Tuesday, December 6, 2016

David Edwards — Fake News About 'Fake News' - The Media Performance Pyramid

To reiterate, 'fake news' is said to refer to 'websites [that] publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation to drive web traffic'. A simple, table-top experiment can help us understand why this definition can be generalised to all corporate media, not just social media.
Place a square wooden framework on a flat surface and pour into it a stream of ball bearings, marbles, or other round objects. Some of the balls may bounce out, but many will form a layer within the wooden framework; others will then find a place atop this first layer. In this way, the flow of ball bearings steadily builds new layers that inevitably produce a pyramid-style shape.
This experiment is used to demonstrate how near-perfect crystalline structures such as snowflakes arise in nature without conscious design. We will use it here as a way of understanding Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky's 'propaganda model' of 'mainstream' performance.
Imagine now that the four sides of the wooden framework are labelled to indicate the framing conditions shaping the corporate media:

  1. Corporate nature, elite/parent company ownership and profit-maximising orientation
  2. Dependence on allied corporate advertisers for 50% or more of revenues
  3. Dependence on cheap, subsidised news supplied by state-corporate allies
  4. Political, economic, legal carrots and sticks rewarding corporate media conformity and punishing dissent
When facts, ideas, journalists and managers are poured into this framework, the result is a highly filtered, power-friendly 'pyramid' of media performance. Every aspect of corporate media output is shaped by these framing conditions.…
Put simply, it is not reasonable to expect corporate media to report honestly on a world dominated by corporations. With perfect irony, the latest focus on 'fake news' is itself fake news because the corporate media never have discussed and never will discuss the framing conditions that make it a leading purveyor of 'hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation'.…
Media Lens — Editorial
David Edwards | Editor
 ht Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism

1 comment:

Six said...

The good news about fake news is only those who want to be fooled by fake news are fooled by fake news. The bad news? Probably 85 or 95 percent of people want to be fooled by fake news. It reassures them.