Manufacturing consent

the political economy of the mass media

Paperback, 412 pages

English language

Published March 10, 1994 by Vintage.

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5 stars (2 reviews)

Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media is a 1988 book by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky. It argues that the mass communication media of the U.S. "are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function, by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion", by means of the propaganda model of communication. The title refers to consent of the governed, and derives from the phrase "the manufacture of consent" used by Walter Lippmann in Public Opinion (1922). The book was honored with the Orwell Award. A 2002 revision takes account of developments such as the fall of the Soviet Union. A 2009 interview with the authors notes the effects of the internet on the propaganda model.

8 editions

reviewed Manufacturing consent by Noam Chomsky

An essential read for anyone looking to challenge the current hegemonic common sense

5 stars

I found this to be quite an interesting read which, although published in 1988, is still fairly relevant and now has helped me gain a new perspective on the inner workings of the mass media and the political economy encompassing it.

In the first chapter, Herman and Chomsky describe the political economy and derive their "propaganda model" from it. This propaganda model has "five filters" as follows: 1. Size, ownership, and profit orientation; 2. The advertising license to do business; 3. Sourcing mass media news; 4. Flak and the enforcers; 5. Anti-communism as a control mechanism. All of these aspects come together as filters for a system of self-censorship and deceit, whether conscious or unconsciously, directed towards the population to sustain the prevalent narrative of the U.S. government and the elite class.

The following six chapters are case studies in which the authors take a look at various topics, how …

Review of 'Manufacturing Consent' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Even though the internet has changed the balance of power in media reporting and information dissemination since the era of the 20th century US gangster imperialism analysed in the work, what has not changed is the liberal intellectuals' and mainstream media organisations' service to causes of the Empire. They have never had potent arguments against Chomsky and others' analyses of their role, and reading about their actions that aided the military-industrial complex's rampant pillaging in the name of global power and corporate profits is important.


  • Mass media -- Political aspects -- United States
  • World politics -- 1975-1985
  • World politics -- 1985-1995
  • Public opinion -- United States
  • Mass media -- United States -- Objectivity