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Week 1 - What is the Media Doing.docx

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Western University
Philosophy 2730F/G
Ryan Robb

What is the Media Doing? 9/25/2012 3:01:00 PM What Media is Doing What Media Should be Doing Fourth Branch of Most people Chomsky Government Most People Propaganda Machine Chomsky Philosophy  Philosophy and the accumulation of knowledge is a collective undertaking that involves presenting arguments, then criticizing and defending those arguments  McLuhan: the very study of human nature requires that we understand the message conveyed by the medium/tools/technology humans construct as a means of helping themselves o The message of any particular technological innovation is determined by assessing the extent to which human life is changed with its introduction o In order to understand the message that is the modern mass media, we need to reflect creatively about the way human existence changed sine the innovations were introduced o Mass media has led to the introduction of democracy Norms, Rules and Principles  In order to properly inform citizens, so the citizens can make the best informed choices in respect of political decisions o Objective/independent – not under direct control of the government o Critical – not willing to simply accept the statements/information provided by government sources o Neutrality – not biased in favour of any competing political groups competing for dominance  The media needs to be a fourth, independent and critical branch of government The Filters  Chomsky page 1 o The two most important things in understanding the propaganda model  The mass media serves as a method of communication, and is there to amuse, inform and make good citizens of the people  In countries that don’t have a free press, there is monopolistic control over the media (one media outlet) and it is often supplemented by censorship – everyone knows that the media is only used for control  There are five characteristics of the Mass Media in the US that limit the number of possible stories that will be reported and the manner by which they are reported o The profit motive – stories that undermine profits won’t be published  The mass media is big business  Media corporations are interconnected with all other forms of business  All businesses are designed to generate a profit  The control over business is in the hands of a wealthy few – a very small part of
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