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Review of the Myth of the Liberal Media

Review of the Myth of the Liberal Media

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Published by Michael Drew Prior
reprinted with permission of the author
reprinted with permission of the author

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Published by: Michael Drew Prior on Aug 24, 2010
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8/24/10 1:20 PMreview of The Myth of the Liberal MediaPage 1 of 14file:///Users/michaelprior/Desktop/review%20of%20The%20Myth%20of%20the%20Liberal%20Media.html
How to read a newspaper:Deconstructing the mediamachine
Robert JensenDepartment of JournalismUniversity of TexasAustin, TX 78712work: (512) 471-1990fax: (512) 471-7979rjensen@uts.cc.utexas.educopyright Robert Jensen 1999
Texas Observer 
, December, 24, 1999, pp. 27-28.review of 
The Myth of the Liberal Media: An Edward Herman Reader 
 by Edward S. Herman
 
8/24/10 1:20 PMreview of The Myth of the Liberal MediaPage 2 of 14file:///Users/michaelprior/Desktop/review%20of%20The%20Myth%20of%20the%20Liberal%20Media.html
Peter LangBy Robert JensenOver coffee at a professional conference, I amyapping with a well-known professor of  journalism and mass communication from an eliteU.S. university. I make a reference to thepropaganda model of Edward Herman and NoamChomsky, indicating that I find it to be acompelling explanation of mainstream newsmedia content.“But that model is so inadequate,” he tells me. Iask him to explain. He cites a published critiquethat he says demonstrates the limits of the model. Iremember that critique as one of many attempts totrash Herman and Chomsky rather than grapplewith their arguments, and so I press on.What specifically do you find wanting in themodel? I ask. What features of it do you think are
 
8/24/10 1:20 PMreview of The Myth of the Liberal MediaPage 3 of 14file:///Users/michaelprior/Desktop/review%20of%20The%20Myth%20of%20the%20Liberal%20Media.html
inadequate? He again cites the published critique,ignores my request for specifics, and repeats thevague criticisms -- too reductive, too deterministic,unsophisticated -- until he finally breezes past to anew subject.That reaction is, unfortunately, not uncommonamong the people who are allegedly educating thenext generation of journalists. The model,developed by Herman more than a decade agoand defended gracefully in this new collection of essays, should be at the core of any journalist’seducation, yet it remains largely untaught in journalism schools and almost completely ignoredby journalists. I don’t expect this new book willchange that.That’s too bad, for The Myth of the Liberal Mediais a lively book that offers important philosophicalreflections on markets, media and democracy; asummary and spirited defense of the propagandamodel; and case studies applying the model to

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