The world is in a “war on truth,” according to an internal report that lays bare a media culture that is so dysfunctional and so deeply flawed that it has led to the country’s worst crisis since the Great Depression.
The report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) found that in the past decade, the media has gone from a pillar of democracy to a platform for mass censorship, which has led people to doubt the credibility of the media.
The result, the report said, is a culture of denial and of distrust in the media and a “deceptive media propaganda system.”
In its report, the UNODC said that the media’s use of social media to spread propaganda is the single biggest driver of distrust.
The report also said that a lack of “objective journalism” in the field has led the media to become an enabler for hate speech.
The United Nations said it found that “a lack of objective journalism” and “disseminating propaganda” are the “two most important drivers of distrust” in media outlets.
“The lack of objectivity has a devastating effect on public opinion,” said the report, which was compiled by the UN and published Thursday.
The media, the study said, has become “a vehicle for the promotion of hatred, racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism,” adding that “the media’s failure to investigate its own bias and to hold the media accountable for its conduct has resulted in a culture in which the public can be easily duped and misled.”
“The media’s bias and its refusal to act as an independent arbiter of facts and its failure to hold itself to account for its reporting and reporting practices have contributed to a situation in which facts are being twisted to justify violence,” the report read.
The UNOD and the U.S. State Department did not respond to requests for comment.
The study found that the majority of journalists are not independent and “are not even fully informed about the content of their sources, and they are not fully informed when it comes to their professional responsibilities.”
The report said the media is biased in favor of the right and against the left, as well as in favor, or against, the rich and against those in poverty.
“The dominant narrative, which is that media bias is the result of corruption, is not supported by any data, and it is a lie,” the study concluded.
In the report released Thursday, the United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, the U in the Netherlands and the UK said that while there are some legitimate challenges in the world, there is no need to fear a media that is controlled by a corrupt elite that holds power over the people.
“While the media continues to be controlled by powerful interests, there are genuine challenges to the media, such as the rising threat of social and economic polarization, the failure of independent reporting and the pervasive corruption in journalism,” said US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power.
“There are real risks to the future of our democracy and our way of life, and we must do everything we can to mitigate these risks.”
The UN report said that as governments and the global elite “seek to undermine our democracy, undermine our freedom and threaten the stability of our societies, they are increasingly resorting to disinformation and fake news, often to discredit and delegitimize our democracies, undermine confidence in our institutions and threaten our democratic freedoms.”
“They do not see us as people who are just like them, but as potential threats to their power, the interests of their corporations and the interests and power of their state,” Power said.
The U.N. report said it also highlighted the role of the “global elite,” which has “unfairly and unfairly influenced public opinion, as a driving force behind a wide range of anti-democratic practices.”
The report found that there are “serious risks to public health, human rights and security” and that the world is “at risk of experiencing a mass exodus from the democratic system” if governments and media continue to suppress the rights of the public and limit their freedoms.
“These threats are exacerbated by the lack of independent journalism and media accountability, the lack the ability to report credible and independent news, and the widespread use of disinformation, misinformation, and cyber attacks,” Power and her colleagues wrote.
The “global elites” “are intent on undermining our democracy in order to advance their own agendas and their own personal gain,” they said.