In this week’s seminar we discussed the political economy of the media: radical versus liberal theories of the press. We evaluated how persuasive Chomsky and Herman’s radical analysis of the media was and their presentation of the ‘propaganda model’. As a journalist, it is of great importance to report stori
es and events in a neutral manner. However, it is argued that the media nowadays is not objective at all, rather subjective and biased. This idea is heavily emphasised in Chomsky and Herman’s Manufacturing consent (1988).
Moreover, he way we communicate or share meaning with one another socially, influences how we view the world. Much of the meaning we perceive from the world comes from representations found in the media, such as TV, Internet, news and advertising. If we look back at Stuart Hall, he says that the manner in which we give meaning to events is ‘always linked with power’ as there are groups that have all the control when it comes to what gets covered/represented in the media. Similar to Hall, Chomsky and Herman argue that news cannot be impartial; it must favour government and company owners in order to stay out of financial danger. This particularly applies to individual news organisations that rely on them for funding and will face difficulties if they do not write in favour of those bosses. Chomsky and Herman argue that those in power have control of the meaning that is depicted or interpreted by the way the information is represented. Chomsky’s Propaganda Model suggests that the media have ‘filters’, ownership, advertising, news maker, which limit debate and solely offer media content emphasising and representing the ideologies of those in control. In it, Chomsky says that this is done to disassociate the public with real and important matters to prevent them from becoming curious and involved in the political process, which he refers to as ‘Necessary Illusions’.