The Propaganda Theory: The Political Economy Of The Mass Media

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In their 1988 book Manufacturing Consent The Political Economy of the Mass Media, linguistics philosopher Noam Chomsky, alongside media analyst and professor Edward S. Herman, developed what is now known as the “Propaganda Model”. In the book, Herman and Chomsky analyse what they believe to be the function of the mass media, and evaluate how and why the media performs such functions. In chapter 1, they declare that the media is a system for communicating messages to the general population, and assert that its function is to “amuse, entertain, and inform, and to inculcate individuals with values, beliefs, and codes of behavior (...) In an authoritarian country, where the media is heavily controlled and censored by the government, it is easy…show more content…
Nonetheless, the authors claim that there are in fact many filters that media has to work through, and that influences the content that is put out. They claim that what is presented by the news is shaped by the propaganda model, which caters to the interest of a power elite. The propaganda model, in turn, results in a pattern of manipulation and systematic bias. Herman and Chomsky claim there is a total of five filters which affect and limit messages distributed by the media. These filters are applied to the raw material possessed by the media, and only after this material is processed does it reach print. Consequently, these filters serve as a basis to decide what is noteworthy and should receive more attention and how discourse should be shaped. For the purpose of this essay, I will write about how these filters affect information published in newspapers, but it is important to note that the propaganda model is not limited to one form of…show more content…
So a newspaper that frequently criticized capitalism and big corporations, for example, is less likely to receive advertisers support. In addition to this discrimination, advertisers many times choose newspapers or media vehicles on the basis of their own principle and interests. An example of this would be a tobacco company would not choose to have their ads in a newspaper which is often writing about health issues and the dangers of inhaling smoke. Finally, advertisers also prefer articles or programs that would put the audience in a “buying mood” These would be news that lightly entertain, rather than expose a harsh truth. Hence, all of the concerns mentioned above affect newspapers and how they filter their material. Stories that conflict with the interest of advertisers or the “buying mood” tend to be marginalized or excluded altogether from publications so that media vehicles do not lose their advertising

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