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Monopolistic Control of Elite over Media

Should the advantaged elite rule mass communication and concomitantly use the  authority to enforce necessary delusions to manipulate and mislead the unwise majority, removing them from the communal arena? Do democracy and freedom fall under the prestigious category of values that need to be preserved or are they mere extortions that need to be avoided?

As we talk about mass media and its relationship to culture and the prevailing structure of power in America, several concepts can be examined to answer these questions and finally declare democracy and freedom as valuable treasures in this possibly fatal phase of mankind’s existence. The notion of ‘hegemony’ where the predominance of the elite emasculates any realisation of change , offers solutions to overcome this hierarchy of power to devoid the power elite from maintaining authority, continuing private possession of public assets and increasing profits as they manage media content.

At this very point, it is necessary to look at the important role of the common man in building groundwork for change in presence of the levied information to strive to act according to the ordinary man’s own decent interests. Thus the whole situation requires us to stress on working together to develop independent minds.

In a democratic society, brainwashing is the core of propaganda when necessary illusions are imposed by techniques of control.The propaganda model is a conceptual model in political economy advanced by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky to explain how propaganda and systemic biases function in corporate mass media. The model seeks to explain how populations are manipulated and how consent for economic, social, and political policies is "manufactured" in the public mind due to this propaganda. The theory posits that the way in which corporate media is structured (e.g. through advertising, concentration of media ownership, government sourcing) creates an inherent conflict of interest that acts as propaganda for undemocratic forces. 

‘Propaganda is to democracy what violence is to a dictatorship.’

In order to validate the credibility of his perception and ideas to highlight the propaganda model at work, atrocities in East Timor and Cambodia covered by American media serves perfect example. Cambodia was covered with immense attention while East Timor was ignored. This example allows us to label media as an instrument of propaganda which in this case illustrated bias in favour of the powerful elites. Thus, the masses (80%) are sidelined while the radical class (20%), who vote and contribute to democracy as social managers in an inadequate fashion, are in-structured into the status quo.

Major media outlets define and engineer our perception of the world. Examples of such agenda setters are New York Times and Washington post etc. To some certain extent, we can blame media for marginalizing dissenting voices through constraints such as Concision, where these views are mostly disallowed as they take longer to explain and do not fit in the print media news hole. The concomitant impact of Propaganda model can be impeded if the proposed solutions are employed in letter and spirit. 

  • media
  • elite
  • dominance
  • propoganda model
  • news
  • NewYork Times
  • Washington Post