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Philosophy 2730F/G
Ryan Robb

Week 3: What is the media doing? What should they do? Chomsky: movie in class - the arguments that philosophers make are ongoing enterprise - over time you criticize other works which helps us find out more and become more knowledgeable - it is not that case that what is right and what is wrong is it a function of you opinion or cultural group - just because years ago there were slaves doesn’t mean it was right back then - we have to accept that there are certain basic universal rules that apply no matter what - McLuhan: if we really want to understand human nature, we have to look at the tools people use and design to understand how to get along with people around us, he has an extremely broad definition of what is technology - The message: you identify it by looking at the way humans look at it and how humans act following to the introduction to the technology - Think of it in terms of archeologists, they primarily look at tools to find out what they did what they did back then. McLuhan is looking at this technique and using it to understand the message of technology - Think about how life was like before the modern mass media, how did humans communicate? What were there restrictions? - The rise of the free press actually facilitated democracy - In the context of course, the relevant change that is introduced in the media: it allows for the possibility of democracy - In order to give there consent(government) those being ruled need to be informed - If there was no media, we wouldn’t be informed - The change that the media introduces is a whole new system of government - Mcluhan: media changes the way we are able to govern ourselves - The rise of mass media doesn’t mean there has to be democracy, but it now gives us the ability to have it possible Rules of Media: - in order to properly inform citizens, so those citizens can make the best informed choices in respect of political decisions, the media needs to be: - a: objective/independent, not under the direct control of the governemtn - b: critical, not willing to simply accept the statements/information provided by government resources(Chomsky makes a big deal of this) - best example: the daily show, here is what this politician said yesterday and what they said three years ago that contradicts it - c: neutral, not biased in favour of any of the several competing political groups(government of otherwise) competing for dominance - if this is what we expect of the media, it is going to be a branch of government - the primary goal of the media is to control a political function, those being governed can make decisions and criticisms - if media fails to provide information, then it is failing to fulfill the ethical obligations to citizens in a democratic society What media is doing What media should be doing - fourth branch of - most poeple - Chomsky most government people - propaganda - chomsky - Lippman the machine ruling elites - The filters - think coffee, the grounds don’t come through, just the good coffee of the ‘good’ propaganda - with the media the important stuff gets left behind, it’s the stuff that makes us want to change the world around us - self censorship: the journalist are filtering - free market: there is no small room where people get together and decide how things will operate: it is simply just set up - FILTER1: the profit motive: the most important, does the significant work o Stories that undermine profits wont be published o Economic incentives, how having the media owned by private companies o Failure to live up to profit duty, can lead to being sued example: henry ford o Mass Media is Big Business o Media corporations are interconnected with all other forms of business pg.6, 7, 9 (how many major corporations own new media outlets) ex. Bell and rogers and shaw all own most of the media outlets o All businesses are designed to generate profit: they only differ on how they get the profits o The control over business is in the hands of a wealthy few, and they and the government share the same interests(maintaining the status quo) o Things that threaten these corporations will not be released to us, but there will be exceptions (because a good propaganda machine does not look like a propaganda machine) - FILTER 2: Advertising as the source of revenue o They make their profits by charging extra money for advitisers o They are the ones that attract the affluent users (people who have
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