Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Manufacturing Consent

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Manufacturing Consent

"The Mass Media serve as a system for communicating messages and symbols to the general populace."
This is the opening statement in "A Propaganda Model", and I feel as though it is a rather important one at that. The general public rely on the media to inform them of what is happening in the world today. We rely on the news, newspapers, magazines, and even movies to educate us as to what is happening around us. There are a few problems that come of this. If what Herman and Chomsky have written is true, then how much do we really know as to what is happening in society? There is an unsettling amount of "inequality of wealth and power" and it's "multilevel effects on mass-edia interests and choices". The majority of the mass-media is owned by upper-class, middle aged, white business men. Because these are the men that own our mass-media, we receive a slanted view on many topics in the news. There are also very many news items that don't even make it into the news. How can we possibly "get the news" properly if the majority of media ownership is held by non-media companies?
"GE and Westinghouse are both huge, diversified multinational companies heavily involved in the controversial areans of weapons production and nuclear power". These two companies own a majority of the mass-media. It is because of this that our news is mainly one sided. We will not hear of topics that may cause problems for these companies, the same way that we will hear nothing if anything wrong with the companies themselves. Free press is what we are promised in this country, yet do we really have it? No we don't actually have a free press, not unless you call freedom of the press having to answer to someone and be approved before airing a news item. Propaganda has obviously worked on "the general populace", because we don't even question any of this. Our rights have been taken away in a sense, yet no one is fighting for them back.


Blogger SHickcox said...

I totally agree with you that in this great nation of ours that we don't have free press. The media is very biased yet if you looked hard enough you can find media on both sides of the political spectrum. What the public needs to do to counter this biased is to try to get as much information as possible from numerous sources and then make their own personal judgemnet. It is hard in the present becase we are a nation of little time but to trul and honestly want to know whats going on you must take time and do the research. I enjoyed reading your opinions on the reading and keep up the good work.

2/02/2006 11:46 AM  
Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good substantive post. The concentration of ownership is a key issue. But how does this result in biased news? You have grasped the big picture, but how does the system work? In what way does ownership confer control over the messages conveyed.

G.E. and Westinghouse are big, but they do not own "a majority" of the mass media. The mass media are increasingly controlled by a smaller number of large multi-national corporations but there is still some competition.

Also, aren't we here questioning this? Is the "general populace" really so duped? Is that possible?

2/13/2006 11:17 PM  

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