This thesis argues that the motivations underpinning the mainstream news media have fundamentally changed in the 21st century. As such, the news is no longer best understood as a tool for propaganda or agenda setting; instead it seems that the news is only motivated by the flow of global network capitalism. The author contrasts the work of Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman with that of Gilles Deleuze.
Chomsky and Herman’s ‘Propaganda Model’ has been influential within the fields of media studies and popular culture. The ‘propaganda model’ states that the concentration of ownership of the media has allowed the media elite to exert a disproportionate amount of influence over the mass media. Deleuze, on the other hand, regards the mass media as being yet another cog within the… global capitalist mechanism, and is therefore separate from ideology or propaganda. The author proposes that ‘propaganda’ is no longer a sufficient word to describe the function of the news as terms like ‘propaganda’ imply some form of national sovereignty or governmental influence.
To highlight how the news has changed from an instrument of propaganda to an instrument of accumulation, the author compares and contrasts the coverage of the Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal with that of the Haditha Civilian Massacre. Although similar in nature, the author proposes that the Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal received a disproportionate amount of coverage within the mainstream press because of its exciting and sensational nature.