Culture

Why the media is biased - understanding the propaganda model

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When the Watergate Scandal brought down the Nixon Government in the States in the mid-70s, it was heralded as one of the finest examples of media power in modern times. Nixon's fall from grace, along with the story of corruption in high places, was the stuff of drama. In no time, the journalists at the centre of the Watergate exposé - Bernstein and Woodward - became celebrities. They went on to win Pulitzer Prizes for their journalistic endeavours and even became the subject of a Hollywood touch-up in All The President's Men.

Ever since, Watergate has acted as a sort of beacon. No single news story did as much for the prestige of the media or the profession of journalism. No other single news-story seems to have offered such overwhelming evidence that under capitalism "the press is free". For a newspaper to be able to have the power and freedom to bring down a US President of Nixon's stature - well, what more can you say?

Drug Criminalisation and the Tragic PMMA Deaths it Causes

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Drug criminalisation claimed another tragic victim last night 17 May) with the death of 18 year old Ana Hick. From press reports it appears hers was yet another preventable death caused by taking toxic PMMA that is sometimes substituted for MDMA due to prohibition and ruthless gangster capitalism.

Brigadistas in Paradise - The Green Brigade and left wing football fan culture

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The following is an abridged summary of a qualitative study undertaken as part of the Masters in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. The thesis drew upon theories of culture, subculture, social movements, radical pedagogy, ethnographies and studies of ultras, gender and football research, as well as studies of the Irish immigrant experience in Scotland, and specifically the role of Celtic FC as an expression of Irish identity.

The Green Brigade of Glasgow Celtic Football Club were founded in 2006 as an explicitly anti-sectarian, anti-racist and anti-fascist group of ultras, who would celebrate Irish Republicanism, oppose the commercialisation of football, and act as an alternative to apolitical fans groups who were perceived as being too close to the management of the club.

 

The anti-Roma racism of the child seizures - No further Action Required

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In this guest piece Damien Walshe, long term anti-racist activist, takes the opportunity to reflect on what happend in the last week when State authorities acted to take away blonde children from their Roma parents.

“Damned if they did something, damned if they did nothing”

A standard response (and the one trotted out by the Minister for Justice) is that it was best for the HSE/Gardai to err on the side of caution: “better be safe than sorry” has been the mantra. Okay, let’s have a look at that statement: What the danger was established in order to abduct the two Roma children from their families? Under the Child Care act children can be taken into care if a child has or is being assaulted, ill-treated, neglected or sexually abused, or whose health, development or welfare has been or is likely to be impaired or neglected. No one has remotely suggested this was the case for either child.

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones

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Released in Summer 2011 and now in its second edition, Chavs is Owen Jones' attempt to help rescussitate debate around class within mainstream outdated concept and political discourse.

Broadly speaking, it is focused on the fate of working class communities in Britain since the Thatcher era and the disappearance of working class political representation, and puts forward some possible ideas to envision a renewed class politics for today. The book has proven a popular one and has propelled its author's public status as a prominent left-wing commentator, and one of the main voices of initiatives to reclaim the Labour Party as a working class organisation.

Anarchists Playing the Media Game

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The Dublin Grassroots Network put a number of structures in place to avoid some of the pitfalls of dealing with the media. Perhaps the two biggest problems in dealing with the media are firstly that the media can, through the questions they ask and the pressures they bring, begin to set the political agenda of the group. Secondly servicing the media machine can take up all a group's time and energy (to the detriment of the other activity).

Media Mayhem - Anarchists and the Mass Media

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On one level the phrase "the media" simply refers to the various modern technologies for transmitting ideas to large populations, such as newspapers, television, magazines, radio and the new kid on the block, the Internet. These are extremely useful tools. They allow people to know what's happening in the world and hence share some common understanding with strangers. A fundamental precondition for achieving the type of revolutionary change that anarchists seek is that a large number of people actively desire it, or at the very least are open to it. Indeed, communicating "our beloved propaganda" to the masses has always played a major part in anarchist activity and hence we require the media. However, today, when we talk about the media, we also implicitly refer to the corporate machine that comes very close to operating monopoly control over mass communication.

The Orange Order: an enemy of ALL workers

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It is unfortunate, if perhaps somewhat inevitable, that the now annual battles around the 'marching season' fall along religious lines. The Orange parades are being used to test the supposed neutrality of the northern regime and the RUC in particular. The losing side in this dangerous game however is likely to be the working class, Protestant and Catholic, as the confrontations and the sectarian attacks that occur around the Orange marches drive people further into 'their own' communities.

Disney’s Moana - an individualistic neoliberal spin on the old reactionary princess tale

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Just because Disney characters look cute doesn't mean Disney films are inoffensive. In fact, they should be recognised as a powerful propaganda weapon, meant to inculcate neoliberal ideology in the earliest years of life. Thus, by virtue of self-defense, the authors of this article, who work in the industry, will not be bothered to avoid spoilers.

Disney’s Moana is set in Hawaii. Moana, the daughter of the Island’s chief, is meant to become the first woman to rule. But the island faces ecological imbalances which threaten the survival of the islanders and lead Moana on an adventure that she will share with a demi god named Maui.
If the title of Disney’s feature is the name of its main female character, one wouldn’t go so far as to say that Moana is the central character of the story. Indeed, as soon as Maui appears on the screen, a shift of focus occurs and Moana becomes no more than Maui’s side-kick. This is neatly illustrated by the memorable “go save the world” addressed by Moana to Maui as he is about to face Te Ka the lava demon. A closer look at Maui’s character can help us understand why this failed attempt at creating a strong heroine might have happened.

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