The importance of information in forming public opinion [Archives:2003/666/Opinion]

September 8 2003

Fuad al-Homeedi
For the Yemen Times

Information plays a vital role in broadcasting facts, portraying events and hence forming public opinion. The importance of information has been progressing owing to the technology advancements which revolutionized communication methods through live broadcasting, space channels and other media mechanisms. Consequently, role of information has become extremely important at different levels; in making strategies, plans, programs and in dealing with crises. Moreover information has become the foundation on which people's opinions are based, and their behavior as long as it is being the fastest in transmitting and tackling events, phenomena and developments taking place on the globe.
The downside of this is that media could be used as a tool for distorting facts and creating wrong impressions, for it has never been mere purely neutral in broadcasting opinions to society. Much of the information conceived through the media is a result of selectivity when transmitting facts especially during crises time. For example, it is noticeable that the western media distorts the reality of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It, with absolute partiality, acts on behalf of the Zionist invader and portrays it as a victim of injustice and a self-defending despite of the fact that this entity commits brutal actions, wiping out anything Palestinian. The bias of western media to Zionist entity exposes the reality of the negative role of media in transmitting information. Surely western media draw a distorted image of Arab issues far away from facts, targeting principally, to form a mutilated public opinion, in their societies towards Arabs and Arab issues. Whereas here we are as Arabs allowing ourselves to be brainwashed by everything that is western while our own media in many cases are a mere copycat of western concepts. We have to improve and evolve our Arab media so as to positively spread truths and transmit events. It is time that we stand up for ourselves and it is time that someone say the truth, just as it is.