Media Bias

You only think that the mainstream media is biased today (based on your personal beliefs, of course). Imagine how biased it would be in a country that’s under vampire occupation.

Occupation is one of the themes of the Night and Day series. Occupation and how people function under it, both human and vampire. There aren’t any recent examples of what I consider “classic” occupation (Yes, Iraq was “occupied” after the 2003 invasion, and Afghanistan was occupied by the Soviet Union in the early 80s – but neither was a “classic” occupation where the occupying power settles in for the long run and controls/monitors large aspects of daily life). To find those, you have to go back to WWII, and the German occupation of Europe (not so much the occupation of Poland and the Soviet Union – those weren’t occupations so much as enslavement and annihilation of those considered inferior or unworthy of life).

In an occupation situation, the occupying power controls the media. Newspapers, television, radio – all monitored with nothing going out that doesn’t get vetted by the occupying power and the government it has in place. Such is the case in the world of Night and Day.

There are plenty of examples, and one I have a particular interest in because of another project is the German occupation of the UK. No, they never occupied the actual mainland of the UK, but they did occupy the British Channel Islands beginning in 1940 – Guernsey, Jersey, etc. And that occupation is probably a pretty good blueprint of what occupation of the whole UK would have been like had it occurred.

Control of the local media was a part of that occupation. Specifically newspapers (radios were confiscated in 1942 to keep islanders from listening to the BBC and other non-authorized news sources). I have half a dozen of these newspapers, purchased for research on the aforementioned project. And they’re fascinating.

Star1

Notice the slant of the lead story about the Allied invasion of Sicily. German troops repulsing the attack, “enemy” (i.e. British and Americans) losses.

Or how about…

Press 1

…this paper published during the Battle of the Bulge, Germany’s last futile offensive in the west. “Vain” attempt by American troops to stop the Germans. And notice the little article to the left – “U.S. Crack Tanks Fail”.

How effective was this? Good question. From what I’ve read, most of the readers didn’t believe what they were reading. There was a kernel of truth there (yes, the Germans were attacking in the Ardennes and yes, Americans were falling back in the face of the surprise attack) but it’s not about truth. It’s about the “slant”, the bias that’s shown in the way “truth” is presented, and what parts of the “truth” are not included.

I haven’t gone into the subject in great detail in the Night and Day books. It’s hinted at. The war against the uptown mobs in Night and Day, the arrival of the German ambassador in Bleeding Sky, and a shooting incident that may have ties to the Resistance in Bandit’s Moon. News coverage, or lack thereof, is mentioned in passing. Reality versus what shows up in newspapers or on television news programs (or hey, even on AmericaNet that I mentioned yesterday…)

At this point, I have no plans to make this media bias into a major part of a Night and Day book. But you never know. Underground newspaper that prints the truth? Plucky reporter in need of protection? It’s always possible.

——————————————————————————

Got no writing done yesterday. I had to get the Goodreads giveaway books out, once my free Priority Mail padded envelopes from the US Postal Service arrived in my mailbox, as well as another package.

Don’t go to the post office in the week before Christmas. Ever. After packaging and printing out the customs forms for the two books going to Australia, I decided to go to the post office around 2:30 pm. I figured it would be past the lunch rush and before people started getting off work.

Maybe it would have been worse at some other time. I can’t say. I can say that I stood in line for about an hour and a half. And 5 minutes after I got in line, one of the two people working the counter closed her window and disappeared, not to be seen again. And a woman sending a fruit cake to South Korea in front of me coughed relentlessly and may have given me whatever she had (my nose was running earlier, and though it stopped, my chest is beginning to feel a bit congested…).

By the time I got home, I didn’t want to do anything but chill out. Watched the news, read for a bit, watched a movie, went to bed.

But I hope to finish up Chapter 6 of Bandit’s Moon today. That’ll get me a little over 20% finished.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.