Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thanks Corporate News!

One of the largest forms of propaganda present in our society is in the form of the news media. The world’s population relies on newspapers, magazines, TV advertisements, commercials, as well as a variety of other mediums, to deliver the daily activity in an appropriate and timely manner. However, as a society, we must keep a watchful eye on what we believe, because a lot of news media is selective biased. As quoted in “Age of Propaganda”, Walter Lippmann once stated “without some form of censorship, propaganda in the strict sense…is impossible. In order to conduct a propaganda there must be some barrier between the public and the event” (268-69). Therefore, the news media strives to separate the public from the actual event as a way of controlling the ways in which the public interpret the event. While surfing the internet, I came across a replica of one of the WWII propaganda posters that we discussed as a class, on a website designed to offer more liberal news outlets. It was a picture of the blond-haired, blue-eyed, attractive female typing on a typewriter in front of a red, white, and blue flag. However, the one I came across on my own had a very different message; “WRITE WHAT YOU’RE TOLD! Thanks Corporate News! We couldn’t control the public without you”. What is most ironic about the new poster is that it is an anti-propaganda poster about corporate news; however, in being anti-propaganda, it acts as propaganda. The original poster gave the message that in order to be patriotic, happy, and attractive, you had to partake in the war even if only by becoming a stenographer for the U.S. This new design tells people that this image of the attractive blonde is nothing to be achieved because she has moved from being a liberated American to simply a pawn of a corporation. Instead of being an anti-WWII poster, this is a poster describing how corrupt the news is because it is chosen by corporations, and therefore censored. This poster works to publicize the bias existing in the news. First, journalists usually work in specific areas or “beats” and therefore events or stories that do not fall into a specific “beat” are often excluded from the news or are presented less accurately. Secondly, journalists work on deadlines and often do not have the time to fully research a story. Therefore, they often are left to contact the same sources, resulting in a one sided story (272). This poster calls attention to the fact that because journalists write about what corporations want and how corporations want, the news media is biased and non-representative of the worldly events and relations. One of the main reasons this poster is powerful is because we exist in a consumer driven society. Though news is supposed to be informative and honest, corporations and journalists strive to make stories entertaining in order to make money. Therefore, stories which are more gruesome or entertaining often appear in the media more then other news, which may be more important or affect more lives but are otherwise “boring”, appear more often. The main goal of this poster is to alert Americans who are not aware of the media’s bias or misrepresentation that our society is being controlled by corporate news in order for them to make profit (273). The poster strives to open our minds and eyes to the fact that what we see or hear in the news may not be accurate or all-encompassing of what is actually happening in the world around us. Pairing this message with the WWII image works to show how the government or news media can sometimes be “fake” by skewing what is presented.

No comments:

Post a Comment