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Appunti in lingua inglese della facoltà di scienze delle comunicazioni del professor Ruggiero. Il file contiene una esercitazione su '' Media litteracy'' ed in particolare su: il linguaggio dei media ed esercitazioni di comprensione del testo(con inserimento di vocaboli mancanti).

Esame di Diritto della comunicazione e dell'informazione docente Prof. L. Ruggiero



Text 2 – A Propaganda Model

Before reading the text, look at these two cartoons. What do you think they mean?

The mass media serve as a system for communicating messages and symbols to the general populace.

It is their function to amuse, entertain, and inform, and to inculcate individuals with the values, beliefs,

and codes of behaviour that will integrate them into the institutional structures of the larger society. In

a world of concentrated wealth and major conflicts of class interest, to fulfil this role requires

systematic propaganda.

In countries where the levers of power are in the hands of a state bureaucracy, the monopolistic

control over the media, often supplemented by official censorship, makes it clear that the media serve

the ends of a dominant elite. It is much more difficult to see a propaganda system at work where the

media are private and formal censorship is absent. This is especially true where the media actively

compete, periodically attack and expose corporate and governmental malfeasance, and aggressively

portray themselves as spokesmen for free speech and the general community interest.

A propaganda model focuses on the inequality of wealth and power and its multi-level effects on

mass-media interests and choices. It traces the routes by which money and power are able to filter out

the news fit to print, marginalize dissent, and allow the government and dominant private interests to

get their messages across to the public. The raw material of news must pass through successive filters

(such as the size and wealth of dominant mass-media firms; advertising as primary income source;

“anticommunism” as a national religion), leaving only the cleansed residue fit to print. These filters fix

newsworthy in the first place, and make it

the premises of discourse and interpretation, define what is

difficult to detect the bias that is inherent in the priority assigned to raw material, or the possibility that

the government or dominant elites might be manipulating the news, imposing their own agenda, and

deliberately diverting attention from other material.

Using a propaganda model, we would not only anticipate definitions of worth based on utility, and

dichotomous attention based on the same criterion, we would also expect the news stories about

worthy and unworthy victims (or enemy and friendly states) to differ in quality. That is, we would

expect official sources of the United States and its client regimes to be used heavily – and uncritically –

in connection with one’s own abuses and those of friendly governments, while refugees and other

dissident sources will be used in dealing with enemies. We would anticipate the uncritical acceptance of

certain premises in dealing with self and friends – such as that one’s own state and leaders seek peace

and democracy, oppose terrorism, and tell the truth – premises which will not be applied in treating

enemy states. We would expect different criteria of evaluation to be employed, so that what is villainy

in enemy states will be presented as an incidental background fact in the case of oneself and friends.

What is on the agenda in treating one case will be off the agenda in discussing the other.

[adapted from Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, 1988]


inculcate= / nk lke t; AmE n k l-/ verb [vn] ~ sth (in / into sb)| ~ sb with sth (formal) to cause sb

to learn and remember ideas, moral principles, etc., especially by repeating them often: to inculcate a sense

of responsibility in sb to inculcate sb with a sense of responsibility

in•cul•ca•tion / nk l ke n/ noun [U]

malfeasance= /malfeez’nss/ noun A wrongful act that the actor had no right to do; improper

professional conduct; he charged them with electoral malpractices. [French expression malfaisance, from

malfaisant =injurious, doing ill; mal=ill, evil faisant=doing, present participle of faire=to do.]

spokesman=/ sp ksm n; AmE spo -/, spokeswoman / sp ksw m n; AmE spo -/ noun (pl. -men

/-m n/, -women /-w m n/) ~ (for sb/sth) a person who speaks on behalf of a group or an

organization: a police spokesman A spokeswoman for the government denied the rumours.

newsworthy= / nju zw3 i; AmE nu zw3 r i/ adj. interesting and important enough to be reported as

news: Nothing very newsworthy happened last week. a newsworthy event on the agenda

agenda= / d end / noun a list of items to be discussed at a meeting: The next item is

at the top of the agenda

the publicity budget. For the government, education is now (= most important). In our

high on the agenda set the agenda

company, quality is . Newspapers have been accused of trying to for the

government (= decide what is important)

bias / ba s/ noun, verb noun 1 [U, C, usually sing.] a strong feeling in favour of or against one

group of people, or one side in an argument, often not based on fair judgement: accusations of political bias

in news programmes (= that reports are unfair and show favour to one political party) verb (-s- or -ss-) [vn] ~

sb/sth (towards / against / in favour of sb/sth) to unfairly influence sb's opinions or decisions: The

newspapers have biased people against her. LANGUAGE NOTE

bias is a one-sided inclination of the mind. The student of communication approaches this word with

extreme caution, for bias generally belongs to the realm of perception, and other people’s perceptions

at that: like beauty, bias lies in the eye of the beholder whose vision is coloured by values and previous

experience. The accusation of bias tends to be predicated on the assumption that there is an opposite –

objectivity; that there is an attainable ideal called impartiality; that freedom from bias is not only

possible but desirable. To speak, publish or broadcast without bias would imply the use of language

which is value-free. Yet however careful we might be in what we say we disclose something of

ourselves, what shaped and formed us; what counts with us, what we value. When other people appear

to call that value into question, we may be tempted to classify them as biased.

[J. Watson and A. Hill, Dictionary of Media and Communication Studies, Arnold Publishers, 2001]

propaganda Usually deliberate manipulation by means of symbols (words, gestures, images, flags,

monuments, music, etc.) of other people’s thoughts, behaviour, attitudes and beliefs. The word

originates with the Roman Catholic Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, a committee of

cardinals in charge of missionary activities of the church since 1622.

[J. Watson and A. Hill, Dictionary of Media and Communication Studies, Arnold Publishers, 2001]


Exercise 5

Decide if the following statements are True or False according to the text:

1. The mass media propose models and views that help people feel part of a large community of

individuals .....

2. It is easier to see the influence of dominant elites in countries where media are monopolistically

controlled .....

3. The media never critique governmental wrong-doings or, if they do so, their opinions are

always genuinely and freely expressed .....

4. Economic interests and power determine which messages and news are selected, and how .....

5. In the authors’ opinion, the propaganda model is based on some cleansing factors .....

6. These factors determine which news are considered interesting enough to be published and

how messages/texts are constructed .....

7. Same attention is given by the mass media to victims of enemy and friendly states .....


Exercise 6

In the text, find opposite expressions for:



dominant elite


Exercise 7

In the text, find words or expressions referable to the semantic field* of propaganda:

1. 2. 3.

4. 5. 6.

7. 8. 9.

* the use of words and phrases from a particular area of meaning

Exercise 8

a. Are there any ellipses and/or substitutions? If yes, list them below:

_________________________ _________________________

_________________________ _________________________

_________________________ _________________________

b. Are there any reference words? If yes, list them below:

_________________________ _________________________

_________________________ _________________________

_________________________ _________________________

c. Are there any connectives? If yes, list them below:

Addition______________________ Cause________________________

Opposition____________________ Time_________________________




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+1 anno fa

Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea in scienze della comunicazione
Università: Teramo - Unite
A.A.: 2013-2014

I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher cecilialll di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Diritto della comunicazione e dell'informazione e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Teramo - Unite o del prof Ruggiero Luca.

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