Corporate Media and the Alternatives

dunbar

Active Member
I'd say there's an element of truth in all of that. Less so on the last one. I'm not sure if Comcast is really part of the MIC.

I'd have to look into that but I do know that NBC was owned by General Electric until Comcast bought them out in 2009:


The military industrial media complex is an offshoot of the military–industrial complex. Organizations like Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting have accused the military industrial media complex of using their media resources to promote militarism, which, according to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting's hypothesis, benefits the defense resources of the company.

General Electric (which owns, but is in the process of divesting, 49% of NBC) is a subcontractor for the Tomahawk cruise missile and Patriot II missile both of which were used extensively during the Persian Gulf War.[1] General Electric also manufactures components for the B-2 stealth bomber and B-52 bomber and the E-3 AWACS aircraft which were also used extensively during the conflict. During the first Gulf War, General Electric received $2 billion in defense contracts related to weapons which would be used in Gulf War and the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq by Coalition Forces.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Industrial_Media_Complex
Content from External Source
NSA Spying Helped by “Military Digital Complex” and Commercialized Internet
“It’s really the worst possible scenario for a free society, when you have an economy dominated by a handful of monopolistic giants working hand in hand with a national security state that’s completely off-limits to public review to monitor the population. It’s not a tenable situation for a free society.” - ROBERT McCHESNEY professor of communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Content from External Source
http://www.accuracy.org/release/nsa...-digital-complex-and-commercialized-internet/
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Leifer

Senior Member.
I am definitely not Libertarian, which strikes me as a special kind of naive lunacy. Point for point, I agree with Mick's original post. Or rather, that could have been written by me about me. I would have added something about corporate media and how it has been shaped to a purpose other than informing.
lm general it informs.....
How could it not ? Does the BBC inform?
fact checking shouldbe first and formost.
 
Last edited:

Alhazred The Sane

Senior Member.
fact checking shouldbe first and formost.

Agreed. There often seems to be a lack of fact checking. The Iraq WMD issue is a case in point. Much of the early reporting on the Libya situation, prior to western bombing, was ridiculously unfact-checked. As for the beeb, anyone who watched the propaganda dressed up as a documentary on the Mavi Marmara, wherein all the information given was essentially the report they'd been handed by the Israeli security forces, would be dubious about Auntie's much lauded lack of bias. The beeb's output, and how it takes government statements at face value, has been extraordinarily well documented on the website MediaLens.
 

cloudspotter

Senior Member.
I am definitely not Libertarian, which strikes me as a special kind of naive lunacy. Point for point, I agree with Mick's original post. Or rather, that could have been written by me about me. I would have added something about corporate media and how it has been shaped to a purpose other than informing.

Is it the government controlling the media or the media controlling the government? To my mind it seems to be the latter but it makes no odds because I deeply distrust both sides.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I've heard this phrase so many times it's lost all meaning. What does it mean exactly again and what separates it from other media?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_media
"Corporate media" is a term which refers to a system of mass media production, distribution, ownership, and funding which is dominated by corporations and their CEOs. It is sometimes used as a term of derision to indicate a media system which does not serve the public interest in place of the mainstream media or "MSM," which tends to be used by both the political left and the right as a derisive term.
Content from External Source
 

Alhazred The Sane

Senior Member.
The wiki entry seems accurate enough. What separates it from other media? What other media?

I've probably said this often enough, in numerous other threads, but it seems to me that the most important stories in the media (those about events that end up leading to wars) tend to be skewed towards the 'official' point of view. There are other instances of skewing, probably the most relevant to the current plight is the coverage of 'climate change'. A long, hard look at how the media have covered that particular story is enlightening, and enough to make you pull your hair out. For a long time the scientific consensus has been that WE are fucking the planet. But, in the interests of balance, every time some singular voice speaks out against this it gets heavy reporting. So, you have 99% of the scientists saying one thing, and 1% saying another thing. But that 1% gets the same airtime, the same print space, as the 99%.

And why would it be any other way, when the media makes most of its profit from advertising.

We need to seriously take a step back, and stop being such rampant consumers if the planet is to have a chance. But consumerism is the necessary drive for capitalism, for profit, for advertising, and for the corporate media. Why would the media report anything that would hurt their income source?

I don't want to go all Oxy on you. For the last 5 years I've been looking very closely at how news is reported, in between studying economics, and I've found that three sites do an excellent job of putting the news of the moment, and how it is been reported, under the spotlight. Rather than me copying and pasting excerpts from those sites I'd recommend for anyone genuinely interested in news and media to trawl through their archives: FAIR, MediaLens, NewsUnspun.
 

dunbar

Active Member
I would add Project Censored to that list.

Wiki article on Project Censored

Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman have established a propaganda model which purports to explain this bias. The common misinterpretation of this model is that all bias is conscious and centralized. The hypothesis is that the process is decentralized and operates as a confluence of factors, that includes the overt pressure from owners and advertisers,but also by the gradual internalization of the biases and values of the corporate owners, leading to self-censorship.

This same economic pressure makes media susceptible to manipulation by government and other corporate sources through the widespread use of press releases, often created by industry-funded public relations firms.

Interlocking Corporations, Corporate Power, and its Social Influences
To illustrate the growing problem of monocracy, Bagdikian notes that in the 1980s, "less than 1 percent of all corporations, have 87 percent of all sales. [The corporates] are the aristocrats of the American Industrial economy; the remaining 359,500, in terms of their national power, are the peasantry." This conflict continues to arise as "dominant media companies are further [integrating] into the ruling forces of the economy." The directorates of major companies interlock with others and control the content of multiple dominating media and information distribution, i.e. newspapers, magazines, radio and television companies, book publishers, film industries, and even multinational banking investors. They become directly influenced by still other powerful industry, creating the "Endless Chain" of mass media and economic aristocracy (Wardrip-Fruin, 479).

In summary, the concentration of massive media firms that control American public information is troublesome for the potential for deception misleads the public away from reality. The Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs state that these facts raise fundamental issues as they can bear on social issues and possibly control the shape and direction of the nation's economy. It is further derived that "the summits of American business now control or powerfully influence the major media that create American public opinion" (Wardrip-Fruin, 483).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_media
Content from External Source
 
Last edited:

Alhazred The Sane

Senior Member.
Good call. It's another of my bookmarks.

But not one of the essentials, to my mind. I'm assured it was far more relevant back when it started.
 
Last edited:

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
The wiki entry seems accurate enough. What separates it from other media? What other media?....
So it's really just a term for 'the media'. It's misleading because it sets up the concept that there is something that's not corporate.
All media operations have to be organised, have resources. Once you do that on a meaningful scale, of course you're a corporation.



We need to seriously take a step back, and stop being such rampant consumers if the planet is to have a chance. But consumerism is the necessary drive for capitalism, for profit, for advertising, and for the corporate media. Why would the media report anything that would hurt their income source?

Welcome to the existential crisis of modern life.
 

dunbar

Active Member
Here are a few more concepts and theories to consider on the issue of corporate media:

The propaganda model is a conceptual model in political economy advanced by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky that states how propaganda, including systemic biases, function in mass media. The model seeks to explain how populations are manipulated and how consent for economic, social and political policies is "manufactured" in the public mind due to this propaganda.

The theory posits that the way in which news is structured (through advertising, media ownership, government sourcing and others) creates an inherent conflict of interest which acts as propaganda for undemocratic forces.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_model
Content from External Source
The "Working Towards the Führer" concept

Corporate censorship is censorship by corporations, the sanctioning of speech by spokespersons, employees, and business associates by threat of monetary loss, loss of employment, or loss of access to the marketplace.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_censorship#News_and_entertainment_publication
Content from External Source
The politico-media complex (PMC, also referred to as the political-media complex) is a name that has been given to the close, systematized, symbiotic-like network[1] of relationships between a state's political and ruling classes, its media industry, and any interactions with or dependencies upon interest groups with other domains and agencies, such as law (and its enforcement through the police[2]) and, particularly, corporations - especially the multinationals. The term PMC is often used to name, derogatively, the collusion between governments or individual politicians and the media industry in an attempt to manipulate rather than inform the people.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politico-media_complex
Content from External Source
dominant ideology
Social control exercised and effected by means of the ideological manipulation of aspects of the common culture of a society — religion and politics, culture and economy, etc. — to explain and justify the status quo to the political advantage of the dominant (ruling) class dates from the Age of Enlightenment, in the 18th century. Such a method of social control conceptually derived from the Noble Lie, proposed by Plato, which was required for the social stability of a republic composed of three social classes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominant_ideology#Marxism
Content from External Source
Cultural Hegemony
 

dunbar

Active Member
So it's really just a term for 'the media'. It's misleading because it sets up the concept that there is something that's not corporate.
All media operations have to be organised, have resources. Once you do that on a meaningful scale, of course you're a corporation.

Not even wrong. There is independent media, alternative media, citizen media, participatory media, democratic media etc etc
 

Alhazred The Sane

Senior Member.
So it's really just a term for 'the media'. It's misleading because it sets up the concept that there is something that's not corporate.
There are alternative media outlets, plenty of them. Visually, you can check Amy Goodman at Democracy Now, or even the Real News Network. On the web there are dozens of alternative news/opinion sites. So there are many somethings that aren't corporate, and they're invariably more honest. Of course, you also have the dark-side, sites like InfoWars.

Welcome to the existential crisis of modern life.
Oh Pete, I'm nearly 50. I've had more than a passing acquaintance with existential crises for quite some time. I've more or less stopped buying stuff that I can't eat for quite some time. Apart from travel. I do need to go home every now and again, and it's a long way to hike.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
So any media organisation that owes its existence to advertising revenue is corporate?
And it's ability to report is compromised because of that relationship?
 

Alhazred The Sane

Senior Member.
So any media organisation that owes its existence to advertising revenue is corporate?
And it's ability to report is compromised because of that relationship?

Hmm. That's simplifying the matter, considerably. But in essence, correct. Once again, I have to admit that is beyond my copy and paste skills to show how this is true, which is why I keep recommending people who are interested in how the news is presented and how media works to read "Manufacturing Consent" by Chomsky/Herman. And to check those sites I mentioned above.

There's another rather more insidious side to corporate media, and that is how it uses its access to power - and, worse, how those hoping for power access it. For example, take a look at Britain's Labour Party. Out in the wilderness from the Thatcher era, when Blair took over as leader of the party they did something different. They sent their spin maestro, Mendelson, to court Murdock. Anyone who knows Britain in the 70s/80s knows that The Sun was a rabid Tory rag.

Suddenly it shifted. It backed Blair, and "New Labour". It sounded a death knell for socialism in Britain.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
Realistically, since the printing press, media has been a necessary strategic tool for various interests.
To exist as media you have to align yourself to an interest in some form. The best thing is to make sure there are diverse outlets for all the interests so as many can be represented as possible.
 

dunbar

Active Member
To exist as media you have to align yourself to an interest in some form.

Negatory.

The best thing is to make sure there are diverse outlets for all the interests so as many can be represented as possible.

That would be a step in the right direction, which is why media consolidation has become a crisis for democratic societies. The best thing is to make sure that there is an objective and independent media that is not beholden to private or state interests.
 

JRBids

Senior Member.
Oh Pete, I'm nearly 50. I've had more than a passing acquaintance with existential crises for quite some time. I've more or less stopped buying stuff that I can't eat for quite some time. Apart from travel. I do need to go home every now and again, and it's a long way to hike.

I'm nearly 60. If I can't eat it or smooth it on my body I don't buy it. :)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
That would be a step in the right direction, which is why media consolidation has become a crisis for democratic societies. The best thing is to make sure that there is an objective and independent media that is not beholden to private or state interests.

Don't you think there is? You listed "independent media, alternative media, citizen media, participatory media, democratic media".

Here's someone's list:
http://www.ithaca.edu/rhp/independentmedia/USindymedialist/

The Media consortium seem fairly independent:
http://www.themediaconsortium.org/our-members/

If not, how would it work?
 

dunbar

Active Member
I think that independent media does exist but unfortunately it does not have the bully pulpit of network radio and television that the corporate media has. Which makes it tantamount to a voice crying in the wilderness. It can't compete with corporate media because corporate media has a virtual government granted monopoly over the airwaves.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I think that independent media does exist but unfortunately it does not have the bully pulpit of network radio and television that the corporate media has. Which makes it tantamount to a voice crying in the wilderness. It can't compete with corporate media because corporate media has a virtual government granted monopoly over the airwaves.

Not with the internet though. Traditional media is dying.
http://www.theatlantic.com/business...-as-the-most-important-source-of-news/263100/
upload_2013-11-9_16-41-38.png

Especially reagarding national and international news (and this chart only goes to 2011)
http://www.people-press.org/2011/09...zed-but-trusted-more-than-other-institutions/
upload_2013-11-9_16-44-15.png
 

Clock

Senior Member.
When I get to the news, I just listen to it on the radio. I've never really felt the need to go look it up in a newspaper or on TV. I go on the internet if I want a little more information on it, but that's it.

Am I being corrupted and blinded?
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
Oh Pete, I'm nearly 50. I've had more than a passing acquaintance with existential crises for quite some time. I've more or less stopped buying stuff that I can't eat for quite some time. Apart from travel. I do need to go home every now and again, and it's a long way to hike.
I wasn't dismissing or belittling it, just agreeing with you.
Our society is built on paradox, and awareness of that paradox is assumed if you have a basic level of intelligence, but explicit discussion of it is discouraged in polite company.
That's where satire/comedy comes in as an appropriate outlet I guess. Douglas Adams, Catch 22.
And Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister are gold-mines of observation of the dilemma.


(slightly off-topic.)
 

Bemused to Death

Banned
Banned
Our society is built on paradox,

Oh, hell, yes. Truer words have never been spoken. (Well, except the ones that have been, of course.)

and awareness of that paradox is assumed if you have a basic level of intelligence, but explicit discussion of it is discouraged in polite company.

Oh, hell, no. Sure, I'd love it to be true, but the evidence suggests that many folks don't even consider it. Your bit about the existential crisis was spot on. Unfortunately, I don't think there's really any solution to it. The whole system seems to have that paradoxical flaw built into it right out of the box. This, to me, is why all the -isms are such colossal failures. It's just a matter of which one sucks less than the other.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Oh, hell, no. Sure, I'd love it to be true, but the evidence suggests that many folks don't even consider it. Your bit about the existential crisis was spot on. Unfortunately, I don't think there's really any solution to it. The whole system seems to have that paradoxical flaw built into it right out of the box. This, to me, is why all the -isms are such colossal failures. It's just a matter of which one sucks less than the other.

Science certainly seems to have the best track record in figuring out how things work, saving lives, inventing stuff, improving agriculture, the internet, that type of thing.

That it "fails" for you at explaining unanswerable questions seems pretty much irrelevant.

Nobody really cares.
 

Bemused to Death

Banned
Banned
Science certainly seems to have the best track record in figuring out how things work, saving lives, inventing stuff, improving agriculture, the internet, that type of thing.

That it "fails" for you at explaining unanswerable questions seems pretty much irrelevant.

Nobody really cares.

Science is quite wonderful stuff, no doubt. Regardless, nothing I said has anything to do with science, so I'm not sure how this is relevant since it has no bearing on what I said.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Science is quite wonderful stuff, no doubt. Regardless, nothing I said has anything to do with science, so I'm not sure how this is relevant since it has no bearing on what I said.

Where's the colossal failures then? Journalism? Stoicism? Voluntarism? Pyrrhonism?
 

Josh Heuer

Active Member
I think the fact that we have to fact check even trusted sources is telling. Maybe more people need to stop focusing on news and instead focus on learning things that are useful.
 

Alhazred The Sane

Senior Member.
I think the fact that we have to fact check even trusted sources is telling. Maybe more people need to stop focusing on news and instead focus on learning things that are useful.

Must we learn things that are useful? Can we not learn things we find interesting?

I'm being somewhat serious. By next year I think the business I've set up will be able to keep us safe from eviction and starvation, which means that I can go to uni and study something. I did computer sciences a long time ago, but purely to end up with a job. This time around I'm thinking of economics. I'd like to better understand how the systems work, and ideally figure out policies that would help towards a sustainable future for my country (Ireland). Ironic that I'm able to get this education for free in Finland, but there you go.
 

MichaelStox

Member
Media critics such as Robert McChesney,[1] Ben Bagdikian,[2] Ralph Nader, Jim Hightower,[3] Noam Chomsky,[4] Edward S. Herman,[5] and Amy Goodman suggest that such a media system, especially when allowed to dominate the mainstream media, inevitably will be manipulated by these same corporations to suit their own interests.

These critics point out that the main national networks, NBC, CBS, and ABC, as well as most if not all of the smaller cable channels, are owned, funded, and controlled by an interconnected network of large corporate conglomerates and international banking interests, which may manipulate and filter out news that does not fit their corporate agenda.

The point of view and statements made by governments, officials, military, police, national security organizations (such as the FBI and CIA), as well as various other political offices are regularly reported as facts and are published without any (or very little) fact checking by the corporate media.

Perhaps the most infamous current example of the impact of the propaganda model on world events and societies was during the two year period following the 2001 US attacks. During this time, according to a five year in-depth research project conducted by the Centre for Public Integrity; the President of the United States George W. Bush and seven high-ranking officials in his administration made at least 935 false statements about the threat posed to the world and to US national security by Saddam Hussein.

These false statements were virtually uncontested by the corporate media and presented as a sound rationale for both the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the "War on Terror". [1] The result was the "manufacturing of consent" for the invasion of Iraq and "The Global War on Terror/ism" in which hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives to date. As an example, Jessica Yellin on Anderson Cooper 360 admitted being pressured by corporate executives to present positive stories during the run up to the Iraq war.
Content from External Source
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_media
 
Top