Marx

I found the following 2-part video on youtube, and i thought that it would be an appropriate one to use for the webwork. it's entitled "corporate media in american society", and it focuses on how the corporations that own media outlets affect and influence public opinion to suit their own needs. i think it's a very good example of Marx's idea of a hegemony/ruling class that dominates as the intellectual force of society. although the examples are mainly from the US, i think that in today's globalized society we'll find that a lot of the same concepts are also applicable to us. i've pasted the link to each part, as well as some notable moments from both videos for those people who don't want to sit through the whole thing.

PART 1

  • 2:25 quote from george orwell's 1984: "they could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality… and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening"
  • at around the 3 minute mark it's discussed how the human mind can be like a computer, in the sense that it can be programmed based on the inputs it receives
  • 5:17 the video talks about how living rooms have become pseudo-factories, where the tv is the means of production, and "the product is you"
  • 5:27, 7:17, 7:24 talks about manufacturing consent, or in other words, manipulating people. when you can't control people by force, you have to find other ways of getting what you want, therefore you have to control what people think.
  • 8:20 talks how decisions that affect what happens in society are put in the handsrelatively concentrated network of corporations… and the people that head these corporations are also the ones who staff major positions in government, and they are the ones who own the media

PART 2

  • the start of the second video explains how the major news networks set a general framework, and local media more or less adapts to them. i think this was very important because i always thought that bigger corporate media would never be able to completely control public opinion, because there would always be independent news providers. this snippet shows how these "independent" providers are not actually completely independent, and in fact are heavily influenced by the major players.
  • 0:47 explicitly lists the ways media networks are able to influence their viewers: selection of topics, distribution of concerns, emphasis, framing of issues, filtering of information, bounding of debate
  • 1:20 reminds us how media networks are essentially corporations, and how many of them are part of even larger corporate structures
  • most alarming is the table shown at 2:15, where we can see the shocking decline in the number of corporations that control media in the US, from 50 in the 1960's to just 5 in 2004
  • 2:31 "and those who believe that the internet alone will save us from this fate should realize that the dominating internet news sources are controlled by the same media giants who control radio, tv, newspapers, and cable"
  • 3:30 i especially like the statement here about the nazi media system and how it has an "ostensible diversity that conceals an actual uniformity"
  • 4:45 talks about rupert murdoch, most well known for his ownership of fox news, and how he is able to swing public opinion to the conservative right through showcasing violence, chaos, and effective use of sensationalism, and even shows some actual sample clips from the news programs
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