Essay: The Five Filter Elements of News Material
Herman and Chomsky write that all news material goes through five inter related filter restrictions. Leaving only cleansed residue fit to be printed.(Herman and Chomsky;1988:pg 3-14). The five filter elements are: (1) the size, concentrated ownership, owner’s wealth, and profit orientation of the dominant mass-media; (2) advertising as the primary income source of the mass media.
(3) the reliance of the media on information provided by government, business, and experts funded and approved by the primary sources and agents of power. (Martin and Knight 1997,pg 253-254). (4) Opposition as means of disciplining the media; (5) anti-communism as a national religion and control mechanism.(Herman ,cited in Wintonick and Achbar,1994:pg108). The first filter restriction emphasizes that media are closely interlinked and share common interests with other dominant sectors as corporations, the state, and banks. The dominant media sectors are large firms with large businesses; they are controlled by very wealthy people or by their managers who are subject to sharp restrictions by the owners. The second filter emphasizes that the news production process is highly influenced by advertising values ,most media must sell markets(readers) to buyers(advertisers).This dependency can directly influence media performance, Chomsky remarks that media content reflects the interests of the sellers, the buyers, and the product .Herman contends that the application of the first and second filters of the propaganda model has greatly influenced the economy the communications industries, and politics went through dramatic changes the two filters ,ownership and advertising have become even more important.