Propaganda Industry

giord538 Says:
October 2, 2008 at 7:43 pm

The culture industry eliminates individuals and indivdual thought. This mass deception is filtered to us so that big business can reap the ecomnomic benefits and silence the independant voice. We really stop thinking for ourselves and seem to be hypnotized by what comes out of this industry. It is so powerful and performed at such a mass level that the authors state “the whole world is made to pass through the filter of the culture industry” (p75). our thought is definitly eliminated as pointed out in the essay “there is nothing left for the consumer to classify producers have done it for him” (p74) this is the case in entertainment, and even car shopping.

The culture industry is not only eliminating our voice but it is also eliminating creativity, innovative ideas and craftmanship in the various arts. Sameness,repetition and amusing but subject-less ideas are filtered to us to hynotize and allow the conglomerates to go about their business as usual. As evident in Television today, most networks are full of unoriginal reality contests or even worse the disasterous celebreality shows. Viewers become hypnotized by the next fight, hook-up or stupid thing Flavor Flav is going to do. Music videos, which at some point have contained creativity and artistic value, have now been replaced with such shows as Flavor of Love, I love NY, and finally a show titled I love money, since the producers of this culture industry realize that we are not that dumb to believe these girls actually love Flava. The viewer understands what the industry is doing and the industry doesnt care to hide it as Horkheimer and Adorno explain at the beggining of the essay “the people at the top are no longer so interested in concealing monopoly..”(p71) We accpet this idea of movies and radio being industries and not forms of art since so much trash is put out there. I like using the word hypnotize i feel like I have been hypnotized by a show like Flava, where I keep watching for the next disaster and cant change the channel, or a hit song on the radio that has an infectious and repeptitve chorus but then later on I realize the lyrics dont make sense and the performer is awful, but I still listen to it on the radio and occasionally purchase it on I-tunes.

The culture industry definitly takes part in the propaganda model as described by Herman and Chomsky. Media conglomerates behind the culture industry are part of the first filter described in the propaganda model.

I currently work in ad sales for a group of networks owned by News Corp. My old job was in production with a network owned by Viacom, so I have been reminded day after day about the huge infuence and presence just a few companies have on the masses. Media conglomerates have the abillity to influence the public and create what they believe to be the top stories of the day. They do this easily since they do not just own one network but multiple as well as newspapers, radio stations and movie production companies. There is,as Herman and Chomsky say, a “limitation on ownership of media..” on the large scale especially. Even though some of these companies are public and shares are sold as the authors explain usually 2/3’s of the shares are still held and run by the controlling founder.

The bottomline to these companies is money. Television is first and foremost a business. We in ad sales are in the business of selling eyeballs to the advertisers. The second filter mentioned is very closely related with the first filter of size and owenrship. Most of these advertisers are also huge conglomerates and both powerful companies work together to profit from the real product which is us the public and the viewer. The independant voice tends to be shunned because the conglomerates have too much power, and they will not let the independant voice be heard if it is not ineteresting enough to draw large audiences or like the example of Gulf + Western if they feel the independant voice is going to stir a negative reaction they will cut funding and make public stations scramble for help.

The culture industry and propaganda model still exist today and I wish the authors of both pieces could re-visit these theories today with the way media is shaped these days including the addition of video on demand, 24hr cable news netowrks and music channels that do not even play music. These two ideas really show how unfair and unbalanced aspects of media can be.

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One Response to “Propaganda Industry”

  1. murtaza14 Says:

    I think you have brought up a very good point on how the culture industry today is eliminating the voice, creativity and innovative ideas of people in the public sphere. Media companies and large multi national companies dominate the society today. Yes, the image of television has change the entire view ship perspective of what people earlier had. Today if we look around we see there are so many reality shows coming up every now and then and how these shows mislead the youth just to increase the TRP of the show, specially various shows on MTV that are mainly targeted towards the youth. We all know that these shows throw false messages, but no matter what we are still buying it as audience and helping the cultural industry increase their revenue.

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