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Media Theory, Public Relevance and the Propaganda Model Today

A Research Paper co-authored by Christian Fuchs, Jeffery Klaehn, Daniel Broudy, Yigal Godler, Florian Zollmann, Noam Chomsky, Joan Pedro-Carañana, Tom Mills and Oliver Boyd-Barrett, published by Media Theory

Since its initial formulation in 1988, the Herman-Chomsky Propaganda Model (PM) has become one of the most widely tested models of media performance in the social sciences. This is largely due to the combined efforts of a loose group of international scholars as well as an increasing number of students who have produced studies in the US, UK, Canadian, Australian, Japanese, Chinese, German, and Dutch contexts, amongst others. Yet, the PM has also been marginalised in media and communication scholarship, largely due to the fact that the PM’s radical scholarly outlook challenges the liberal and conservative underpinnings of mainstream schools of thought in capitalist democracies. This paper brings together, for the first time, leading scholars to discuss important questions pertaining to the PM’s origins, public relevance, connections to other approaches within Communication Studies and Cultural Studies, applicability in the social media age, as well as impact and influence. The paper aligns with the 30th anniversary of the PM and the publication of the collected volume, The Propaganda Model Today, and highlights the PM’s continued relevance at a time of unprecedented corporate consolidation of the media, extreme levels of inequality and class conflict as well as emergence of new forms of authoritarianism.

Keywords: Propaganda Model, Cultural Studies, Edward S. Herman, hegemony, ideology, elites, propaganda, Sociology, ideological power.

Photo by Sinitta Leunen on Unsplash

Christian Fuchs


Christian Fuchs is Professor at, and the Director of, the Communication and Media Research Institute. He is also Director of the Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies.

His fields of expertise are critical digital & social media studies, Internet & society, political economy of media and communication, information society theory, social theory and critical theory.


19 December 2018
Published By
Media Theory
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