Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky proposed a concrete model for the filtering processes (biases) of mainstream media, especially in the United States, called the propaganda model. They tested this empirically and presented extensive quantified evidence supporting the model. Communication scholar Robert W. McChesney, inspired in part by the work of Chomsky and Herman, has linked the failures of the mainstream press primarily to corporate ownership, pro-corporate public policy, and the myth of "professional journalism." He has published extensively on the failures of the mainstream press, and advocates scholarship in the study of the political economy of the media, the growth of alternative media, and comprehensive media policy reforms. Ben Bagdikian has also written about the takeover of biased media, with particular attention to the giant conglomerates that own them. He argues that because five large conglomerates own the majority of American media, politics and general media influence in America are in jeopardy.
Whereas some alternative media theorists (e.g., Chris Atton) propose broad definitions of media alterity, parecon theorist and Z Magazine cofounder Michael Albert incorporates the politico-economic critique of mainstream media into his definition of alternative media. In answering the question "What makes alternative media alternative?" he suggests that alternative media institutions should feature an anti-corporate structure, not just alternative media content. Along these lines, Albert has criticized publications such as The Nation and the Village Voice for replicating corporate hierarchies and divisions of labor.
While the Propaganda Model resonates in productive ways with the way in which media systems have developed in the United States context, this theory might fall short in describing the situation in nations outside of the American context. The Propaganda Model would have a hard time explaining nations with a weak communications infrastructure (somewhere like Zimbabwe), heavily funded and state sponsored public broadcasting television stations (such as Australia), or with a strong tradition of partisan print and televised journalism.
Read more about this topic: Alternative Media
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... Herman have established a propaganda model which purports to explain this bias ... The common misinterpretation of this model is that all bias is conscious and centralized ...
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