Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Propaganda and Elite Culture

Monday, February 06, 2006

Propaganda and Elite Culture

The propaganda model is ultimately controlled by two fators: economic interests and political power, according to Edward S.Herman and Noam Chomsky. It's interesting to describe the "consent" as a kind of product that can be manufactured, but this is the reality.In a world of concentrated wealth and major conflicts of class interests, the mass media, unexceptionally, can not protect itself from being contaminated by the complex tastes of business and politics. Considering the five ingredients in a propaganda model, they strongly support the following idea:

"It(the propaganda model)traces the routes by which money and power are able to filter out the news fit to print, marginalize dissent, and allow the government and dominant private interests to get their messages across to the public."

No wonder, actually it's very hard for the mass media to maintain objectivity, for it's strictly confined and shaped by both business and politics from inside to outside. It originates from them and finally serve for them, which traps the mass media into a quandary that neither itself nor its partners, (the business and politis), who are mutually dependents, would like to admit. As we can see from the obvious squelch on the free expression of the working class, the mass meida is eventually the mere mouthpiece for the elite group in society, while the publication of the working class views is filtered continuously until the "director" finally agrees that they are fit to print, and they know clearly that's the only way for the mass media to attract the eyeballs of the advertising agengies which are the backbone of the media operation. Ideology control is just another expression of the interests of the business and politics.

According to the authors, "The magnitude of the public-information operations of large government and corporate bureaucraies that constitute the primary news sources is vast and ensures special access to the media." Mass media get tremendous amount of inexpensive news sources from this two main supports, on which they claim their objectivity rather than dependency. However, they can't operate under their free will, for they are also struggling as a business in the competitive market.


Blogger S.Block said...

Good point. The only objective media would be one that didn't function as a business... but that media wouldn't survive because it would have no funds.

2/06/2006 5:09 PM  
Blogger A. Mattson said...

You have chosen two key quotes. This is a good substantive post.

Yes the market pressures do constrain the freedom of the media, at the same time there is room for freedom of expression, even within these corporate constraints. The pressure of the bottom line, of profitablity is enormous and results in slashed news budgets. On the other hand, the enormous imbalance in resources means that powerful institutions are capable of generating massive quantities of information and images. This relationship of dependency of the media on powerful sources of information is a key concept which can help us to understand the abliity of these same sources to dominate the debate.

2/13/2006 11:38 PM  

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