Reflection Topic: How does the “Propaganda Model” position the Internet in relation to social and political change in the time of pandemic?
A reflection paper for my Media Theory class for the lecture on Political Economy of Media and the Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky essay “A Propaganda Model“
Given the changing nature of capitalism in this age of information and communications technology, the propaganda model has forced existing media systems to integrate with the world wide web and this has clearly fast-tracked in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than the consumption of mainstream online content that has already become ingrained in the lives of people and institutions, even the most personal endeavors of an individual have already become bankable assets for those who control the Internet.
Every collected data from answering online quizzes to buying choices in online shops are now being maximized by the big corporate structures for their own gain. This is also very much apparent in the case of social media, which revolutionized personal, institutional, and business communication processes worldwide.
From small-scale entrepreneurs to multinational corporations, from advocacy work to political movements, from advertising workflows to disinformation machineries, the Internet has become both the public’s lifeline and the ruling class’ top ally/weapon during the lockdown. This prompted those in power to effectively mobilize the Internet as a vehicle for entertainment, distraction, fearmongering, deception, and division through various social, medical, and political undertakings during this pandemic.
Herman, E., & Chomsky, H. (2012). A Propaganda Model. In Media and Cultural Studies: Keyworks. (2nd ed.). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 204-222.
Klaehn, J., Pedro-Carañana, J., Alford, M., & Godler, Y. (2018). Interview with Edward S. Herman: Ideological Hegemony in Contemporary Societies. In The Propaganda Model Today: Filtering Perception and Awareness. London: University of Westminster Press, 21- 21.
MacLeod, A. & Chomsky, N. (2019). Still Manufacturing Consent: an interview with Noam Chomsky. In Propaganda in the Information Age. London and New York: Routledge, 10-21.