Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Censorship in the U.S. Press

Media Matters is a radio program/podcast hosted by renowned media scholar Robert McChesney out of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Robert McChesney's scholarship focuses on the political and economic policies that create the rules that govern and regulate the U.S. press.  As a political economist who focuses on policies, his criticisms of the U.S. press are directed towards the media industry and how certain trends in media content are the result of institutionalized practices and pressures that constitute complex, profit-oriented media institutions (rather than corrupt individuals).  Such structural arguments like this mean that the solutions to the problems associated with the media require changes in policies and institutional arrangements, not changes in individuals (as individuals often adapt to the demands and logics of the institutions).

A couple weeks ago McChesney had representatives from Project Censored on his show. Project Censored is an organization run out of Sonoma State University that highlights key stories that were largely ignored in the U.S. corporate news.  The reasons for the absence are largely due to industry-wide structural forces that constrain and pressure decision-makers within news organizations across the country.

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