2+2=5 – As a real posthumous, ‘FU’ to George Orwell – the BBC has opted to place a bronze statue of the policeman, foreign war volunteer, journalist, and counter-bureaucratic author in front of the new Broadcasting House in London. Oddly, the BBC a target of Orwell in his novel, 1984, is identified as ‘The Ministry of Truth,’ an agency of propaganda and history revisionism. Yet, earlier this week, the BBC announced that it would be launching government approved ‘Spy Vans’ throughout the UK to ensure that their viewers and internet users were up to snuff, within their own homes. All at a time in our history when Orwell’s cryptic warning used to sit in the halls of the paranoid, from his 1949 novel, 1984, “Big brother is watching you,” which could not be more relevant in the mainstream.
Just beyond the statue, etched within the stone facade of the building will be a quotation from George Orwell,
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
A choice of words I find odd to read alongside or within any form media, after all, in this state of affairs that we live in, we’ve almost ‘evolved’ past the worst fear of George Orwell in 1984. As we’re in an era when people are demanding to be lied to and are unquestioningly accepting the messages presented to them – despite the source. In fact, in many cases and despite the truth, people will argue and fight in defense of the often meaningless and pandering words presented to them. This is where we are in mass media communications today. Of which, I won’t cite an example of these many points, but invite you to look across the hall, and at what you disagree with – then ponder what they must think of you. Such is the landscape of now, and it presents the largest quandary for any journalist seeking to deliver the unwanted truth, which is to find a way to package the message so it will be heard. Even so, while providing news that might be published is not enough, nor is it a guarantee that the news will not be swiftly dismissed offhand for being counter to any of the readers’ beliefs. Consequently, few people care to read a counter-argument, conduct independent research, and even less dare to have their opinions challenged. That is of course, unless the message somehow incentivizes the audience.