Inconspicuous Brainwashing: How Mass Media Dictate Our Main Fears

The Washington-based Pew-Research Center conducted a survey in 38 countries, trying to determine what phenomena and trends people consider the most serious threats. Having analyzed the study, German philosopher Frieder Otto Wolf has come to a very interesting conclusion.

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It turned out that Daesh's terrorist activities and the consequences of climate change are perceived all over the world as the most dangerous threats, the study said. The poll involved 42,000 people from 38 countries.

In Germany, Daesh ranks first among the most dangerous threats (77 percent of respondents are afraid of terrorism most of all), climate change — ranked third (63 percent view it as the biggest challenge), and the fear of cyberattacks ranks second.

At the same time, political analyst and philosopher Frieder Otto Wolf expressed doubts that the study reflects the real fears of people.

"Such surveys basically reflect the topics which are the most popular in public discourse, media reports and so on. I'm rather skeptical about the fact that this way you can find out what people think and what motivates them," Wolf said in an interview with Sputnik Germany.

The fact that this was a central topic in media reports and discussions is true. But the question is — is this reasonable?" the analyst continued.

According to Wolf, when people are asked what they are afraid of, they don't think about their real fears, but rather refer to key words that they have recently heard on TV or read in the newspaper.

"Of course, Daesh is a big problem, but there is also a climate catastrophe, which has not been prevented so far, which is a much more pressing issue. There is hunger, as well as the disintegration and destruction of social and political structures in Africa, which are much more significant problems. In the south of the planet, including in Latin America, there are major disasters. All these problems can't be delayed and require a thorough discussion," Wolf stated.

In his opinion, the study can't be used as a scheme for the organization of a political election campaign.

"If you organize the election campaign on the basis of this research, you will get an opportunistic policy, which is of little use. Therefore, I wouldn't recommend doing it to anyone. This can lead to short-term success, but when circumstances change and people understand this, it turns out that you helped to make things go in a completely wrong direction," the expert concluded.

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