Media and Propaganda

Traditional media was used widely for marketing and advertising for years.  It encompasses television, newspaper, magazine and magazine ads. Through these forms of communication, the consumers were able to receive news and information. With the advancement in technology, the new form of media came in. In the new media, information is readily available from different media types (Brossard & Scheufele, 2013). The introduction of the internet greatly revolutionized the media.

Avram Noam Chomsky, an American political activist, and social critic criticized the traditional media. He authored the propaganda model of traditional media. The model traces how power and money can filter out the news fit for printing allowing the dominant private interests and the government to air their messages to the public (Mullen & Klaehn, 2010). The main filter brought forward by Chomsky is the profit orientation of the mass media. He argued that the media organizations are in the hands of a few elites. The information available to the public is tailored to fit the interests of these groups.

It is arguable that the new media does not fall to this issue. The availability of the Web 2.0 allows people to share information and collaborate easily. Information is no longer only available from the big media organizations. Anybody anywhere can form a blog and share any kind of information. Through social media, people exchange information about breaking news from all over the world. A good example is facebook and twitter. Any breaking news is instantly available in these social Medias unlike in the traditional media where people depended on the media organizations for breaking news (Zhao, Jiang, Weng, He, Lim, Yan & Li, 2011). With the introduction of the internet, interactivity is easy. People interact through different forums and share information.

In the traditional media, mass media used to filter information to fit the advertiser’s needs. This was because the primary source of funding was from these advertisers. In the new media, screening information will have little effect. Any information is freely available elsewhere. In addition, the traditional media filtered the news that would attract negative responses. Media corporations concentrated with the news that yielded positive responses. With the new media, responses are a non-issue. There is openness in anything they publish, and the public is allowed to air their views.

In the traditional media, the forums available for sharing information were limited. There was overdependence on the mass media. This enabled the government and the socially elite to control the kind of information that was made available to the public. This is no longer possible in the new media. It is hard to control what is shared over the internet. The government can control the local mass media but cannot control the international media organizations (Pavlik, 2013). Organizations such as CNN and BBC air news from all over the world.

Chomsky’s propaganda model of media theory proposes that traditional media organizations were profit-oriented and thus sacrificed some news objectives to maximize profits. In addition, they favored the advertisers who were the primary source of funding. Flaks were also controlled (Klaehn, 2009). The new media has managed to resist these issues raised by Chomsky. There is openness, interactivity and the availability of Web 2.0 makes it easy for people to share and compare the information. With the availability of the internet and the advancement in technology, no one can hold the media hostage. The new media does not fall victim to the issues that dictated the operations of the traditional media.



Brossard, D., & Scheufele, D. A. (2013). Science, new media, and the public. Science, 339(6115), 40-41.

Klaehn, J. (2009). The propaganda model: Theoretical and methodological considerations. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, 6(2), 43-58.

Mullen, A., & Klaehn, J. (2010). The Herman–Chomsky Propaganda Model: A Critical Approach to Analysing Mass Media Behaviour. Sociology Compass, 4(4), 215-229.

Pavlik, J. V. (2013). Journalism and new media. New Yolk.: Columbia University Press.

Zhao, W. X., Jiang, J., Weng, J., He, J., Lim, E. P., Yan, H., & Li, X. (2011). Comparing twitter and traditional media using topic models. In Advances in Information Retrieval (pp. 338-349). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

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