Just some meandering thoughts I've pulled together from years of readings and observations...
As I write this, the three top posts in /r/worldnews are two posts about South Park in China and one post about blindfolded prisoners in Xinjiang. These are truly the most important issues of our times - Reddit hivemind curating your content at work.
No, Reddit isn't the news, but a same curation process happens behind the scenes in every news organization. I encourage you to think critically. By this, I don't mean a myopic focus on accurate reporting of facts (although this too is important and often in question when it comes to China) or even mere crude censorship, but the meta-news. Who decided something was newsworthy? Who decided something was not? What was left out? How important is it really in relation to everything else going on? Why are you hearing about this now? Who is the source of the claims? Who's connecting disparate stories to form the official narrative? Better yet, who's putting out the stories for you to "naturally" arrive at the narrative they're trying to sell?
So as an example, let's take the current Hong Kong protests. Without taking any sides, let me just point out that during this time, the Gilets Jaunes protests in France have continued (with fatalities and maimings from the police suppression), Kashmir has had telecommunications cut, been put under virtual martial law, and seen thousands of preemptive arrests, Indonesia has had protests (again, with multiple fatalities from police shooting live ammunition), and over a hundred protestors have been killed in Iraq. The popularity of these protests might not match HK, but I hope you'll agree with me that comparatively the police response in HK has been restrained, as evidenced by, you know, protestors (at least so far) not getting killed by police. So why is it that the response to the HK protests have drawn so much condemnation and the other protests barely merit a mention?
You are living in a world awash with information and even without resorting to lying, facts can be cherrypicked to support just about any narrative. There are whole knowledge-creation industries, such as lobbyists and think tanks, out there to convince people to believe things that align with the interests of whoever funds them. You are targets for influence campaigns to manipulate your sentiments, beliefs, and actions - and I don't mean just the Russians or Chinese or Iranians or whoever the enemy of the week is, but everybody. That especially includes the largest Military-Industrial Complex in the world. Organizations that run these campaigns aren't interested in informing you or encouraging public debate. They do strategic messaging - this means they put out whatever is necessary to achieve their desired strategic effects. Things like consolidation of national broadcasters, dying local news, social media, big data/AI will only make things worse. These are the times you live in.
Not too long ago in historical terms, people used Christianity or Civilization to justify the rape, slaughter, slavery, and pillage of other peoples. Eventually, Freedom and Democracy became the justification for foreign intervention. Then it was Human Rights. And these excuses will continually morph to whatever is necessary to get your support. Watch this space - personally, I wouldn't be surprised to see Global Climate Change/Saving the Planet as the next big justification. Feminism/LGBT is already in vogue. I'm not saying that these causes are not good causes - what I'm saying is that actors will try to hijack your views on these causes to advance their own interests, just like how corporations do Pride Week to improve their image and sales.