Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies

House of Anansi
2
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In his national bestselling 1988 CBC Massey Lectures, Noam Chomsky inquires into the nature of the media in a political system where the population cannot be disciplined by force and thus must be subjected to more subtle forms of ideological control. Specific cases are illustrated in detail, using the U.S. media primarily but also media in other societies.

Chomsky considers how the media might be democratized (as part of the general problem of developing more democratic institutions) in order to offer citizens broader and more meaningful participation in social and political life.

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Additional Information

Publisher
House of Anansi
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Published on
Sep 2, 1995
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Pages
432
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ISBN
9780887848681
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Censorship
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Democracy
Social Science / Media Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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American democracy was founded on the belief that ultimate power rests in an informed citizenry. But that belief appears naive in an era when private corporations manipulate public policy and the individual citizen is dwarfed by agencies, special interest groups, and other organizations that have a firm grasp on real political and economic power. In Democracy and the News, one of America's most astute social critics explores the crucial link between a weakened news media and weakened democracy. Building on his 1979 classic media critique Deciding What's News, Herbert Gans shows how, with the advent of cable news networks, the internet, and a proliferation of other sources, the role of contemporary journalists has shrunk, as the audience for news moves away from major print and electronic media to smaller and smaller outlets. Gans argues that journalism also suffers from assembly-line modes of production, with the major product being publicity for the president and other top political officials, the very people citizens most distrust. In such an environment, investigative journalism--which could offer citizens the information they need to make intelligent critical choices on a range of difficult issues--cannot flourish. But Gans offers incisive suggestions about what the news media can do to recapture its role in American society and what political and economic changes might move us closer to a true citizen's democracy. Touching on questions of critical national importance, Democracy and the News sheds new light on the vital importance of a healthy news media for a healthy democracy.
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