Once upon a time - centuries ago in internet time - the main sources of information were national broadcasters, commercial news organisations and independent news agencies....oh, and government departments.
State propaganda, whether sent out directly or mediated via numerous third parties, was planned, scheduled and 'controlled'.
Ah, the good old days!
Then came the internet...
...and social media.
Now, persuasive, powerful and often poisonous propaganda can come from virtually anyone, anywhere in the world.
These days, the flow, buzz and scope of (dis)information is on an industrial scale.
As my American cousins would say: "it's scary as hell'!
Here's the BBC's take on it:
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea - North Korea to you and me - is on the warpath.
If one were to believe the rhetoric of the East Asian nation, a pre-emptive nuclear strike against neigbouring South Korea and the United States is 'imminent'.
As the world's most militarized nation, with nearly 9.5 million active, reserve and paramilitary troops, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un's force is nearly twice the size of South Korea's and more than three times that of the USA's. But, modern warfare is less about strength in numbers and more about sophisticated weaponry.
On that score, and despite threatening a 'cutting edge' nuclear strike against the US and its allies (including South Korea), North Korea is ill-equipped to challenge the overwhelming might of American military power.
So, why is this sabre rattling happening and why is North Korea so ready to go into a war it will never win?
I have a theory: Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un needs to show North Korea's 25,000,000 citizens that he is a strong leader in his own right, whilst maintaining the 'military first' legacy of his father, Kim Jong-il and the juche (self reliance) ideology of his grandfather Kim Il-sung.
Despite having previously held grand-sounding titles like First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, First Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea and Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, Kim is a relatively young man. At 32, he has the distinction of being the world's youngest head of state.
Perhaps this brinkmanship is a ploy to get universal acclaim nationally, while at the same time being taken seriously internationally. It's a high risk strategy, as the wrong word or action could lead to catastrophic consequences for the people of North Korea.
After so many years as an ideological and cultural outsider, North Korea may have lost the art of diplomacy. It may be isolationist, but as former basketball star Dennis Rodman said, North Korea is 'pretty much like any other country.'
Note to the Supreme Leader: 'Make love, not war'.
Thoughts on customer service, communication and, of course, reputation management.