Distorted News Subverts Mainstream Western Media Legitimacy

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The public is losing confidence in Western corporate-owned media, as it is increasingly perceived to be a mouthpiece for government talking points, the director of a French economic think tank told Sputnik.

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Anastasia Levchenko — The survey published on Tuesday showed that over half of the people polled in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Greece would like to get their global news from sources other than mainstream Western media.

"This lack of legitimacy is coming from what is seen as a biased and sometimes a distorted presentation of most national or international events," said Jacques Sapir, who heads the Center of Industrialisation Research, commenting on a recent opinion poll conducted by ICM Research exclusively for Sputnik.

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The French pundit said he was not surprised to find that many respondents were interested in alternative news sources, including Internet blogs and electronic journals. In his view, the average person "is understanding that a lot of what is now said in 'official' media is just a defense of vested interests."

He said educated people were more likely to base their opinions on various sources when it came to foreign policy.

"People understand that quite frequently what is presented to them, as 'unbiased information' is actually just propaganda," Sapir said, adding that this knowledge is what pushes them to seek other sources of information.

"In this particular context, it is quite important that Russian media could appear as reliable and trustworthy," the expert said, noting an improvement in the quality of Russian media.

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He added that reputation-building was a strenuous process and that he felt it would take time for Russian media to gain a firm foothold among Western competition.

Russia and the West traditionally express differing perceptions on an event. As Moscow's relations with the West deteriorated over the past year due to conflicting stances on the Ukrainian crisis, many US and European media outlets adopted a one-sided approach to covering events.

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