Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Propaganda's First Filter - Herman & Chomsky

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Propaganda's First Filter - Herman & Chomsky

In 1988, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky wrote a book titled "Manufacturing Consent". In the first chapter, they describe the many "fiters" that exist within the mass media that information must pass through in order to be acceptable to the masses. The first filter, as Herman & Chomsky describe, is the filter of "size, ownership, and profit orientation of the mass media". Both describe how the present day ownership of the major media outlets are controlled by wealthy individuals and organizations. It is practically impossible for an individual to go into the media buisness, all the way from a small newspaper or magazine publication to a large television coporation. The costs are prohibitive. They also describe how describe how many have direct and indirect connections with the goverment. After reading this article, it reinforced my belief that the information coming from mass media sources are tainted by the needs and bias of the organization and shareholders of those media outlets. This may be why many have turned to the internet for news and information, despite the internet's repeated inaccuracies. It becomes difficult, if not impossible, for differing viewpoints to get across to the populace when the media is so tightly controlled. Due to the tight control over the media, Congress attempted to pass a law known as the fairness doctrine, which would attempt to permit equal points of view to be reflected. The law was ultimatly vetoed by President Reagan.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good, substantive post.

I am fascinated with this idea of "control." Many of the posts I have been reading speak about the media as if they are totally controlled either by the government or corporations. Is there no press freedom in this country? I think that the strength of Chomsky & Herman's book is that they lay out how self-censorship practices are really more effective then direct corporate or government "control."

2/14/2007 11:24 PM  

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