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  • Does the Propaganda Model Actually Theorise Propaganda?

    Piers Robinson

    Chapter from the book: Pedro-Carañana, J et al. 2018. The Propaganda Model Today: Filtering Perception and Awareness.


    The propaganda model devised by Herman and Chomsky has provided a major service for scholarship in media and communication studies and political science/international relations. The model has explained and demonstrated how mainstream media perform a propaganda role for powerful economic and political interests. Today, there have been no serious challenges, so far as this author is aware, to its empirical accuracy. Nevertheless, the model only tells half the story because it remains focused on analysis of media performance at the expense of critical exploration of the actual propaganda apparatus that shapes the information environment even before mainstream media enter the equation. This chapter extends the propaganda model by attempting an initial mapping of the organisational and bureaucratic entities which work to shape the information environment, and which determine what is understood to be true and what is understood to be untrue. It is argued that a combination of ‘PR professionals’, intelligence services, academics, think tanks, and co-opted elite journalists play a pivotal role within an extended apparatus seen deep in the bureaucracy of the state and which overlaps with commercial interests. The author argues that by widening the focus to include the propaganda apparatus itself we will be able to critically engage with and reveal the processes that play a major role in determining our perception of political reality.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Robinson, P. 2018. Does the Propaganda Model Actually Theorise Propaganda?. In: Pedro-Carañana, J et al (eds.), The Propaganda Model Today. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book27.e

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    Published on Oct. 25, 2018