We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Fake News About 'Fake News' - The Media Performance Pyramid

Click here to access article by David Edwards from Media Lens (Britain). 

If you are strapped for time, I recommend that you scroll down to a section entitled "The Performance Pyramid - Conformity Without Design" which provides a very good explanation of how corporate news services necessarily frames their coverage of events by the profit and power interests of capitalists. Edwards specifically describes four frames in which news coverage is shaped.
1) Corporate nature, elite/parent company ownership and profit-maximising orientation
2) Dependence on allied corporate advertisers for 50% or more of revenues
3) Dependence on cheap, subsidised news supplied by state-corporate allies
4) Political, economic, legal carrots and sticks rewarding corporate media conformity and punishing dissent
However, numbers 3 and 4 require much more elaboration which Edwards provides only indirectly by quotes mostly from Michael Parenti. The quotes suggest that corporate coverage of events that undermine the legitimacy or credibility of the US-led Empire's actions abroad is heavily biased to prevent any major criticism. And Edwards completely misses one major frame that prevents any discussion, much less criticism of the basic system of capitalism: the capitalist bias regarding the private ownership and control of economic property and money. 

Although criticism is permitted about the way the system currently functions to cause problems, this is always framed as a distortion of the basic system which suggests that only reforms are needed to solve the problems. Thus you might find comments that reflect adversely on "crony capitalism" , "corporate capitalism", "neoliberal capitalism", and "the excesses of capitalism", but the soundness and legitimacy of the basic system is simply taken for granted. Likewise corporate media always promotes the idea of "sustainable capitalism" in the face of overwhelming evidence that capitalism is driving climate destabilization.

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