Propaganda Model- Media Sociology

1633 Words7 Pages
“According to the Propaganda Model, how does mass media frame the world for audiences? How persuasive is this argument?” Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman first discussed the Propaganda Model in 1988 with the release of their book Manufacturing Consent. This model acknowledges the mass media's role in entertaining and informing the masses, but focuses on the use of propaganda to minimise dissent and indoctrinate people with certain values. The writers confess that the power of mass media is harder to understand in a democratic society, compared to one government controlling mass media for the interests of the state. It is in a democratic nation however, that mass media plays a highly important role: Chomsky goes as far as to liken the relationship between democracy and propaganda to that of violence and dictatorship. Thus implying not only that democracy is negatively associated with the use of propaganda, but that it is reliant on it: “The quality of a democracy now depends upon the information they (the media) provide” (Justin Lewis, “The Myth of the Liberal Media”). Free press is generally viewed as an element of a society free to discuss and change issues that people feel are important. This assumption overlooks the vital elements of mass media: encoding and decoding. The propaganda model focuses on who creates mass media, who decides what is 'news worthy' and- most importantly- why. Herman and Chomsky identify five 'media filters' that ensure the control of media content: the interests of the owners, advertising opportunities, reliance on state or expert information, the use and manipulation of flak to self discipline media and anti communism to maintain class division. These filters demonstrate just how the world is presented to mass media consumers. We need only to look at the owners of media makers to see the correlation between wealth,
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