I just wrote an essay on how, in recent times, and even as far back as the 20′s- the mass media are being controlled by ‘the market’. If you think that, in this country, we have a ‘free media’ then you are wrong. Of course, it’s much better here than in the US. The vast majority of news publications and broadcasting stations are owned by private networks. These private networks have other interests, their main interest being profit of course. The power of the advertising industry and the competition for a share in their vast wealth means that you are unlikely to hear (in the US at least) negative reports about major advertised products.
Chomsky and Herman put together a study called ‘The Propaganda Model’ ( 1988 ) where they detail that the media perpetuate the ideas of the elite and wealthy.
What interests me most however, and what I find is most evident here in the UK, is the giant blurring of the lines between what is ‘news’ and what is ‘advertising’. It seems more and more, we are being fed ‘news’ which is really just an advertisment to go and buy/try something.
Here is the most recent example; but before I go, I want you to think about how many more examples of this you can see and them maybe post replies telling us about them.
ITN News- 6 minutes ago: 14.06 16 August 2008
An orange which can be peeled in 35 seconds is to go on sale for the first time in the UK.
The launch is in a bid to win back consumers who have lost the patience to eat them. Sales of the fruit fell 2 per cent last year.
Sainsbury’s said the new Australian orange can be peeled “in an average 35 seconds” and is 50 per cent sweeter than other varieties.
Peter Lyons said: “We are confident our new easy-peel orange will save our customers a huge amount of time and bother. This is an incredibly convenient citrus for people to peel and eat on the move or at their desks.”
Garry Cirillo, commercial director at suppliers MMG, said: “In its home market in Australia this orange is big news and has a strong following.
“The proof of the orange is definitely going to be in the eating. If consumer feedback is as good as we expect, we are really hopeful that we can increase volumes and introduce the variety to other growers around the world to increase availability.”
The Australian growing season means the variety will only be available in the UK until September 9.