“What rules over the media.. rules over the country” – Ryan Holiday
Have you ever wondered why we constantly see single sensational stories practically take our media timelines, shunting other more fundamentally-vital-to-life-on-this-planet stories to the back burner? Well wonder no more as self-confessed media manipulator, Ryan Holiday, exposes the traffic driven, money grabbing nature of blogging and the media system he designed to fool and cajole every single one of us in Trust Me I’m Lying.
Lets face it, propaganda, lies and scandal have been around long before the digital age. But with online media taking unprecedented reach, scale, and profit, we have become oblivious to the large shift that has occurred within our society. For our society was once governed by public opinion, and now through fabricated stories and attention-seeking headlines, our opinions are being scientifically manufactured for us.
Holiday does his best to illustrate how to manipulate the media and the downside of online blogging and news sites (Gawker, Huffington Post, Techcrunch, Buzzfeed, etc.) in two parts.
Part one was the real eye-opener though. Being a journalism student, you think you already have superior knowledge to not be taken for a ride by the media, but little did I know how wrong I was. You’ll be shocked at how easily he could pull the strings of exposure, and just how quickly and willingly bloggers will lap it up. It’s no longer about “is this newsworthy?”, but rather is it “cashworthy?”. Paired with his real life experiences, we learn all about the economics of the internet and how it creates a rush for content (filled with lies, of course) and traffic.
What you’ll read in this book will make you view every bit of information with a cynical eye, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll still be unable to put it down. I usually refrain from describing any book as a ‘must read’ due to its dubious reputation, but I truly believe that this book should be obligatory for anyone engaged with modern Internet media.
But don’t let me spoil the rest for you, pick it up now. And don’t let Holiday’s lurid language put you off, it is all part of his engaging and erudite prose I promise.