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Controlling Freedom - Essay Example

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Controlling Freedom

The propaganda model propsed by Chomsky argues that the maintenance of control over the media is a result of free market forces operating on a daily basis and does not necessarily require conscious planning. The framing of conditions and accidental necessity needed to do this can be compared to a that of a crystalline structure. By pouring a stream of balls over a flat box like frame we inevitably end up with a perfect pyramid structure. In the same way by pouring news, information and ideas into the basic framework of free market goals we end up with a self building pyramid where by supportive elements within the pyramid find themselves in stable positions and those unsupportive elements of the pyramid are simply forced out. The framing of these conditions which facilitate the building of these near perfect crystalline structures are called the five reality filters. The first filter is related to the size, ownership and expense of producing media. The second argues that the media are heavily dependent on advertising and sponsorship, thus content has to follow 'advertiser friendly lines' or risk loosing vital funding. Thirdly, resources are concentrated where significant news is likely to occur, while non routine sources of news often struggle to find access to the media. The fourth filter, called Flak, refers to the negative responses that are received by media due to a program or article. Just as supportive media is naturally assisted, unsupportive media is attacked and vilified. The last filter is called 'anti-communism' and refers to the need for a common enemy. Throughout history we see examples of the creation of new 'evil empires' ( communists , Islamic terrorists etc) which threaten the status quo, requiring the production of more arms and therefore increasing economic activity and generating important revenue.
In testing the hypothesis there are numerous examples of media attention being directed to serve corporate interests and government agendas. Truth filtration also extends to media black holes, where unsuitable truths are simply not reported. A horrific example of this is East Timor, where Indonesian brutalities administered from weapons traded in multi million pound deals with the British, huge oil reserves and an amiable dictatorship ensured the smooth functioning of the filter system. The vast majority of the general public were unaware of the massive human rights abuses and atrocities taking place.
Ignoring, silencing and not giving voices to those that contradict the 'line' is another filtration system which ensures the ongoing passivity of the general public. The Iraq war in 1993 saw the whipping up of an effective media campaign against Iraq and its evil dictator that had invaded Kuwait. The just and noble forces of freedom went into action backed by the media. Clark in his book The Fire This Time, US War Crimes in the Gulf demonstrates how the western version of media events was untrue and that the war was in fact set up, manipulated and brought about to remove obstructions to western economic interests. Other examples of the propaganda model in action can be seen with examples such as global warming. In 1990, despite government unanimity on its existence and the potentially ...Show more


When people reject arguments as absurd and irrational there are often several different motives for doing so. Chomsky's views are often greeted with ridicule and called simple minded because his views contracdict what most people consider to be common sense…
Author : christiansenbar
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