Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media

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Pantheon Books, 2002 - Political Science - 412 pages
127 Reviews
In this pathbreaking work, now with a new introduction, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky show that, contrary to the usual image of the news media as cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitous in their search for truth and defense of justice, in their actual practice they defend the economic, social, and political agendas of the privileged groups that dominate domestic society, the state, and the global order.

Based on a series of case studies—including the media’s dichotomous treatment of “worthy” versus “unworthy” victims, “legitimizing” and “meaningless” Third World elections, and devastating critiques of media coverage of the U.S. wars against Indochina—Herman and Chomsky draw on decades of criticism and research to propose a Propaganda Model to explain the media’s behavior and performance. Their new introduction updates the Propaganda Model and the earlier case studies, and it discusses several other applications. These include the manner in which the media covered the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement and subsequent Mexican financial meltdown of 1994-1995, the media’s handling of the protests against the World Trade Organization, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund in 1999 and 2000, and the media’s treatment of the chemical industry and its regulation. What emerges from this work is a powerful assessment of how propagandistic the U.S. mass media are, how they systematically fail to live up to their self-image as providers of the kind of information that people need to make sense of the world, and how we can understand their function in a radically new way.

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This book was hard to read but really worth it. - Goodreads
The writing is good and bitingly sarcastic at times. - Goodreads
Unfortunately, the density of Chomsky's writing is... - Goodreads
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Despite its age this is still an incredibly important book for anyone desiring to understand the contemporary world and its media. The busy reader may wish to read some of the chapters in a cursory manner, but will probably end up reading every single syllable as the book is more fascinating and frightening than any crime novel.  

Review: Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media

User Review  - Andrew - Goodreads

I'm a bit surprised I didn't get around to reading Manufacturing Consent years ago. I suppose I wasn't especially shocked by any of Chomsky's findings or analysis, as a 27 year old who's read a fair ... Read full review

Contents

A Propaganda Model
1
Worthy and Unworthy Victims
37
Legitimizing versus Meaningless Third World Elections El Salvador Guatemala and Nicaragua
87
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Edward S. Herman is Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Noam Chomsky is Professor, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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