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Essay: How is the neo-liberal capitalist business model of journalism supported by propaganda?

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  • Published: 22 September 2015*
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Taylor C. Boas and Jordan Gans-Morse (2009) said that the term neo-liberal capitalist is now used mainly to develop for privatization, deregulation, free market and the whole reduction in government control of the economy. American scholar Rober W. McChesney talks that the term neo-liberal capitalist, which means ‘capitalism with the gloves off’ is largely by the public audience. In short, neo-liberal capitalist model refers to the free-market which has been the dominant type of capitalism for the last three decades. The neo-liberal capitalist business model of journalism is kind of like a liberal media, the role of news media is significant to the modern democratic press. Propaganda is the tool that official government spread the information which maybe true or false to the public that aimed at to influence opinion. And those news is all through filters for its political effect. For the neo-liberal capitalist business model of journalism was completed with the support of propaganda.
This essay mainly discusses how is the neo-liberal capitalist business model of journalism supported by propaganda. Also this paper will be composed of three parts. The first part will talk about what is the neo-liberal capitalist model and what is propaganda. The second part will focus on how propaganda supports the neo-liberal capitalist business model of journalism. In this part will be first through talk about the five filters of propaganda (mainly talk about three of them) and use some examples to explain how neo-liberal capitalist business model of journalism supported by propaganda. Then will discuss how propaganda works use techniques. The third part will make analysis of the propaganda also have both sides to neo-liberal capitalist business model of journalism.
During the past twenty to thirty years, the word ‘neoliberalism’ has become a quite universal in many political and academic argument. Denord, F. (2009) thinks that to be ‘neo-liberal’ meant that a modern economic policy with government intervention is required. Neoliberal economics took the thoughts of the famous liberal economists such as Adam Smith in the 1920s, and at the same time, the tools of propaganda in the neo-liberal capitalist business model of journalism have become more pervasive.
There are numerous scholars gives the definition of the word propaganda. According to Jowett and O’Donnell (2008) mentioned that propaganda means to disseminate and delivery the perceptions or specific ideas in a particular way. Jacques Ellul (1965) deemed propaganda as sociological phenomena, not something generated by the people of intentions. He also thinks propaganda is important to us. It enables us to participate in some major issues such as elections and big anniversaries. And I think propaganda is kind of manipulation which the main purpose is to try to control people’s mind and behavior.
Herman and Chomosky (1988) first mentioned the propaganda model in their book manufacturing consent. It is vital structural factors origin from the fact that the propaganda model is firmly imbedded in the neo-liberal capitalist business model of journalism. The media are to a great extent gained information from the government and corporate business. They are profit-oriented business and owned by some very rich entities. This model focus on the inequality of wealth and power and its greatly effects on neo-liberal capitalist business model of journalism. Most independent research has found that the media are influenced by wealthy business and conservative interests. And the propaganda model shows how the media is influenced by conservative elites. Furthermore, they set the five filters to select and edit news. And these filters are greatly influenced by a successive of entities pressures, for instance who is the owner, the role of advertisers, the source of information they are used, and they noted that the five factors which ownership, advertising, sourcing, the flak that media get and anticommunist ideology. The first one filter is ownership. In media organizations, power determined by owners, not journalists. According to Herman, E. and N. Chomsky (1988) said that the mainstream media is representing an elite interest and this way can be deemed as carrying out a propaganda function. Those owners usually relate with other wealthy and powerful group which can impact the country’s media. For example, Rupert Murdoch purchased The Times and the Sunday Times and also created News Corporation in order to control all his media interests. He supported Labour Party leader Tony Blair in the 1997 British election and he won because he own the great influence in the western world.
Another important filter is advertising which is the main revenue source of mass media. The choice of advertisers is related to the survival of mass media. Corporations pay $170 billion a year to the media to advertise to audiences. Advertisers demand a supportive editorial and programming environment. The third important filter is the source which means the information from the expert or some authority. The media need reliable and truthful raw materials of news in order to achieve ‘objective’. Government and corporate sources also have the obvious advantage of being reliable and truthful by their status and reputation. But I think there have some News agency use some propaganda techniques to manipulate our minds and behavior. Like Fox News uses 14 propaganda techniques to brainwash Americans. And they use some unreliable news source,like always use words ‘some people say’ and they interview some called ‘expert’ to report news. The greatest problem in this kind of free press in the American is that largely dependent on the government version of the story. They leading by political elites when they reporting the political events instead of the objective with authority.
These elements are linked together and reinforce each other. The raw news material through these filters just left the unworthiness news to report. It reflects the government and corporate exert power to control the flow of information.
Scholar Timothy Cook (2006) thinks the news agency reports the content of news is similar to everyday expect to cover some unpredictable news. There is another example to explain how the propaganda supports the neo-liberal capitalist business of journalism. China Central Television, known abbreviated as CCTV, is the significant state television broadcaster in China. CCTV has turned its news and historical drama series into propaganda aimed at brainwashing its audience. And its monopoly has ignored much truth of social and political events. CCTV key player Zhu Y (2012) said that ‘certain common themes, about ideals distorted or altogether thwarted by commercial and political pressure, emerged.’ The free press has become something like a ‘speaking tube’ of government in that many people are doubting the truthful and reliable. The ‘free’ is based on the government it is supposed to surveillance the people’s behavior. Herman, E. and N. Chomsky (2002) said the media also become institutionalized because their relationship to government. And this case illustrates perfectly the dependence of the institutional media upon official authority.
Propaganda works depending on the techniques. It is applied by politicians, journalists and others to reach their goals. One of propaganda techniques is testimonials which use of celebrity such as actors, musicians, artists or authority like doctors to endorse the product, idea. For instance, if your idol is Beckham who promoted a perfume ad that makes you think that perfume is good and you will go to buy it. But you will never know how often he uses it. Other propaganda technique is bandwagon it is kind of use of attraction to the people to follow the crow, to join in because others are doing so as well. For example, Walmart ad is everyone tries to rush into store at same time and Nike’s slogan is just do it. These words are just are attempting to delusion us. There still have other propaganda techniques applied to the neo-liberal capitalist business model of journalism. And these techniques make the propaganda work to us.
Propaganda is everywhere in our life. And propaganda usually is negative, but sometimes it may be positive. Positive propaganda is practised by spreading the idea of a healthy lifestyle and world peace. Like The AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) war: propaganda,profiteering and genocide from the medical-industrial complex. This book uses propaganda tool to cover the story for helping people away from AIDS.
In short, the propaganda model describes a decentralized market system of control process.
The dramatic changes in the economy and politics over the past decades want to enhance the applicability of the propaganda model on balance. The neo-liberal propaganda had great effects everywhere. Herman and Chomsky agreed that the use of propaganda was an necessary for control the mechanism of population by government and corporate elites in neo-liberal capitalist regimes. In a democratic country, the government controlled the public’s information sources. This was generally understood forming propaganda model; in capitalist, the free is based upon the manipulation for neo-liberal democratic. Although the propaganda supports the neo-liberal capitalist, but the media still should cover truthful information independently. The pulic have their own judgement to the news.

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