Noam Chomsky pp 141-164 | Cite as

How Useful Is a Propaganda Model for Screen Entertainment?

  • Matthew Alford
Part of the Critical Explorations in Contemporary Political Thought book series (CEPT)


Ed Herman and Noam Chomsky’s1 Propaganda Model (PM; see Figure 7.1 for illustration) explains elite US news media representations of America’s role in the world through five contributory factors, which they call metaphorical ‘filters’: ‘size, ownership and profit orientation’ (first filter); ‘the advertising license to do business’ (second filter); the need for the media to use powerful organizations in ‘sourcing’ information (third filter); the ability of powerful organizations to issue flak (fourth filter), and a dominant ideology of a superior, benevolent ‘us’ in the West versus a backward ‘them’ overseas (fifth filter) (Herman and Chomsky, 1988; 2002). The filters ‘cleanse’ information from the real world to leave only the ‘residue’, which is acceptable to established power systems (Herman and Chomsky, 2002: lx). As such, the media ‘serve to mobilise support for the special interests that dominate state and private activity … their choices, emphases, and omissions can often be understood best, and sometimes with striking clarity and insight, by analysing them in such terms’ (1ix).


Foreign Policy News Medium Product Placement Public Broadcasting Service Video Gaming Industry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Matthew Alford 2015

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