Name: Noureddine TaimoumSemester 6: Media Studies
Chapter Five: The Propaganda Model & the Five Filters of Media
Essay Question: Discuss the five Filters advocated by Herman and Chomsky
In bureaucratic countries, the elite exercise a severe control on media’s activities. This control helps the dominant groups propagandize certain ideologies that work for their benefits. Herman and Chomsky assert that there are five filters shaping the setting of news and placing a huge amount of restrictions on its integrity and rectitude.
Ownership is among the filters every news item must go through before it reaches the audience. Ownership simply means that many media companies tend to diversify their business interests into other sectors of the economy. Ownership also includes wealthy individuals holding shares in the mass media industry. These types of ownership influence the production of news because the different shareholders have different political orientations. Thus, several media corporations incline to produce media contents that serve the interest of the whole parts. In other words, mass media favor a consensual atmosphere that brings them economic benefits.
Advertising, second, participate in the process of shaping the news-making. Because media corporations are businesses that seek profit, the advertising income is critical to their continuity in the field of production. The advertisers effect news content by the terms and the conditions they impose on the media companies. As a result, the news media are very selective in terms of what content to be produce or shared. This proves that media corporates prioritize making programs that serve the advertisers needs; while reliability and the audiences’ right to access pure content remain irrelevant.
Sourcing is a very powerful filter because mass media are in a constant demand of information and resources. Most media companies cannot afford the costs of putting journalists and cameramen in every part to cover events; so, they are obliged to get raw news from the government and other media agencies. The dominant elite’s subsidize the mass media, and they gain a special access to media’s content in return. As a result, the majority of news is biased and manipulated.
The fourth filter advocated by Herman and Chomsky is flack. This filter happens when media and/or journalists stray away from consensus. Flack can take the form of lawsuits, petitions, and many other modes of complaints: phone calls and letters. The dominant groups in any given society take flack as a tool of threat and punishment to control any deviation from media that may antagonize their interests.
The fifth filter is the ideology of the market. This filter is linked to the ideas and the doctrines of the market that are capitalist in nature; therefore any communist ideology is filtered. The ideology of the market function by gathering the general public’s opinions against a common enemy: immigrants, terrorists, or communism.
To conclude, Herman and Chomsky challenge the everlasting argument, which says that media says truth to power; through the propaganda model’s filters, it is clear that the news content of media is manipulated and serves the interests of the dominant minorities. The propaganda model has established for itself a space in the field of media behavior analysis; however, this theory has many limitations: namely, this model cannot be applied outside the U.S. because in each country there are specific relations between media and institutional pressures.