Would You Recognize 'Propaganda'?

August 25, 2007 5:14am CST
Do you trust your local media/news sources? Recently, I was very definitely misquoted concerning some statments I made during a speech about 'low income and housing' issues in my city. The local city television crew was present and I never did see the broadcast they put together later. The rally organizer put together a digital video-postcard-presentation that I did see later. The organizer sent a copy to everyone who spoke out during the rally, and was sending a copy to Canada's Housing Minister, as well. When I viewed this special digital-postcard-presentation that was sent to me, I was shocked to see that my words were taken very much out of context. In fact, they became lies in the video as I was shown standing on stage, delivering my speech. What was on the video-presentation was not at all the words of my speech. I fact, there was a voice-over that had the effect of an announcer 'documenting' my 'story.' The only detail that was correct for this video copy sent to Canada's Minister of Housing - was my name. Before I exited that Rally, I spoke to a local newspaper reporter, a TV reporter and the organizer of the event and I made sure to clarify my details with them, including the particular point of view that I used in my live speaking at the Rally. The very things that I clarified about were the same details in the Video that were messed up. I also brought some University peers with me who witnessed my entire speech and who were standing with me (and were also interviewed) as I spoke to each reporter and the Rally organizer. There was no reasonable way that my information could have been mixed up so badly. My peers were even asked about MY situation and gave the same truthful answers that I gave, supporting both my speech and all the follow-up questioning afterward as I re-stated my position on issues! I know that I definitely did NOT paint the picture that media wanted me to. In the Video, I became "days away from homelessness, single-mom-with-child about to be on the street with my child and family, etc." This absolutely was NOT TRUE and is not anything close to what I said in my speech! My son is no longer a minor and doesn't even live with me! He doesn't even live in the city that I do. I made no mention of 'evictions' because this never occurred to me, since I was in no danger of any eviction notice. I said that my rent went up a surprisingly SMALL amount as compared with the rest of the rents in my city as of late. These statements all turned into "eviction and poor woman with children (PLURAL but I only have 1 fully grown son!) and will be living in the streets" and a bunch of garbage, that's for sure. Do you think that this is just bad media presentation, bad reporting, bad recording of details - or do you think propaganda exists in the way that media will report a certain viewpoint which serves their need to tell a story a certain way?
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