NO5GNI reports from personal experience on how traditional media ignores anyone critical of 5G. Is the establishment suppressing concerns over this dangerous tech?
Here’s a conversation I have on a regular basis:
Me: So did you hear about the terrible, awful, scandalous thing that happened?
Respectable Person: No I did not. Where did you hear about that?
Me: On the internet
Respectable Person (looks sceptical): I see. Was it one of those things you read on Facebook?
Me: No! Actually yes. Well, I saw that somebody had put a link on Facebook and then I clicked on the link and read the article
Respectable Person: What website was the article on?
Respectable Person (openly disdainful): Is there anything about it on any of the reputable sites?
Me: What do you mean “reputable sites?”
Respectable Person: You know, the BBC, or the Guardian or something.
The funny thing is, until quite recently I would have been that Respectable Person, rolling my eyes about the latest stupid conspiracy theory or fake news some credulous nitwit had fallen for.
But then an interesting thing happened.
I wrote an article comparing the history of asbestos with the unfolding story of 5G.
It’s something that has affected many families in Northern Ireland (mine included) who have lost loved ones prematurely as a direct result of the failure to adequately protect public health in the face of a powerful industry.
I thought it would be a good way of educating people locally about the risks of 5G using an example that they could relate to.
It also has the advantage of being somewhat of a pet topic of the media here, so I thought it wouldn’t be too difficult to get them to pay attention.
I got permission from my sources and provided links to external information. It was a good article.
I sent it to NI’s biggest daily paper. Then I followed it up, and did so again.
They responded saying that they were “not sure if we would be able to feature it”.
That’s a bit odd, I thought. Why are they not able to feature it?
Is there something preventing them from publishing it? Or am I reading too much into it and this is just their way of letting me down gently?
As a general believer in the good of humanity, I settled on the latter explanation.
Conflict of interest?
But then Digital Survivor drew my attention to another article by the same paper: “BT prepares to unleash 5G in Belfast but launch date is under wraps”.
The piece talks a bit about how BT are rushing to get 5G into Belfast faster than their competitors. But it’s mostly a glorified ad for BT, all about how the telecom giant commissioned a report on how much it contributes to the NI economy and how many jobs it supports.
Then I noticed the date of the article: it was published 10 days after I got my gentle knock back. Odd, I thought again.
This is obviously the line they are taking on 5G. I wonder if this is why they weren’t able to feature my piece.
In the meantime I sent it to another local broadsheet. They ignored me altogether.
A week or so later, BBC Breakfast ran a piece about how 5G was going to be amazingly fast and would only cost a few extra quid on your monthly bill (as well as the cost of a whole new phone).
The BBC news website was producing stories about the Huawei security scandal at an impressive rate – with no fewer than 18 articles over the first two weeks of February alone.
A few people on Stop5G Facebook groups said they had tried to call in to a 5G phone-in but that only pro-5G people had been put on air.
So I complained to the BBC, supplying links to credible information sources about health concerns over 5G, and made some helpful suggestions on how resolve their reporting bias through more balanced coverage.
I also suggested that the BBC should be more open about the fact they are involved in a consortium of partners conducting 5G trials in Scotland.
They responded saying that they use their discretion about what to cover and had made an “editorial decision” – one that apparently supports their interests while ignoring their duties in public service broadcasting.
And if I want to escalate my complaint, I must contact the industry regulator Ofcom … 5G’s auctioneer!
There has been the odd slightly hysterical article about cancer or suicide risk of 5G in the tabloids. And the Telegraph published a pretty good piece about the tech’s impact on wildlife.
The Observer published a really good article about how big tech is funding dubious research in order to keep the debate open and thus win by default (which was then ripped to shreds in a Guardian rebuttal).
But these were the exceptions.
Considering the speed and scale of the spread of 5G and the urgency with which both the public and the scientists are sounding the alarm, focus among the mainstream media is resolutely on faster speeds and monthly bills. There’s usually also a bit of bellyaching about the Chinese thrown in for good measure.
It’s a pernicious and powerful strategy. Those of us sounding the alarm are accused of “fearmongering and spreading paranoia”, even when we provide links and information to independent sources.
Thankfully more and more people are realising the value of sites like Digital Survivor. And the more we support these sites, the more their power will grow.
My personal favourite* is the Environmental Health Trust website – it looks respectable and deals with peer-reviewed science. And its president is a Nobel Laureate.
All over the news
But the particularly resistant Respectable Person still declares “If it was really a problem, it would be all over the news”.
It is all over the news. You just need to know where to look.