Manufacturing Consent Noam Chomsky and the Media Edward S. Fierman, whose chapters in Manufacturing Consent: The Political. Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media [Edward S. Herman, Noam Chomsky] on portal7.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. PDF | This paper investigates to what extent the 'Propaganda Model', which Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky developed in their work.
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MANUFACTURING. CONSENT. The Political Economy of the Mass Media. EDWARD S. HERMAN and. NOAM CHOMSKY. With a new. Full text of "Manufacturing Consent [The Political Economy Of The Mass Media]. pdf MANUFACTURING CONSENT 9 A Propaganda Model MASS MEDIA. The mass media serve as a system for communicating messages and symbols to the general populace. It is their function to amuse, entertain.
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GE is a more powerful company than ITT, with an extensive international reach, deeply involved in the nuclear power business, and far more important than ITT in the arms industry.
It is a highly centralized and quite secretive organization, but one with a vast stake in "political" decisions. GE has contributed to the funding of the American Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think tank that supports intellectuals who will get the business message across. With the acquisition of ABC, GE should be in a far better position to assure that sound views are given proper attention. The lack of outcry over its takeover of RCA and NBC resulted in part from the fact that RCA control over NBC had already breached the gate of separateness, but it also reflected the more pro-business and laissez-faire environment of the Reagan era.
The non-media interests of most of the media giants are not large, and, excluding the GE and Westinghouse systems, they account for only a small fraction of their total revenue. Their multinational outreach, however, is more significant. The television networks, television syndicators, major news magazines, and motion-picture studios all do extensive business abroad, and they derive a substantial fraction of their revenues from foreign sales and the operation of foreign affiliates.
The Murdoch empire was originally based in Australia, and the controlling parent company is still an Australian corporation; its expansion in the United States is funded by profits from Australian and British affiliates.
The radio-TV companies and networks all require government licenses and franchises and are thus potentially subject to government control or harassment.
This technical legal dependency has been used as a club to discipline the media, and media policies that stray too often from an establishment orientation could activate this threat.
The media protect themselves from this contingency by lobbying and other political expenditures, the cultivation of political relationships, and care in policy.
The political ties of the media have been impressive. In television, the revolving-door flow of personnel between regulators and the regulated firms was massive during the years when the oligopolistic structure of the media and networks was being established. The great media also depend on the government for more general policy support.
All business firms are interested in business taxes, interest rates, labor policies, and enforcement and nonenforcement of the antitrust laws. GE and Westinghouse depend on the government to subsidize their nuclear power and military research and development, and to create a favorable climate for their overseas sales. The media giants, advertising agencies, and great multinational corporations have a joint and close interest in a favorable climate of investment in the Third World, and their interconnections and relationships with the government in these policies are symbiotic.
In sum, the dominant media firms are quite large businesses; they are controlled by very wealthy people or by managers who are subject to sharp constraints by owners and other market-profit-oriented forces; and they are closely interlocked, and have important common interests, with other major corporations, banks, and government. This is the first powerful filter that will affect news choices. Curran and Seaton give the growth of advertising a status comparable with the increase in capital costs as a factor allowing the market to accomplish what state taxes and harassment failed to do, noting that these "advertisers thus acquired a de facto licensing authority since, without their support, newspapers ceased to be economically viable.
With the growth of advertising, papers that attracted ads could afford a copy price well below production costs.
This put papers lacking in advertising at a serious disadvantage: For this reason, an advertising-based system will tend to drive out of existence or into marginality the media companies and types that depend on revenue from sales alone.
With advertising, the free market does not yield a neutral system in which final downloader choice decides. Even if ad-based media cater to an affluent "upscale" audience, they easily pick up a large part of the "downscale" audience, and their rivals lose market share and are eventually driven out or marginalized.
In fact, advertising has played a potent role in increasing concentration even among rivals that focus with equal energy on seeking advertising revenue. A market share and advertising edge on the part of one paper or television station will give it additional revenue to compete more effectively-promote more aggressively, download more salable features and programs-and the disadvantaged rival must add expenses it cannot afford to try to stem the cumulative process of dwindling market and revenue share.
The crunch is often fatal, and it helps explain the death of many large-circulation papers and magazines and the attrition in the number of newspapers. From the time of the introduction of press advertising, therefore, working-class and radical papers have been at a serious disadvantage.
Their readers have tended to be of modest means, a factor that has always affected advertiser interest. One advertising executive stated in I that some journals are poor vehicles because "their readers are not downloadrs, and any money thrown upon them is so much thrown away.
As James Curran points out, with 4. The Herald, with 8.
I percent of national daily circulation, got 3. Curran argues persuasively that the loss of these three papers was an important contribution to the declining fortunes of the Labor party, in the case of the Herald specifically removing a mass-circulation institution that provided "an alternative framework of analysis and understanding that contested the dominant systems of representation in both broadcasting and the mainstream press.
The successful media today are fully attuned to the crucial importance of audience "quality": CBS proudly tells its shareholders that while it "continuously seeks to maximize audience delivery," it has developed a new "sales tool" with which it approaches advertisers: The idea that the drive for large audiences makes the mass media "democratic" thus suffers from the initial weakness that its political analogue is a voting system weighted by income!
The power of advertisers over television programming stems from the simple fact that they download and pay for the programs-they are the "patrons" who provide the media subsidy. The choices of these patrons greatly affect the welfare of the media, and the patrons become what William Evan calls "normative reference organizations," whose requirements and demands the media must accommodate if they are to succeed.
This is partly a matter of institutional pressures to focus on the bottom line, partly a matter of the continuous interaction of the media organization with patrons who supply the revenue dollars. As Grant Tinker, then head of NBC-TV, observed, television "is an advertising supported medium, and to the extent that support falls out, programming will change.
Political discrimination is structured into advertising allocations by the stress on people with money to download. But many firms will always refuse to patronize ideological enemies and those whom they perceive as damaging their interests, and cases of overt discrimination add to the force of the voting system weighted by income.
Even before the program was shown, in anticipation of negative corporate reaction, station officials "did all we could to get the program sanitized" according to one station source. With rare exceptions these are culturally and politically conservative. Large corporate advertisers on television will rarely sponsor programs that engage in serious criticisms of corporate activities, such as the problem of environmental degradation, the workings of the military-industrial complex, or corporate support of and benefits from Third World tyrannies.
Erik Barnouw recounts the history of a proposed documentary series on environmental problems by NBC at a time of great interest in these issues. Barnouw notes that although at that time a great many large companies were spending money on commercials and other publicity regarding environmental problems, the documentary series failed for want of sponsors.
The problem was one of excessive objectivity in the series, which included suggestions of corporate or systemic failure, whereas the corporate message "was one of reassurance. Advertisers will want, more generally, to avoid programs with serious complexities and disturbing controversies that interfere with the "downloading mood.
But even in these cases the companies will usually not want to sponsor close examination of sensitive and divisive issues-they prefer programs on Greek antiquities, the ballet, and items of cultural and national history and nostalgia. Barnouw points out an interesting contrast: American civilization, here and now, is excluded from consideration. Airing program interludes of documentary-cultural matter that cause station switching is costly, and over time a "free" i. Such documentary-cultural-critical materials will be driven out of secondary media vehicles as well, as these companies strive to qualify for advertiser interest, although there will always be some cultural-political programming trying to come into being or surviving on the periphery of the mainstream media.
The media need a steady, reliable flow of the raw material of news. They have daily news demands and imperative news schedules that they must meet. They cannot afford to have reporters and cameras at all places where important stories may break.
Economics dictates that they concentrate their resources where significant news often occurs, where important rumors and leaks abound, and where regular press conferences are held.
On a local basis, city hall and the police department are the subject of regular news "beats" for reporters. Business corporations and trade groups are also regular and credible purveyors of stories deemed newsworthy.
These bureaucracies turn out a large volume of material that meets the demands of news organizations for reliable, scheduled flows. Mark Fishman calls this "the principle of bureaucratic affinity: This is important to the mass media.
As Fishman notes, Newsworkers are predisposed to treat bureaucratic accounts as factual because news personnel participate in upholding a normative order of authorized knowers in the society. Reporters operate with the attitude that officials ought to know what it is their job to know…. This amounts to a moral division of labor: Another reason for the heavy weight given to official sources is that the mass media claim to be "objective" dispensers of the news.
Partly to maintain the image of objectivity, but also to protect themselves from criticisms of bias and the threat of libel suits, they need material that can be portrayed as presumptively accurate. This is also partly a matter of cost: The magnitude of the public-information operations of large government and corporate bureaucracies that constitute the primary news sources is vast and ensures special access to the media. The Pentagon, for example, has a public-information service that involves many thousands of employees, spending hundreds of millions of dollars every year and dwarfing not only the public-information resources of any dissenting individual or group but the aggregate of such groups.
In I and , during a brief interlude of relative openness since closed down , the U. Air Force revealed that its public-information outreach included the following: Writing back in I, Senator J. Fulbright had found that the air force public-relations effort in I involved I, full-time employees, exclusive of additional thousands that "have public functions collateral to other duties.
There is no reason to believe that the air force public-relations effort has diminished since the Is.
Note that this is just the air force. There are three other branches with massive programs, and there is a separate, overall public-information program under an assistant secretary of defense for public affairs in the Pentagon. To put this into perspective, we may note the scope of public-information operations of the American Friends Service Committee AFSC and the National Council of the Churches of Christ NCC , two of the largest of the nonprofit organizations that offer a consistently challenging voice to the views of the Pentagon.
Its institution-wide press releases run at about two hundred per year, its press conferences thirty a year, and it produces about one film and two or three slide shows a year. It does not offer film clips, photos, or taped radio programs to the media.
The ratio of air force news releases and press conferences to those of the AFSC and NCC taken together are I50 to I or 2, to 1, if we count hometown news releases of the air force , and 94 to I respectively. Aggregating the other services would increase the differential by a large factor.
Only the corporate sector has the resources to produce public information and propaganda on the scale of the Pentagon and other government bodies. The number of individual corporations with budgets for public information and lobbying in excess of those of the AFSC and NCC runs into the hundreds, perhaps even the thousands.
A corporate collective like the U. Besides the U. Chamber, there are thousands of state and local chambers of commerce and trade associations also engaged in public relations and lobbying activities. The corporate and trade-association lobbying network community is "a network of well over I50, professionals," and its resources are related to corporate income, profits, and the protective value of public-relations and lobbying outlays.
When the corporate community gets agitated about the political environment, as it did in the Is, it obviously has the wherewithal to meet the perceived threat. So did direct-mail campaigns through dividend and other mail stuffers, the distribution of educational films, booklets and pamphlets, and outlays on initiatives and referendums, lobbying, and political and think-tank contributions.
To consolidate their preeminent position as sources, government and business-news promoters go to great pains to make things easy for news organizations. They provide the media organizations with facilities in which to gather; they give journalists advance copies of speeches and forthcoming reports; they schedule press conferences at hours well-geared to news deadlines; they write press releases in usable language; and they carefully organize their press conferences and "photo opportunity" sessions.
The large entities that provide this subsidy become "routine" news sources and have privileged access to the gates. Non-routine sources must struggle for access, and may be ignored by the arbitrary decision of the gatekeepers.
Because of their services, continuous contact on the beat, and mutual dependency, the powerful can use personal relationships, threats, and rewards to further influence and coerce the media. The media may feel obligated to carry extremely dubious stories and mute criticism in order not to offend their sources and disturb a close relationship.
It is very difficult to call authorities on whom one depends for daily news liars, even if they tell whoppers.
Critical sources may be avoided not only because of their lesser availability and higher cost of establishing credibility, but also because the primary sources may be offended and may even threaten the media using them. Powerful sources may also use their prestige and importance to the media as a lever to deny critics access to the media: In the last two of these cases, the authorities and brand-name experts were successful in monopolizing access by coercive threats. Perhaps more important, powerful sources regularly take advantage of media routines and dependency to "manage" the media, to manipulate them into following a special agenda and framework as we will show in detail in the chapters that follow.
Part of this management process consists of inundating the media with stories, which serve sometimes to foist a particular line and frame on the media e. This problem is alleviated by "co-opting the experts"-i.
The book then considers the creation of a crisis due to reports suggesting rapidly diminishing numbers of animals from caribou to polar bear to seals as a way to prompt a conservationist oriented policy. Arguing the policy was based on faulty assumptions and guesstimates, the authors demonstrate the extent to which these crises were manufactured by scientists and rooted in unsubstantiated assumptions.
Instead, the research proffered emphasizes the skill and care Inuit employed when hunting and the real need for the hides and meat taken. That is, the logic and conclusions proffered by the scientists involved, who were working on behalf of the Canadian Wildlife Service, was not always sound or verified though convincingly presented.
In other words, Kulchyski and Tester offer a shocking indictment of government agents working to promote their own agendas without any real accountability. In the second half of the book, the authors argue that the regulations imposed on the Inuit people led to their resistance. As Tester and Kulchyski suggest, the regulation issue is neither a purely academic nor theoretical issue, neither purely about material nor immaterial interests, but rather it is about people—from civil servants to Inuit hunters.
The introduction of legislation led to Inuit protest.
In this section, the authors focus on specific examples of Inuit petitions for rights from health care to land title, and the introduction of new forums specifically the Baker Lake Council , all of which provided the Inuit with new forms for political expression. Overall, this book is a rich story, weaving together the elements of policy and people. These considerations all work to assure some dissent and coverage of inconvenient facrs. It should also be noted that we are talking about media structure and performance, not the effects of the media on the public.
Certainly, the media's adherence to an official agenda with little dissent is likely to influence public opinion in the desired direction, but this is a matter of degree, and where the public's interests diverge sharply from that of the elite, and where they have their own independent sources of information, the official line may be widely doubted. The point that we want to stress here, however, is that the propaganda model describes forces that shape what the media does; it does not imply that any propaganda emanating from the media is always effective.
Although now more than a dozen years old, both the propaganda model and the case studies presented with it in the first edition of this book have held up remarkably welJ. For this reason, we focused heavily on the rise in scale of media enterprise, the media's gradual centralization We also noted the gradual displacement of family control by professional managers serving a wider array of owners and more closely subject to market discipline.
All of these trends, and greater competition for advertising across media boundaries, have continued and strengthened over the past dozen years, making for an intensified bottom-line orientation. Thus, centralization of the media in a shrinking number of very large firms has accelerated, virtually unopposed by Republican and Democratic administrations and regulatory authority.
Ben Bagdikian notes that when the first edition of his Media Monopoly was published in , fifty giant firms dominated almost every mass medium; but just seven years later, in , only twenty-three firms occupied the same commanding position.
These giants own all the world's major film studios, TV networks, and music companies, and a sizable fraction of the most important cable channels, cable systems, magazines, major-market TV stations, and book publishers. The largest, the recently merged AOL Time Warner, has integrated the leading Internet portal into the traditional media system.
Another fifteen firms round out the system, meaning that two dozen firms control nearly the entirety of media experienced by most U. Four of themDisney, AOL Time Warner, Viacom, and News Corporation-produce movies, books, magazines, newspapers, TV programs, music, videos, toys, and theme parks, among other things; and they have extensive distribution facilities via broadcasting and cable ownership, retail stores, and movie-theater chains.
Important branches of the media such as movies and books have had substantial global markets for many years, but only in the past two decades has a global media system come into being that is having major effects on national media systems, culture, and politics. It has also been helped along by government policy end the consolidation of neoliberal ideology.
The United States and other Western governments have pressed the interests of their home-country firms eager to expand abroad, and the International Monetary Fund IMF and World Bank have done the same, striving with considerable success to enlarge transnational corporate access to media markets across the globe.
Neoliberal ideology has provided the intellectual rationale for policies that have opened up the ownership of broadcasting stations and cable and satellite systems to private transnational investors.
The culture and ideology fostered in this globalization process relate largely to "lifestyle" themes and goods and their acquisition; and they tend to weaken any sense of community helpful to civic life.