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.
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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)

Start An Honest, Interactive Education

Partha intro Chomsky

This is a very sincere and honest, heartfelt thought. And I want to share it with you.

If I had a lot of money and time, I would quit my job, and perhaps begin an educational channel on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter.

I feel very strongly about it, given that I have already taught at college level for over thirty-five years (five years in India and thirty years in USA), and I have academic expertise (and high degrees) in science, humanities, media and journalism, writing, economics, and political and social sciences. Plus, I have forty years of experience — both in USA and India — in grassroots organizing.

I came from an humble background, and I have done my best to know the ordinary men, women, children and families, and their pressing issues. I have seen how eagerly they want to learn, and how sincerely they want to believe in someone who can teach them honestly. Honesty matters even today, in this world ruined by dishonest political leaders, corporations, and their establishments.

I truly believe an educational channel would prove to be extremely valuable — for those who want to learn more about the many subjects academia, media and our so-called leaders have kept away from us.

Partha_Banerjee_teaching_his_labor_workshop

For example, (1) How BAD is the SOCIO-ECONOMIC situation in USA, how many people languish in U.S. jails, how serious is the health and college dropout crisis in America, and why SO FEW people vote in this country, compared to other democracies around the world? All of the above, and much more, have been kept a secret from most of us, by those political leaders and their media.

Or, for example (2) Is CLIMATE CHANGE a real catastrophe as we speak, and what have the U.S. corporations and their supported politicians done to address the crisis?

You add your questions and topics and issues.

I do believe a simple, matter-of-factly PUBLIC journalism and information center is a very important thing to do, and I do believe even though there are a number of alternative outlets that are doing it, I could do it differently, with a language that everybody understands.

But unfortunately, right now, I do not have that kind of money or time. I have a full-time job, and it is a responsible and satisfying teaching job: I teach labor union workers on many of the above subjects.

So, we need to do it differently. Here is my idea.

I will try to post short questions in the form of a blog, and invite you to be a part of an interactive discussion. You can freely ask me any questions you like, based on your interest, and I will do my best to answer them, as accurately as I can. And then, we shall have an analysis. Some thoughtful resolution.

Some friends already encouraged me to do something like it, and I think we need to begin somewhere.

Sharing with you — a small group of friends who read my blog regularly, with hope that others will join in the discussion.

In sincerity, honesty, and friendship,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

Partha teaching