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Does our mass media act as propaganda?

Hey guys,

Do you agree with the Propaganda Model? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_model

Personally I think it is right and that corporate bias is out of control; we see this with Occupy Wall Street. These news media outlets, controlled by large companies, are stating that the wall street movement is a bunch of weed smoking hippies and that the 30 people of the tea party rally were not.

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    Nov 7 2012: It depends on how broadly you define propaganda. Some people would argue that propaganda only occurs when government is trying to sway public opinion, in which case mass media is rarely propaganda. Others argue that propaganda is something that people in power use to sway public opinion. If you are like me, and believe that government and big business share power in modern society, then advertisement and public relations are a form of propaganda. That definition gets very murky though, how big does a corporation have to be before its considered capable of propaganda? Is a lone individual engaging in ideological rants participating in propaganda?

    Others argue that propaganda is in the subject matter. The message must be political or ideological to be considered propaganda. That gets murky too, what is considered political and what is not? Is politics only about politicians, or do debates about the economy, environment, and education also count as political messages?


    In general I consider public relations campaigns by powerful entities to be propaganda. As far as Chomsky's propaganda model that you link to, it is not necessarily a reflection of the media as a whole, but instead a long series of case studies and a general "how to" of propaganda. Remember, that book was written in 1988 and things have changed a lot since then. Nevertheless it can be seen in action in the real world. It is important to know that despite increasing centralized ownership of mass media outlets the message is not that well controlled. There are PR wars going on all the time and the end result is somewhat chaotic, all of which is peppered with a much larger variety of independent media than existed when Herman and Chomsky wrote Manufacturing Consent.

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