Monday, May 11, 2009

A brief case study of the propaganda model

If you've ever read Manufacturing Consent you'll be familiar with the authors' notion that American media tends to give coverage to a particular event if it occurs in an enemy regime and serves to reinforce negative imagery of the regime, while ignoring or marginalizing the same event if it occurs in a client regime, or better yet, in the United States.

Glenn Greenwald's post today about the contrasting way that the release of Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi and the journalists who have been imprisoned by the United States is being covered would seem to fit the propaganda model proposed by Chomsky and Herman.

A Nexis search for "Roxana Saberi" reveals 2,201 mentions in press reports, virtually all of them in the last two months regarding her arrest by Iran. By stark contrast, a search for "Ibrahim Jassam" -- the Iraqi journalist still held without charges by the U.S. even in the face of an Iraqi court finding that there's no evidence of his guilt -- produces a grand total of 71 mentions. A search of "Sami al-Haj" for the first five years of his detention in Guantanamo (2001-2006) reveals a grand total of 101 mentions. For the entire period of his lawless detention, Bilal Hussein's name was mentioned 556 times. See those Nexis searches here.

1 comment:

Sheldon said...

Wow, thats quit a difference and reveals the hypocricy of the U.S. media.