Media Critique / Academic Media Research

Academic Communication/Media Research

Daniel Broudy: Do you see any significant parallels between the 1990s protests and the more recent Occupy Movements that swept much of the world in 2011 and 2012?
James Winter: Yes! Often we fall into the trap of criticizing corporate media for “failing to do their job.” In reality, they are doing their job perfectly. But, we have to realize that it is their job to virulently defend the status quo. Why would corporate media propagate positive societal change, unless that meant moreof-the-same-only-worse?
It’s like asking a dictator to voluntarily step aside: they’re not going to do it, unless you bring substantial pressure to bear. So, when people go into the streets in Egypt, as they did in 2011, they can relatively peacefully bring down the dictator Hosni Mubarak. Then, of course, the U.S. will try to restore the old regime in whatever way is possible.
In the U.S. and Canada, with the Occupy Movements, the corporate media portrayed these people as misguided, misdirected ne’er-do-wells. They were depicted as leaderless and unfocused: they didn’t know what they wanted to change. Although the Occupy people identified the “one percent” as their target, this is the same one percent which is guiding conventional wisdom, directly and indirectly through the corporate media. So, in the usual way, the Occupy Movement was ridiculed and marginalized and deemphasized until they more or less evaporated. People were frustrated and tired and felt helpless. Not that the whole experience wasn’t worthwhile, which it was. We learn from each and every encounter. Propaganda in a Neoliberal Universe: An Interview with James Winter (2016)
"In a word, the American MAVM now hold precisely the same position regarding Washington, as Dr. Goebbel's propaganda machinery held vis-à-vis the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, and the Nazi Party. They have become nothing less than the propaganda arm of the state. Thus we saw 'embedded' journalists from CNN, Fox Network, ABC-TV, etc., reporting directly from Iraq, wearing their 'objective' USA combat uniforms - and having precisely the same role as the German Wehrmacht cameramen who stormed across Poland, bringing newsreel images of the blitzkrieg to non-critical and manipulated audiences throughout the Third Reich."
Film maker Peter Watkins, from chapter two of his book The Media Crisis