A Red Herring: Mainstream Media vs Alternative Media

By K.I.G

To really help you understand why we at Intelsector.com no longer refer to “mainstream” and “alternative” news media outlets we are going to use a real-life example of a random so-called “alternative” news media outlet that claims to be on the opposite side of the media spectrum – thus, allegedly opposing the “mainstream” media.

The random “alternative” news media outlet for this case study is called Blacklisted News, it is one of the more popular of its kind, claiming to be serving “the world news you’re not supposed to notice“.

When BlackListed News began to be archived online, in 2006, it was still carrying advertisements for VOA, Voice of America. VOA is the US government’s preferred propaganda tool abroad, to manipulate foreign and US expat audiences.

From VOA’s own website:

The Voice of America (VOA) is a dynamic international multimedia broadcaster with service in more than 40 languages. Serving an estimated weekly global audience of 236.8 million, VOA provides news, information, and cultural programming through the Internet, mobile and social media, radio, and television. VOA is funded by the U.S. Government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

Obviously, when Blacklisted News took off in 2006 it either had little understanding of the news media spectrum or it simply always sought to deceive its audience, by pretending to be an underground news outlet. After all, they were pretty clear when it came to establishing their online profile: “Black Listed News is Your Total Resource for Real Uncensored Daily World News !!!

That an alleged underground news outlet would promote the US government’s propaganda arm VOA seems quite suspicious to say the least.

Over the years nothing has changed much at Blacklisted News, except for the looks and audience size.

Fast forward to the 17th – 18th of April 2018, roughly 12 years later. On the frontpage of Blacklisted News we find at least 7 articles that in no credible way can be described as “blacklisted” news items or underground newswire headlines.

  1. In Trying To Ban Telegram, Russia Breaks The Internet – Source: Tech Dirt
  2. Russia threatens to block Facebook – Source: RT
  3. Cambridge Analytica ex-CEO refuses to testify in UK – Source: AP
  4. CONFIRMED: CIA met with Kim Jong-un in North Korea – Source: The Duran
  5. Bump stock maker Slide Fire will stop taking orders and is shutting down its website – Source: CNN
  6. NTSB: Engine in deadly Southwest jet incident missing a fan blade – Source CNN
  7. Starbucks to close over 8,000 stores May 29 for racial bias education after 2 black men arrested – Source: Boing Boing

You can search for the above articles on the Blacklisted News website.

Lets be completely honest here. Tech Dirt, RT (Russia Today), AP (Associated Press), The Duran, CNN (twice!) and Boing Boing are not exactly dangerous underground publications or networks. The fact that Blacklisted News copy/pastes mainstream content without even adding their own editor’s note or context indicates strongly, indeed, that we are not dealing with a true “alternative” news media outlet.

‘Alternative’ means addressing different topics than the mainstream media and dissecting and shredding mainstream media content. Not blindly parroting it.

Given that Blacklisted News is merely one of the hundreds alike “alternative” news websites it is fair to say that the mainstream media versus alternative media paradigm is in fact a red herring. The very mentioning of it is suspicious when the true nature of the situation is not being discussed in any way.

It’s not, and clearly never has been, a matter of ‘alternative’ vs ‘mainstream’. As it is the case with several other, more recent, phrases ‘alternative media’ was more than likely planted by certain creative government agencies to instill a false sense of people power and grassroots opposition. Little do most people know, up to this very day, that the entire phrase “alternative media” never was meant to be anything more than an insider’s reference to controlled opposition. Other such planted phrases are “conspiracy theorist” and, more recently, “alt-right”.

Does this mean that there are no honest and pure grassroots news outlets available? Does this mean that all the “alternative media” websites are frauds? Absolutely not.

The problem, however, is that also the pure ones refer to themselves as alternative media. This automatically puts them in the wrong box. They become unidentifiable as real grassroots news media outlets. So the only way for them to become recognizable, as what they truly are, is by shedding the name tag “alternative” altogether ASAP.


Saying that Blacklisted News its editorial policy is standard practice in the “alternative” news media might seem unrealistic for the uninitiated. For this reason I’m going to give you another example of an “alternative” news media outlet that follows the same MO as Blacklisted News. Like Blacklisted News they too serve mainstream infotainment as alleged worthy-to-rehash “news”.

From the Trenches World Report, July 5, 2018

  • Captain of sinking Indonesian ferry sails onto reef; 31 dead – Source: Reuters
  • Europe rejects China’s offer of alliance in trade war with United States – Source: RT
  • Injured woman begs people not to call ambulance because she can’t afford it – Source: RT
  • China rejects ‘blackmail’ on eve of US tariff hike – Source: Mail.com
  • Montana Sen. Tester ‘welcomes’ Trump by touting passed bills – Mail.com
  • On Fourth of July, US cities celebrate America’s newest citizens – Source: ABC News