Manufacturing Consent

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Manufacturing consent describes how the media filters news and ignores stories they believe are not important. The media reports what the wealthy corporations and powerful politicians want to be covered and ignores the rest. The propaganda model explains the behaviour of media by examining the pressures that influence news contents in an institution that is focused on profits only. Introduced in 1988 by Noam Chomskys and Edward S. Herman, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (Chomskys & Herman, 2016), projects a model which shows that raw news passes through five filters. This essay is about the background of manufacturing concept and how the filters determine what contents are seen as newsworthy, where or how they are covered and placed, and the coverage they will receive.

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The Five Filters Are As Follows

Ownership, size and profit orientation: The media firms are profit oriented and must cater to the interests of their owners who are usually controlling investors and corporations. The size of the media company affects the mass audience who view, listen or read their news (Greene, 2016). Media companies maintain a conducive political and economic climate to keep their profits.

Advertising: The media firm collects most of its revenue through advertising. The firms have to follow the political and economic wishes of their advertisers. Even though the advertisers desires are not favourable, the media has no option and cannot produce contents that may affect its advertisers.

Sourcing mass media content. :The wealthy and powerful people like the politician, business leaders and government officials are often viewed as credible sources, and no further research is carried out and sometimes the information was given could be wrong(Greene, 2016). The same people get special access to media. The individuals who provide these news becomes routine sources making it hard for the unknown sources information to be picked.

Flak and discipline: Flak is adverse responses to a media content, program or statement. They include lawsuits, complaints, and government sanctions. Flaks are an expensive action to media due to loss of revenue, advertising, the cost of legal process or loss of reputation. Flaks can be planned by powerful influence groups to report individual opinions or facts.

Anti-communism: This is the threat by an enemy and was manifested during the cold war from 1945 -1941. The filter mobilizes people against a common group or enemy like terrorism or injustice.


Freedom and democracy are values to be preserved and treasured. The media should have freedom to report contents as an independent company without influential personnel controlling them (Friel, 2016). The solutions to the filters can be collective actions to outstand manipulation, use of intellect to know their enemies who pose a threat, media literacy to come up with ways of dealing with anti-communism and alternative media sources to help the non-routine sources get access to the press. This will stop the deceit and manipulation of media by the powerful elite, different opinions of people will be heard and lastly the viewers attention to detail will not be diverted from important issues.


Chomskys, N. & Herman, E. (2016). Manufacturing consent The political economy of the mass media. Retrieved 5 July 2016, from

Friel, h. (2016). Key points in "Manufacturing Consent". Retrieved 5 July 2016, from

Greene, W. (2016). Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. Retrieved 5 July 2016, from

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