Sunday, March 02, 2008


“The vital role that the press played was not merely as a vehicle of “propaganda,” as some interpretations have it. The term ‘propaganda’ suggests a one-way process in which those who initiate communication shape others’ attitudes and knowledge, but communication did not simply flow from top to bottom, from elites to masses, from center to periphery….they have become the vehicles of discussion in which the principles of government, the interest of nations, the spirit and tendency of public measures, and the public and private characters of individuals are all arraigned, tried, and decided.” –Starr P70

Propaganda is a way of transmitting conception, which is the incentive of the propagandists. In order to achieving their needs of existing and developing, they shape others attitudes by spread their ideas to the public. They aim at the public and give them “shots”. Through propaganda, the public are influenced by certain conception and become passive, and finally act as the intention of the propagandists.
The press conveys information, which should be neutral and has no bias. Press is for the public, but it dose not see the public as its intended “target”. The press and news themselves have no subjective point of views. They just contain the pure information and events, without any individual preference or political tendency. The judgement and decisions are made by the public.
Moreover, press serves as the vehicles of discussion, that is, it helps to create public opinions. Public opinions or public sphere composes an important part of the execution of democracy. It is also the voices of the public and individuals.


At 12:48 AM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post and good choice of quotation.

There is the ideal press and there is the real press that exists in a particular country. We can discuss the theoretical role of the press in a democratic society, but that needs to be compared with the reality with all of its flaws and corruptions.

The "public sphere" is a concept that is useful for discussion purposes, but that space for democratic debate is under attack and must be constantly defended.


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