Eoin Drones: Media Distraction 101

First off let me explain the above title by clarifying that this bi-weekly, recurrent column will not be an ongoing tirade against the use of drones in warfare, even though such a column may well be merited. Alas, Eoin Drones is a title that simply refers to my solemn duty as opinion editor of this fine gazette to ‘drone on’, as it were, about ailments afflicting the modern condition.

On Tuesday 21 September, the unthinkable happened. Brad and Angelina, or Brangelina (the nick-name I famously coined while on work experience at TMZ in the 1990s) publicly decided to go their separate ways.

It is long since the world has been so united in grief. Thousands marched through the streets of New York, Paris and London in a passionate display of solidarity. Clashes broke out between the peaceful marchers and the more militant pro-Aniston protestors.

In the midst of this furore, the biggest news story since N-Sync broke up, a few less important stories slipped under the radar without much scrutiny. In Syria, a convoy unloading much-needed humanitarian aid to besieged civilians was completely bombed out. This comes just eight days after the US and Russia brokered a partial ceasefire in the region.

The perpetrator of the attack is as yet unknown and the world’s media has bigger fish to fry than attempting to find out. Hard-hitting questions like was Brad cheating? And will we now see a re-unification of Braniston?

Most media outlets have point blank refused to ascertain the source of this attack, which is odd considering it is a direct contravention of international law. This should raise eyebrows.

The general populace is not to be blamed in this, we can only consume the media that is set out before us. It does make one wonder whether there is a game of distraction being played by US-based media outlets.

In an era where media ownership has become concentrated in the hands of a few, an oligarchic press can push any agenda it so desires without reproach. This could conceivably be one aimed at keeping the distracted multitude distracted, but we have no hard evidence of that.

Many of us know nowadays to take the news with a pinch of salt. Take Ireland for example: Denis O’Brien owns 29.9% of Independent News and Media, as well as a slew of radio stations including Newstalk, Today FM and Spin South West. The latter two are certainly guilty of under-reporting the news, often leading with mindless sport or celebrity news.

Don’t get me wrong, sport and celebrities have their place in society, but it is one of divertissement. We read stories about training ground bust-ups and celebrity break-ups because they provide us with respite from the tribulations of daily life. However, the fact that we are now replacing hard news with entertainment should concern us.

For anyone wishing to read up on proper news, outside of SIN of course where we report hard-and-fast facts about the Smokey’s Pigeon, head over to r/worldnews on the internet machine.

H/T to Declan Higgins, former SU President, who brought this to everyone’s attention via Facebook.

 -By Eoin Molloy

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