Vigilant Citizen – Oct 15, 2019
In the matter of a few months, Greta Thunberg went from a lone girl protesting in front of the Swedish parliament to an international phenomenon. Although mass media is making it seem as if this meteoric rise to prominence happened organically, this is simply not true.
Behind Greta is a major machine, one that is controlled by major international actors and backed by major funds. This PR machine has allowed Greta to make the covers of magazines, become the subject of thousands of news articles while meeting with world leaders and giving speeches at elite places such as the United Nations.
Although Greta might very well be genuinely concerned with the fate of the planet, her message is carefully crafted by those who control her to generate a specific response from the youth. In short, Greta is the face of a major marketing scheme – a tightly coordinated international effort to sell global warming under a specific lense: Through fear, panic, and urgency.
Before going further, I need to point out that I am neither a “climate denier” nor a “climate activist”. That is not my field of expertise. I never analyzed any data regarding climate change and its correlation with human activity. I am far from qualified from speaking about this issue so I won’t.
My field of expertise is mass media and its relation to power. In the “Read This First” article of this site, I explained (using quotes from main mass media thinkers such as Edward Bernays) how mass media is used to shape and mold opinions. The rise of Greta to international prominence is a clear-cut case of “agenda-setting” which is defined as follows:
Agenda-setting is the creation of public awareness and concern of salient issues by the news media. As well, agenda-setting describes the way that media attempts to influence viewers, and establish a hierarchy of news prevalence. Two basic assumptions underlie most researches on agenda-setting:
the press and the media do not reflect reality; they filter and shape it;
media concentration on a few issues and subjects leads the public to perceive those issues as more important than other issues.
The meteoric rise of Greta is a pure creation of mass media. It is an undeniable proof of the extreme reach and power of mass media. And, considering the fact that most media outlets are owned by a handful of mega-corporations, it is not difficult for the elite to saturate the world with a specific message.
Mass media programming is particularly effective on those who did not develop an acute sense of critical thinking – notably young people. And the Greta phenomenon was custom-made to cater to this very specific demographic.
Here’s a look at the rise of Greta.