News: Nobody Knows, and Nobody Talks.

Corporate media uses Journalism of Exclusion. How can we fight back, and educate ourselves?

Journalism of Exclusion.

This is a term I’ve been using to talk about corporate media. My examples come from my two countries: India and USA.

I just had an opportunity to present a lecture to a group of students at University of Basel, Switzerland. I share some of the thoughts with you, with hope that we expand on the concept. Use your own examples, and join us on this conversation.

In their groundbreaking work Manufacturing Consent (1988), Noam Chomsky and Ed Herman proposed that mass communication media of the U.S. “are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function, by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion,” (no explicit media censorship is in place) by means of the propaganda model of communication. 

The title derives from the phrase “the manufacture of consent,” perhaps first coined in the book Public Opinion (1922) by Walter Lippmann. The word consent referred to is consent of the governed, or what we now call the 99 percent.

In our present discussion, we concentrate on the market-driven self-censorship aspect of corporate media in a broader and expanded context – a subtle and politically designed act – that has greatly influenced and driven today’s ruling class to impose their views and perceptions across the world.

It is an integral part of the neoliberal economic and political model that has made the rich and influential even richer and more influential – at the expense of the middle class and poor. In today’s globalized civilization, “self-censorship” is pervasive across cultures and communities, and obvious beyond the realm of media. A climate of apathy, fear and lack of reasoning has gripped the larger society.

In today’s discussion, however, we focus on media, where total or partial exclusion of news and information, distortion, lessening the importance of news, stereotyping of races, nationalities, religions and lifestyles, as well as making the trivial and insignificant headline news are some of the manifests of this concept what we can term Journalism of Exclusion.

To my knowledge, USA and India have in particular followed this model especially since the decline of regulated media and economy, followed by privatization and consolidation of news networks. The one percent of both countries used this concept of suppression, undermining and self-censorship of news, information, and views under a plural-majority “democratic” structure, and achieved great success in manipulating minds of the old and young generation alike in favor of today’s pro-1% status-quo system.

In today’s class, we discuss examples of Journalism of Exclusion in the following contexts:  (1) politics, (2) economics, (3) society, culture and history. Our hope is that together, we shall expand on these topics, with inclusion of our own experiences from various countries and different walks of life.

(To be continued)

American Media’s Trump Profits Soar

So, American media is having a field day, just by selling Trump and his craziness.

New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and all. “Right wing” Fox is losing business: their sex is now equaled by liberal media’s sex. Even after the relentless, false Hillary projections, (and WMD), educated people still take the Times seriously. Devoutly.

I mean, think about it. Fascist Trump is deporting poor immigrants. That’s big news. Yet, Obama deported the largest number of poor immigrants in his eight years: highest number in American history. Was that news? No!

Okay. Trump put Goldman Sachs in his cabinet. Big news (how can someone who campaigned to help America’s workers do such hypocrisy?). Yet, Obama put Goldman Sachs in his cabinet: one of his first appointments.

Banks exploded with profit in Obama’s eight years. You and I? 0.1% interest: lowest in modern world’s history. Not news.

Of course, I’m not comparing Trump with Obama. It’s not about the individuals. It’s their policies. One politics is crazy, out of control white supremacist fascism. The other, DNC politics of secretly occupying the world and enslaving its 99%.

(Bernie Sanders is ridiculed by U.S. media from Day 1. Others like him are branded socialists and radicals and un-American. Not “winnable.”)

Media knows that Trump’s insanity, and worldwide ridicule, sell like hot sex, and DNC’s eating the pie from underneath without disturbing the top crust doesn’t. A media-illiterate nation easily falls for media’s well-crafted business of profit and deception.

Had American mainstream media and their powers really cared about us the 99%, had they really cared about labor unions, women’s rights, or the environment, they would challenge both parties and their anti-people, pro-1% politics. Gloria Steinems would march *before* the elections, and not *after.*

If Trump tones down his fascism, which I doubt he will, “liberal” media would be extremely unhappy.

Now, that is the real story.

Partha Banerjee
Brooklyn, New York