Who Is Noam Chomsky?• Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, scientist and activist.• He is known for his criticism of the US foreign policy.• He is the co-creator/creator of the Chomsky hierarchy theorem, the universal grammar theory and the Chomsky–Schützenberger theorem.
Manufacturing Consent• Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media is a book written by Noam Chomsky and Edward S Herman, which also inspired the documentary Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media.• In it, Chomsky discusses the idea that the news media is a business.• This means that the news is subject to the same bias as any other product, so what they air, how they report and what items they report on will be based on need for profit.• This means they distort the news to retain viewers, and also to keep in favour of their sponsors ie. Sensationalising stories to make them seem more extreme and interesting, or not airing a story which shows their sponsor in a bad light.
Government Influences.• Chomsky states that the news is affected by the government.• If a TV programme, newspaper etc. shows the government in a bad light, it is very subtly shunned out of access, meaning that it loses readers and profit.• This means that they have to distort the news to suit the government/private investors, or they will lose business.
The Five Filters Of Editorial Bias• Chomsky says that there are five things affecting the integrity of news reporting, known as editorially-distorting filters.• Size, Ownership and Profit Orientation• The Advertising License To Do Business• Sourcing Mass Media News• Flak and the Enforcers• Anti-Communism
• Size, Ownership and Profit Orientation: the most prominent mass media outlets are businesses which are run for profit so must cater to their owners’ interests.• The Advertising License To Do Business: media outlets depend on advertising, so must bend to suit the political prejudices and economic wants of their advertisers.• Sourcing Mass Media News: the news outlets cannot be everywhere at every time, so have routine places for news reporters to be. It is hard for non-routinely captured clips to enter the news.
• Flak and Enforcers: ‘Flak’ is the term given to negative responses to a media statement or programme. This is very bad for that company, as it can lead to them losing business and profit. To avoid getting ‘flak’, news stations will avoid reporting certain opinions or facts.• Anti-Communism: this was an original filter in the book, but Chomsky has later argued that it has been replaced by ‘fear’. This plays on peoples fears and gives them a ‘big bad’ to focus on. This can be used to ostracize ideas or people or companies, or to frighten the public. Noam Chomsky once said ‘if people are frightened, they will accept authority’. It was originally called the anti communist filter because Communism was seen as the major threat to the entire world.