Manufacturing Consent – The Political Economy of The Mass Media by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky was first published in 1988 and remains
Despite the commonly-held perception of journalistic independence, freedom of the press, and journalistic integrity, Herman and Chomsky shed light on the collaboration between the corporate media and governments. Stories are selected to manufacture consent, produce advertising revenue, drive political agendas, and enrich powerful media corporations.
30-Year Publication Anniversary
To mark the 30th anniversary of its publication, Aljazeera recently broadcast a documentary about this must-read book. To understand the basic concept and learn about the principles at work, take a look at this short Manufacturing Consent summary.
But the Aljazeera documentary doesn’t simply celebrate the brilliance of this book. Instead, its makers interviewed three renowned “non-mainstream” journalists to discuss its value, longevity, and premise.
One of them, Amira Haas, a journalist working in Gaza for the past 30 years, cast doubt on the public’s willingness to seek out information. Although the internet has made it possible for people in many countries to access facts, she believes that many people choose not to. In that sense, she considers Manufacturing Consent – although scathing – to deliver too optimistic a view.
During the documentary, Noam Chomsky himself stressed the new-found accessibility of information through the internet. For seekers of factual information, the internet has proven invaluable despite the emergence of fake news and ever-expanding media corporations.
From Manufacturing Consent to Manufacturing Dissent
Looking at today’s world politics and media, one would have to wonder whether today’s powers are manufacturing dissent instead. The rise of right-wing politics and the obvious polarisation between opposing factions suggests as much. Is today’s aim to divide and conquer, to drive a sharper wedge between the poor and the poor, so that cannot unite and rise up against greedy cash powers?