The Herman–Chomsky Propaganda Model: A Critical Approach to Analysing Mass Media Behaviour

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Abstract

The Propaganda Model (PM), developed by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky and published in Manufacturing Consent in 1988, sought to explain the behaviour of the mass media in the United States. Analysing the function, operation and effects of the media are essential to any understanding of contemporary societies and the article begins by sketching out the contours of the liberal-pluralist vs. critical-Marxist debate about the role of the media. The article then presents an overview of the PM, locates it within the field of media and communication studies, considers its reception, discusses a number of complementary methodological and theoretical approaches, and argues that the PM, more than 20 years after its formulation, continues to provide an invaluable tool for understanding the media within contemporary capitalist societies.

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