Daily Archives: 23 July 2007

‘The audience isn’t as dumb as we think it is’

The power (and inclination) of the media to take an audience in its spell and brainwash them to do its bidding is a theme often visited by politicians and figures of power, and Al Gore is not the first to do so. But, says Frank Furedi in his review of The Assault on Reason Gore is haunted by the media’s ‘power of persuasion’:

“He believes that the cumulative impact of mass-media broadcasting, propaganda and new forms of public relations has been to expel reason from the public world. He fears that the media trigger in people responses that are not ‘modulated by logic, reason, and reflective thought’. He says that a manufacturing of consent has led to the hollowing-out of democracy, which means the ‘public is often persuaded to endorse and applaud policies that are actually harmful to its interests’…

“There’s no doubt the media have considerable power in determining how political and social problems are framed and discussed. But the media rarely succeed in brainwashing their audience or making people nod along to their messages. Indeed, Americans, like people around the world, selectively choose what they accept and believe. The very fact that such a high proportion of the American electorate is cynical and mistrusts politicians and doubts official versions of events suggests that they are not slaves of the media.”

Read the full review here: Why political thought is imprisoned in the present


How a business writer became a business whiz

[podtech content=http://media1.podtech.net/media/2007/07/PID_011961/Podtech_MukulPandya_KamlaBhatt.mp3&postURL=http://www.podtech.net/home/3651/mukul-pandya-editor-in-chief-of-knowledgewharton&totalTime=834000&breadcrumb=c210a25587ce49e88b6303c10d18eb25]

Mukul Pandya talks to Kamla Bhatt on how he landed in New Jersey from Bombay as a business writer and ended up becoming executive director and editor-in-chief of Knowledge@Wharton, the successful online publication of research and business analysis from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.