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The Free Press [Copertina flessibile]

Hilaire Belloc

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Descrizione del libro

gennaio 2010
In The Free Press, Hilaire Belloc offers an incisive analysis of the problems associated with modern news media ? what Belloc refers to as ?the capitalist press? or ?the official press.? He offers a powerful defence of the importance of alternative news media ? what Belloc refers to as ?the free press.? His critique of modern news media is just as relevant today as it was in his time, particularly the need for fundamental reforms in news media industry, if proper democracy is to be allowed to flourish. Belloc asserts that word of mouth is the natural and normal mode of transmitting the news and opinion necessary to sustain a modern democratic state. He then argues that the introduction of modern mass media has inevitably led to a twofold corruption in the democratic process.
--Questo testo si riferisce a un'edizione alternativa Copertina flessibile .

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Amazon.com: 4.4 su 5 stelle  14 recensioni
22 di 23 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Prophetic 18 giugno 2009
Di bookscdsdvdsandcoolstuff - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile|Acquisto verificato
Rarely have there been two authors as prophetic as G.K. Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc. That their books are still so relevant to so many today is testimony to their enduring greatness. Both these men are thoroughly Catholic authors, and it is this clear headed world view that leads directly to their timelessness.

The Free Press really and truly did shock me. I have known "traditional Catholics" who hate what I, as a Catholic loyal to Vatican II, stand for. Often they quote Belloc or other writers to back up their claims. They often attack ideas like freedom of expression, freedom of religion, etc. etc.

More often than not, when I go to the source materials, I see that the arguments they make rarely hold water. Here too, we see the same. Hillaire Belloc is a great defender of the notion of a free and independent press. He defends advocacy journalism because journals with a clear bias don't pretend to lack bias, so the reader can think about claims critically. He defends FREEDOM to write and think.

He is absolutely prophetic about the profit motive driving modern journalism and the lack of objectivity that causes. One wonders what he would have thought about the blogosphere! Given the content of this book I think he would have been supportive of much it stands for.

This was an amazing read. Heartily recommended.
10 di 11 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle Reader and Viewer Beware! 25 ottobre 2004
Di Brad Shorr - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile|Acquisto verificato
Belloc's prognosticative prowess goes full tilt in his 1918 essay on the press. Belloc sees the development of the press as a child of capitalism: by 1918 the establishment press in England is driven by profit instead of truth, and has incredible power to shape policy and control policy makers. Why? Newspapers sell for less than it costs to produce them. The difference is made up by advertising. Thus newspaper owners are beholden to advertisers and are not inclined to run stories counter to their interest. Newspapers can make or break politicians at will. They tend to suppress discussion of real political issues in favor of manufactured ones so they can spin news according to their own interests.

Sound familiar? Many people will find truth in these descriptions even today, with regard to the major news networks. Belloc sees a remedy: an independent free press. Belloc argues that by reading many different perspectives, extreme though they may be, one can distill the real truth of the matter. He observes this is exactly how we develop opinions outside of the mass media--by listening to a variety of people describe the event and assess their credibility, as in a criminal trial for instance. A free press did exist in 1918, but was in its infancy. Thanks to the Internet, we finally have the truly free press that Belloc predicted would flourish.

This tract might make you rethink the idea of digesting a steady diet of network news only. What you get is not necessarily what you see.
21 di 26 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle The mainstream media and the free media 24 dicembre 2002
Di Un cliente - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
This is a quite interesting work from the authorship of Hilaire Belloc, which correctly sustains that mainstream media are not nor objective, neither faithful to the truth, but simple tools in the hands of their owners, informing according the conveniences and interests of such owners, professional journalists being no more than mere subjects that must fulfil the orders of their employers, if they desire to keep their jobs.
Without surprise the reader notices that the picture described by Belloc didn't change since 1918, the year the book was written, continuing to be actual about the current mainstream media. In fact, the present situation is even worse than in the time of Belloc, reference media being a mere repetition of each other. Despite the fact they present themselves with different editorial statutes, they always agree in the same essential matters - party system oligarchy, one-worldism, multiculturalism, free immigration and the consequent forced integration -, astonishingly remembering the media of a totalitarian society like the former Soviet Union.
How can we surpass this situation? In this point, Belloc's message is also actual: having recourse to independent or free media not dominated by plutocratic interests, in order to obtain a clearer vision about the events going on the world, complementing the information received from mainstream media or, even, giving that one such mainstream media have hidden. Despite some weaknesses that independent media also suffer, to those who turn to them, a complex whole of events will become perfectly understandable or, at least, much more clear, fighting in that way the occult censorship imposed on and by mainstream media (and, today, we have the internet, a tool unimaginable in the time of Belloc, that is the paradise of free media).
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle A Free Press vs. A Lying Establishment Press 16 aprile 2007
Di James E. Egolf - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile|Acquisto verificato
Hilaire Belloc wrote a thoughtful book about countering the Establsihment Press(The Capitalist Press as he calls it) with a Free Press that was not subject to control by advertisers and Press Barons. Belloc wrote this book c 1917, but his remarks still apply. In fact, if anything, the Establishment Press is exponentially worse 90 years later when the appearance of this book.

Belloc begins this short study with comments on why advertisers pollute "news." Editors and journalists often write to please advertisers even though these same editors and journalists will not use that is advertised since many of the products they plug in their newspapers are harmful to health and safety. The reason why journalists and editors of the Establishment Press is that the advertisers subsidize the Establishment Press, and the editors lose their their self respect and ethical standards to keep the rich subsidies they get.

Belloc does not stop with advertisers. His comments re Press Barons are worth noting. Belloc accuses Press Barons and their cohorts of using newspapers to make or break political figures. Lying journalists can write sordid stories of political figures' personal lives whether or not they are true. The fact that Press Barons get their editors and journalists to lie is not important. As long as a scandal, whether true or not, is published, such a story can destroy a public figure. Press Barons can focus on a political nobody and make his career by favorable attention. Or these same news mogols can ignore a public figure and end his career.

Belloc also makes a case of Press Barons either suppressing knowledge of events or distorting such knowledge. The Establishment Press can fabricate stories and ignore important events. These problems should appear all too familiar to anyone who has sense.

Yet, Belloc offers solutions to these problems. Belloc offers the Free Press as an alternative. An honest Free Press faces hurdles such as lack of advertising subsidies, complete boycott by the Establishment Press, and legal challenges. Yet, Belloc argues that the Free Press can survive. Belloc's criticisms of the Free Press is specialization. Those who edit or write for the Free Press have so many smaller publications that they have a coordination problem. Smaller editors are too focused and often present solid reporting. However, their extreme conclusions often distort their work.

In spite of these criticisms, Belloc has hope. Belloc thinks that the Free Press has the advantage of propaganda which readers may want to offset the lying of the Establishment. Smaller Free Press editors may benefit at the exposure of truth when the Establishment is caught concealing the truth. Belloc also thinks that Press Barons and their poltical cronies may suffer the wrath of readers when they discover the abuse of power and irresponsible rule.

The obsticles that the Free Press may face are not enough to supress their work. Advertising boycotts, legal challanges, blackout from the Establishment, etc. are not enough to ruin the Free Press. Belloc argues that the Free Press will use men who have knowledge, who can write coherently/concisely, and whose work has permament appeal. An example is the Establishments' screaming headline which may get immediate attention. However, the distorted events and bad writing commenting on the headline make such journalism easily forgotten. On the other hand, the small Free Press avoids the screaming headline with solid writing based on knowledge, clear thinking, and good reading which are much more permanent in peoples' memory banks.

Finally, Belloc cites, among others, G.K. Chesterton as an editor of the Free Press. Very few if any can remember the journalistic hacks of the Establishment Press, but learned men and women know of G.K. Chesterton. Those men and women who write and have self respect will not sell their soul to the Establishment press.

This reviewer has one minor criticism. Belloc presents his case very well. However, he could have embellished this book with specific details. For example, he could have named some of the Press Barons and poltical figures whom he condemns. Doing so would have supported his thesis.

THE FREE PRESS is an important book. Many Westerners know their Press Barons lie or are too cowardly to publish the truth. One reviewer remarked that the interneat may be the modern Free Press which is why so many government fluknies want to investigagte it. The fact that so much knowledge can be read on the internet may be a sign that the Establishment Press will either have to change or be exposed for their lying. One can hope that Belloc that the Free Press can overcome the Establishment Press.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
3.0 su 5 stelle 1918 Allen & Unwin short book praising, and with great hopes for, the Free Press. Suggestive parallels with Internet now. 21 luglio 2014
Di Rerevisionist - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
Belloc wrote this book towards the end of the 'Great War'. The title is not ironic or sarcastic; he genuinely praised and liked the Free Press, and had experience working on and for independent newspapers. He hoped they would become very influential; and that optimistic prediction is the point of his book. Looking back a century, we can see parallels between independent news sources and websites; and looking back further, we can see an analogy with the influence of pamphlets as far back as the Reformation.

Conclusions and comparisons with Websites. [The breakdown of the book's contents is in big-liesdotorg].

* To Summarise Belloc: He dated plutocratic England, with power combined between newspapers, politicians, and the rich, from I think about 1900. The Marconi scandal marked some sort of boundary between aristocratic politics and plutocracy. Belloc had contempt for Parliament, and I think respect for the past; he thought in some unspecified ancient times people were conscious of their rights and property. He considered the Free Press was a counter to new powers, and would succeed, and within a few decades. But the success would be in debate: he thought all the serious issues, notably in his view Economic, would be fully debated within a few decades. (Belloc said much the same in The Jews. He said in about 1920 of Jewish power that the 'cat was out of the bag'). But although there would be debates, Belloc could see no sign that people would act to establish their entitlements.

* Belloc did not foresee modern-style propaganda, which includes the output from 'think-tanks', trusts, radio, greatly-expanded numbers of academics, and many quasi-scientific groups. Nor the strange developments budding from those things--trolls, distractors and timewasters, flooders with wrong material, multiple sources putting the same views in different ways, and so on. The reason seems to be he assumed a 'capitalist' press: despite wartime propaganda bureaux, he did not foresee the vast subsidies to official establishment sources making them independent of advertising and cover price.
* Belloc assumed, in his Eurocentric way, that, somewhere, there will be a writer who knows about any controversial topic, and is willing to discuss it in print. These assumptions may fail where (for example) far distances are involved: Soviet Russia was never reported reliably at any time. His assumption fails where there is intense secrecy: official secrets illustrate the possibilities. So the principle that reading mass newspapers, plus the Free Press, will fully inform anyone who takes the trouble, is simply wrong. The fantastic deceptions such as 'the Holocaust', NASA, 9/11, false flags to start wars, linger largely because of effective gagging methods and mass dishonesty.
And Belloc assumed that writers would emerge; in retrospect, the laziness of many people, and the corruption of academics, was something he ignored. At the present day, I don't know of a single person who's listed BBC crimes and omissions and deceptions, for example. Or anyone who's continued Lewis Fry Richardson's 'socionomic' attempts to (for example) summarise wars to identify 'cui bono'.
* Belloc seems to have had no systematic way to comb the world of the Free Press for likely titles. He says he reads English and French Free papers, and American, but no others. He supported the 'Great War', largely because Britain and France had secretly decided to be allies, and his idea of war was something chivalrous and honorable, in which profiteering wasn't talked of much. His list of scandals (picked out in red, blow) omits the arming of Japan by Jews against Russia, assassinations of Russians, and many other matters. But he seems to have missed arguments against the war. And he had little idea of the nuts and bolts of finance: he does not discuss the 1913 formation of the 'Federal Reserve', although he was aware of Jewish power. Other missing issues include long-term planning, of the 'Illuminati' sort, and the worrying long-term implications; and such things as land reform and finance reform.
* Belloc draws attention to weaknesses of the Free Press, one being that many newspapers could not survive the loss of an influential editor or writer(s). In the same way, many websites cease having influence if the founder or writers leave or lose interest. The most reasonable conclusion, looking back over a century of news, seems to be that the official media had almost complete domination: almost everyone for example supported the opinions they were fed about the Second World War. The Free Press had a bit of influence--see the examples below--but most large issues, including the Great War, went unexamined. Personally, I hope Internet will prove much more robust.

* Lessons for Internet. These seem to be somewhat hopeful.
(1) The marginal cost of the Free Press--i.e. here we compare with websites--is zero. If you have a computer, it costs nothing more to access 'Free Press' sites than the effort of hunting for them.
(2) The cost of websites is far, far below that of hard-copy newspapers.
(3) The multiple specialist topics are relatively easily hunted down by search engines, something (apart from indexes) unknown before.
(4) Free machine translation allows access to sites from anywhere. If the translations aren't wonderful, they still exceed anything even the most polyglot person was able to read.
(5) Hypotheses (e.g. the acts of the Illuminati, the behaviour of Hitler, the causes of wars) are more explorable on Internet, although of course there is a mass of unsound material, some of it the Internet version of the 'Official Press'
(6) 'Political lawyers' who inspired such fear in Belloc are, arguably, in a weaker position since websites can be held in varied locations and subject to varied national laws.
(7) Belloc bewailed the fragmentation of the 'Free Press'. There's not much sign of change here; there are large numbers of websites. But it would be relatively easy to arrange alternative sites with multiple inputs.
BUT Belloc was hopeful that debates would ensue in full and within a few decades. The failure of debate on Jewish issues, notably the coup in Russia, the control of money, the world wars, and 'post-war' frauds show Belloc was enormously more optimistic about the 'Free Press' than proved realistic. AND Belloc also doubted there was a popular will to do anything: exposing frauds and absurdities may simply have little effect amongst the general public, and this so far has been the Internet experience too. Considering the reactions to (e.g.) nuclear weapons doubts, the takeover of Palestine, wars in Korea and Vietnam, Jewish immigration attitudes, Belloc was correct there.

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