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The Relation Between Media Content and Political Power

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It is interesting to comprehend the relation between media content and political power. What biases do the media experience in producing news in relation to government interests? Media, according to Herman and Chomsky, has a tendency toward elites’ political interests; media tend to follow official’s agendas. Herman and Chomsky proved this generalization through the use of terminologies and the way they place such kind of news (a foreign country’s election or attitudes toward countries) in US’ newspapers (with regards to number of news, editorial page, and front page of newspapers). Herman and Chomsky could be true when we relate their idea with Gan’s notion that (people behind) media tend to have ethnocentrism, and even possessed with patriotic spirit when there are political conflicts between the country where media is originally produced and its foreign countries as their perceived enemies. It is quite common in outside of America that US’ media is described as having double standard in judging political issues, in which there are two perceived conflicting messages conveyed through the media. For example, US government – through the power of global media—convincingly declare the world about the necessity of human right, but certainly the government has different face when one of the state’s allies are attacked by foreign enemy. This is also the case when the state has interests in geo-politic, natural resources, or would like to barricade the influence of communism ideology during the cold war period. Media coverage in Gulf, North-South Vietnam and Indonesia-East Timor wars, and many more, as revealed by Herman and Chomsky are quite conclusive that media serves as tool of governmental official’s propaganda for many years.... ... middle of paper ... ...ystems ire flexible, in the sense that they need to adopt with audience’s situation (interest, beliefs, political circumstance, etc.). To conclude, Herman and Chomsky (like Gan) may be considered as structuralist, while Demers and particularly Gitlin are functionalist in treating the relations of media and the media elites and the audience. Each of the authors, however, has provided valuable analysis to understand the limitation and functionality of media. Herman and Chomsky, and Demers, have helped to clarify the level, intensity, or variability of hegemonic power (the elites) behind media content. Meanwhile Gitlin helps to provide comprehensive views about complexity of relationship between media content and its dynamic environment, and come to the conclusion that symbiosis, better yet mutual symbiosis, is the actual forces behind the news system production.
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