The role of journalism in crisis in the result of the European elections

If 'France' protests against the most voted party in France, does 'Spain' vote for Alvise?

In recent days, many Spanish media are baffled by what happened in the European elections last Sunday.

Can you imagine the media publishing the story of current events in Spain at the dictates of ETA?
The headlines that would have been published about D-Day with today's leftist media

The emergence of the group of voters "The party is over", headed by Alvise Pérez, with three seats, has broken many schemes. The reason for this confusion could be summarized in this question: how is it possible that a guy without media support and without an electoral program manages to enter the European Parliament?

Many media outlets, especially traditional media (television, newspapers and radio stations), do not understand what has happened, but they also do not ask themselves what their contribution is to that result. In the almost 20 years that I have been writing this blog, I have been pointing out the crisis of credibility of a large part of Spanish journalism, increasingly dependent on public aid and whose manipulations are exposed daily on social networks.

We have media outlets that do things like lie, preach to their audience with their ideological nonsense (this is the case of the hyper-subsidized socialist newspaper El País, which from time to time reminds us how bad it is to have children, eat meat or not being ashamed of your masculinity), hiding uncomfortable facts (such as the effects of mass immigration on security) or stigmatizing millions of people for disagreeing with the dogmas of the left, distributing "extreme right" labels in an obsessive way. There are journalists who seem to have confused their profession with that of political commissar, but then they want to be taken seriously.

This not only happens in the most militant left-wing media. There are media that were conservative and that have joined this degrading trend. Let's look at an example. Yesterday, the once conservative daily Abc published this headline: "France takes to the streets against Le Pen's extreme right." The news adds: "Hundreds of thousands of protesters are protesting in Paris and around twenty French cities."

This way of titling news includes two vices of current journalism. The first is falsely labeling what the newspaper does not like to try to create reader rejection of it. For example, for years now Le Pen's party defends secularist measures and she has supported abortion being classified as "right", two important issues that openly clash not only with the concept "extreme right", but with the "right" itself. Abc could have titled like this: "In France many people demonstrate against a party that this newspaper does not like", but they believed it would be more convincing to lie.

Secondly,France has almost 68 million inhabitants. A few hundred thousand protesters are not "France". In fact, in last week's European elections, Rassemblement National, Le Pen's party, won with 31.37% of the vote. The second most voted party, Emmanuel Macron's Besoin d'Europe coalition, obtained 14.6% of the votes. The only thing that headline demonstrates is that Abc has taken sides with the protesters, simply ignoring the rigor required of a media outlet.

To give us an idea, Spain has almost 48 million inhabitants and last Sunday 800,000 Spaniards voted for Alvise's candidacy. Following the rule of three applied to the headline that that newspaper published yesterday about France, Abc could have published something like this: "Spain takes to the streets to vote for Alvise."

It is not consistent that many media outlets feel surprised that there are people willing to vote for a guy who has no program, who has not even taken the effort to explain in writing what plans he has for his country, and at the same time these media take their work with so little seriousness and rigor, thus contributing to degrading public debate. It is good to criticize charlatanism in politics, in fact it is something very necessary, but what has created the breeding ground for this charlatanry to be successful has been, to a large extent, bad journalism, which deals his readers as if they were idiots.


Photo: Efe/Ballesteros.

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