Sample Essay

Herman and Chomsky do not claim that media acts only to circulate propaganda. The Propaganda Model   describes ‘the forces that cause the mass media to play a propaganda role’ they also argue that media not only serve the political and economic interests of dominant elite but also of the state.

The authors admit that the propaganda model does not explain everything in every context it deals with the patterns of media behavior and performance. The elite media decides what topics, issues, and events that are to be considered ‘news worthy’ by the lower-tier media and establish the general discourse, they determine, they select,  they shape,  they control, they restrict in order  to serve the dominant elite groups in the society. This system is at odds with reality as the powerful are able to decide what the general public is allowed to see, hear, think and create public opinion by regular control. Individual powerlessness grows in the face of globalizing market; support organizations as the labor unions are weakened .In the final pages of Manufacturing Consent Herman and Chomsky acknowledge that the system is not all powerful, the domination of media by government and the elite have not overcome Vietnam syndrome and public hostility to direct US involvement in destabilization and over throw of foreign governments.  Herman and Chomsky took the phrase ‘manufacturing consent’ from the influential American journalist Walter Lippman who advocated consent engineering. He said common good should be managed by small specialized class.

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