Control The Narrative Control “The Truth”
In the last couple of weeks or so the UK press has had a field day with Boris Johnson. From Decorate-Gate to Party-Gate there seems to have been a catalogue of clumsy, potentially damaging errors on the part of the Government.
The point for me isn’t whether the alleged “lock down” parties really happened at No 10, it’s the way that the stories have already influenced the thinking of many of those who need to find blame for something, the Pandemic in this case, which has been largely out of their control.
In the minds of some there is no question that the Government seems to have one rule for the voters and another for themselves. More relevantly this decision has been made without their being any formal investigation let alone reported, considered findings. The only reported findings have been those of the media that is driving the narrative.
And, here’s the issue I guess.
All stories, be they in the guise of “hard news” or “simple gossip” are shared with some kind of agenda. Between individuals the sharing of gossip can be seen as an act of bonding, of social connectivity. However once gossip becomes opinion and opinion becomes “fact” there is nearly always a larger agenda at play.
The Media can be accused of not dealing with any form of objective truth but simply a perspective. A perspective designed to polarise opinions.
Of course should the on going investigations into No 10 and the lock-down parties find that those in charge breached their own rules’ then action must be taken; responsibilities accepted. However, by then, the court of public opinion has already passed its own verdict.
For me it’s a bit rich that a former advisor to Johnson who did his own share of rule breaking is wading in with his recollections and evidence about the No 10 parties.
Selling papers, capturing views and recruting followers is often the motivation for how ‘news’ stories are framed. The emphasis perhaps should be on “stories” rather than “news”.
All stories need a hero and a villain. So too does the news.