Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forSeptember 24th, 2010 | back to home

24 September 2010
Filed under:Academia,journalism at9:27 am

An interesting article in the latest issue of Media, Culture and Society by Andrew Mullen suggests academics have systematically under-examined the Propaganda Model (sorry the article is behind a paywall). I have tended to think Chomsky’s Propaganda Model (PM) is one of the better known and more discussed recent theories, perhaps because of the critical media scholars I tend to hang out with or perhaps because at least the outlines of it are reasonably well known among the general public (at least those who are interested in the media). It seems however that in a sample taken from ten media and communication journals between 1988 and 2007 only 2.6% of the total “attended to” the PM model and according to Mullen most did little more than cite it. Similarly 43% of media and communication textbooks he surveyed didn’t mention the PM, and 22% only discussed it briefly.

Whatever you think of the PM it is reputable enough to at least be worth engaging for the benefit of students who will have encountered it, and if as scholars assert its tenets need updating and would need to be applied differently in different national contexts more work could usefully be done to try to gather the empirical evidence necessary to see whether and to what extent it remains applicable in different countries and since the advent of the internet.