“Trust Me, I’m Lying” by Ryan Holiday is one of those books, or part of a book in my case, that I have read and while wanting to thoroughly berate the author for his actions I also wish to praise him for his candor.
On one hand we have this man that purposely manipulated the news in his favor in order to increase the news and publicity around his friend’s movie. He also did so without reservation and actually pulled puppet strings on groups that disagreed with the message of the film in order to gain the publicity he wanted for the movie. Talk about a master manipulator.
Then on the other hand we have a man coming clean about his actions and is actually using this pseudo confession to inform the public on what is actually happening in new media. That instead of it acting as news reporting and telling the facts and sharing new information, that new media acts as a giant rumor and recycling machine of information. This in turn can cause major concerns, problems and even death.
Reading this excerpt sort of frightens me, it means confronting a fear and already subconscious knowledge of corruption face on. It means looking in face of the problem, and being challenged with what to do. Do I have a duty to slay this massive monster? And if so, how do I do it and make a living, and be happy and not kill myself in the mean time? This is perhaps one of the most important ethical dilemmas I have ever faced and frankly, a few months from graduation it scares me. It also leaves me not knowing what to do.
Journalism for me has always meant making a positive influence on the world, and aiding people. Yet the more I learn on how these systems work leave a sour taste in my mouth and also a feeling of isolation. As if I am a sole protesters standing with my sign in the wake of powerful actions that generate money, buzz and keep media alive.
So what to do?….I’ll get back to you on that.