Exam date

When's the 2016 exam? Wednesday 8th June, am.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Chomsky Gramsci Baudrillard

(to be adapted)

We're going to critically examine a number of media theories as we work through both parts of the A2 exam (you will also have to apply these to your own coursework).
Three fairly familiar names to kick off:

Chomsky, a linguist, has contributed a lifetime's analysis of how the media functions, but his key contribution remains the 'propaganda model' formulated with Edward Herman (forgive me if I say Bernard Herrmann occasionally, thinking of the great movie composer behind the Psycho score and many, many others).
First presented in their 1988 book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, the "Propaganda model" views the private media as businesses interested in the sale of a product — readers and audiences — to other businesses (advertisers) rather than that of quality news to the public.
The theory postulates five general classes of "filters" that determine the type of news that is presented in news media. These five classes are:
  1. Ownership of the medium
  2. Medium's funding sources
  3. Sourcing
  4. Flak
  5. Anti-communist ideology*
The first three are generally regarded by the authors as being the most important.
Although the model was based mainly on the characterization of United States media, Chomsky and Herman believe the theory is equally applicable to any country that shares the basic economic structure and organizing principles which the model postulates as the cause of media biases.
 [Source: wiki]    *DB note: the theory was created at the height of the Cold War, with 'the West' in a conflict with the Russian-dominated USSR (most of Eastern Europe, plus some other nations such as China); this was essentially two competing ideologies: capitalism (right-wing) v communism (left-wing). The 5th filter today really means anti-left-wing, not necessarily anti-communist

You should be able to see how ownership (specifically concentration of ownership) shapes British cinema from the AS unit. Ken Loach's films Hidden Agenda and The Wind That Shakes the Barley are useful to demonstrate the operation of flak (a metaphor based on bullets shot at aircraft over a wide area, known as flak - in this case its radical, typically left-wing, ideas which are effectively shot down through hostile media coverage).

Could you put a name to the following three folks?

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