For the purposes of this essay, I will initially define the term Propaganda and Propaganda Model, its origins and meaning with reference to the critical works of Edward Bernays, Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman. I will then define Western Corporate media in relation to the Propaganda Model in today’s society, incorporating the role of Public Relations, with reference to the works of again, Bernay’s, Pilger, Chomsky, Herman and Marx. As a case study I will refer to the role of News Corporation within modern media and how it can be argued that the propaganda model can be related to this, as a large conglomerate with a controlling share of both western and worldwide media.
The term ‘propaganda’ dates back as far as 1622 to the Vatican, when it’s connotations were much purer than the term as we use it today. Originally taken from the latin Congregatio de propaganda fide (The Office for the Propagation of the Faith), Bernays and Miller (2004: Pg 9), it was coined by Pope Gregory XV in relation to the ‘Church’s missionary efforts in the New World’. (Bernay’s and Miller 2004 : Pg 9), in essence to bring the straying protestant flock back to the order of the Catholic Church. The essence of which, was well meaning.
From such innocent beginnings though, the term ‘propaganda’ has come to imply a much more sinister and dark meaning within western society. Arguably one of the biggest turning points in public perception of the term, and perhaps the beginning of the western hegemonic society’s realisation of the power of propaganda as a tool to sway public opinion, came in the aftermath of the First World War. Propaganda was utilised fully by both American and British governments to swing public opinion in favour of the war effort with unprecedented success, however in the subsequent decade, public awareness... [continues]
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