effective answer in the context of discussions” explains the author.
Regarding the myth, the author says, „everything may be a myth, because the universe is infinite and each object in the world can go from closed existence, mute to an oral state, open to society approaching. The myth is unlimited, because no law forbids the speech. The foundation of the myth and mythology is constituted by the history and the significant consciousness of the human material”.
Fiction is a fundamental operation of persuasion. „There is an allure narrative structural of news that brings the journalism around fiction. There are, on the other hand, a trend towards negative of the journalism, manifested through the exercise of media, not only in the narrative structures of the fiction, but according to the fiction method. Persuasion ignores, distorts, bypasses the objectivity either through total replacement of reality with fiction, either by mixing the reality with fictional elements”.
Seduction is the most innocent persuasive operation, it is playing in intuition account under a cogitative mask. „That the operation of seduction to be fruitful, that in its persuasive substance to arrange words and emotional thoughts, that the recipient to be seduced under their pressure and someday to become the object of a trustworthy that ascertains the persuasive effect, in these goals it is necessary that the said discourse to not be a discourse of truth than in case of a truth spoken in error. „Seduction is one of the arts of illusion, of ornaments, a culmination of sophistic rhetoric. Objects of seduction can be: success, fame, money, love, fame, respect, prestige, importance, power.
People tend to believe them independence, autonomous and resistant to influence, ignoring orientation, determination and obligation that some influences are active in their opinions, their attitudes and their behaviors and consider that their actions are result of some decisions taken outside of influences. „Few people, says S. Asch (Jesus in the study of social influences on judgment in Berg I.-A. and Bass B. –M., Conformity and deviation, New York, Harper and Row, 1961 p.144) are aware of the historical circumstances responsible for their views”. The author adds, „we would expand saying that few individuals realize influence and persuasive situations and aware of convictive and persuasive contents of messages and even fewer realize the origin of some of their opinions, attitudes and behavior”.
An opinion is the subject of influence, poisoning, propaganda, disinformation and manipulation as the main types of persuasion and the main components of negative journalism. The object of influence through the opinable is represented by the human being. This can be and is permanent the target of some influent projects with determined direction.
All these techniques of persuasion are accomplished by actions like influence, intoxication, disinformation, propaganda and manipulation of the audience, its deviation from events, current actions and urgent actions of daily life, obtaining economic benefits of political interest groups.
„The state influences media influences, the seller, the priest and teacher influence. The influence is everywhere, because man himself is an exponent of a certain influence. Culture and civilization are lessons of influence, but exercises of influence are also antisocial behaviors, violence and crime. No need to fear than persuasive influence. We must fight against negative journalism resorting to influence. The first step in the fight is to defend him, and in this respect we have only a single solution. To defend ourselves it should to know it”.
Intoxication is a set of operations, an action, may become operation when the action is vested with extensive forces, means and effects. „Basic operation that presiding intoxication is the lie. This has as support, according to situation, both the seduction and the fiction and the myth. Action of intoxication consists of a set of informative measures aimed the influencing of a target by entering in the informational flow of this information to determine by influence vitiating of functional decisions”. Favorite channel for implementing intoxication is the media. Specific to intoxication is its inferential articulation. The target produces its own intoxication. There are provided true information and false information.
From these conglomerates, the target builds a premise and a intoxicated conclusion that further promotes it. The author suggests also ways to avoid falling into the trap of intoxication: „Detection of intoxication assault type can be achieved by analyzing the cross-media discourses of the source issue. As symptoms of intoxication should be considered, clarity of speech and reasoning flawlessly through which are processed information in excessive assured and reinforced in terms of legitimacy and credibility „.
„The operations of disinformative rhetoric based on lie consist of procedures that putting in discourse of facts is disinformative distorted. Deliberate alteration of disinformation is aroused by the power source. Intrusion of alternative techniques of disinformation is proved r easily recognizable for who knows raw event „. Propagation channels of disinformative messages can be of three types: national coverage, with selective coating and meetings, congresses, symposiums.
Although unforgiving, disinformation is not completely inevitable. The disinformative persuasion system can be defused by a dissuade system. Taking into consideration that disinformation starts from a basic fact (act, action, event), the only salutary measure of its persuasive power is the basic fact retrieval in real terms and not in terms of disinformation.
As definition, „propaganda represents entirety of means, methods, procedures of production and dissemination of certain messages that support and promote a doctrine, a program, a slogan or a symbol belonging to a theory, a concept, an organization aiming to persuade and gain followers”. Propaganda is in fact a form persuasion achieved by a social operator consisting in deliberate influence, enforceability and systematic of views of a significant group of individuals. Propaganda has been made since antiquity , starting with Demosthenes against Philip II of Macedon (father of Alexander). Action of propaganda, can be called also the discursive effort of Cicero having as object Catiline. The first theorist of propaganda is Nicolo Machiavelli, who in „The Prince” exposes some of the propaganda techniques: the stake on appearances („you need to get the apparent, because people judge by appearances”), installation of beliefs („to govern means to make people to believe”) and keeping a good image”. In the twentieth century, propaganda begins in 1917, with Lenin. By extending the press, in this century propaganda becomes total, it appeals in propagandist activity all means, covers all environments and walks to the entire geographical area of the world. No segment of the public is excluded outside of influencing intentions. Propaganda had a merit in the establishment of Bolshevism and Hitler came to power. Propaganda played a decisive role in China’s transition to communism. „Propaganda engage press fully committed, models the cultural industries, impregnates the school, army, church architecture, the whole public opinion. Culture and civilization are conquered by propaganda: propaganda is total, propaganda becomes a policy „.
Kantian morality had one of the goals the absolute refusal to turn man from goal in mean. From this perspective, the manipulation is profoundly anti-Kantian: manipulative constitutes the basic mean in achieving of a goal that it is not only unknown, but also foreign. Manipulator is the performing tool of a goal that does not belong it and that escape it. Manipulator does not achieve a manipulated interest, but a real interest. „We understand that manipulation is an altered form of communication, that is „close to” or uses persuasion, that is a „form of deception” and aims to create opinions and attitudes contrary to the interests of those manipulated ” … manipulation is an action in which operational-procesual technology are registered operations like lie (deception is a form of lying), seduction, fiction and myth”- asserts the author.
In last decades, in the information age, manipulation takes special forms, manipulation by a hacker of flatterers of credit cards, financial data or other stored data on a broken server, may have alarming consequences. Information Technology brings satellites, cellular phones, satellite television, Internet and other means of communication exhibited to technical manipulation.
Within the interpersonal manipulation are mentioned three methods of manipulation often encountered: „foot in the door”, “door in the face” and „low balling”, that are found in the principle of reciprocity, that govern social relations, by Robert Cialdini.
In the last chapter, the author presents the famous cases of negative journalism communication covering the arsenal of the methods presented in this paper: Trojan Horse, KGB Models, Operation, „Bosnia”, Case Tukacevski, Operation „Carlota”, Bar „Mirage”- journalistic operation, are only a few examples.
The theme approached by the author is part of the social and human sciences, but this paper is presented and scientifically substantiated with data entry (hypothesis), processing, justification, interpretation of data (demonstration) and the analysis and synthesis of (conclusion) – quod erat demonstrandum.
The volume is a reference work in the literature, „added-value”, as documented thoroughly accustomed as all author’s works, an alive work that presents a theoretical materialized part through illustrative examples, a work performed by a brilliant mind, orderly and intuitive in communication domain, a work useful to all those who study communication theory, students, master students, doctoral students, journalists, opinion formers.