Week 2
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Week 2. Bias and Ethnocentrism Five Filters of Propaganda. Bias. Each person and each professor has their own perspective. Biology Gene Theory of Evolution Symbiogenesis Theory of Evolution. My Perspective. I am a critical Political-Economist

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Week 2

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Week 2

Week 2

Bias and Ethnocentrism

Five Filters of Propaganda

Week 2


  • Each person and each professor has their own perspective.

  • Biology

    • Gene Theory of Evolution

    • Symbiogenesis Theory of Evolution

My perspective

My Perspective

  • I am a critical Political-Economist

  • Like other courses you take, the content closely follows the professor’s perspective.

    • This class is no different.

  • You will, however, get a different perspective from what you are used to hearing!

Both sides to an issue

Both Sides to an Issue?

  • Some people want to give equal time to opposing views.

    • Never just two sides.

  • “Balance” was ordered in coverage of civilian deaths in Afghanistan.

    • http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/1031-02.htm

Value neutral or objective

Value Neutral or Objective

  • Some professors, journalists, or others will say they are objective.

  • Beware!

    • They are either ignorant of their bias

      • Or

    • They are intentionally trying to deceive you.

  • Remember, facts exist, but can be viewed differently depending on the perspective.



  • Ethnocentrism is seeing and judging the world ONLY from your personal perspective.

  • Ethnocentrism also places ourselves in a superior position relative to other people in order to justify our actions.

Five elements of ethnocentrism

Five Elements of Ethnocentrism

  • Viewing the Other as Inferior

  • Dehumanization

  • Civilizational Mission

  • Ideological Camouflage

  • Political Denial

Viewing the other as inferior

Viewing the Other as Inferior

  • Biological Inferiority

  • Moral/Cultural Inferiority



  • Once a group is viewed as inferior, it is easy to dehumanize them.

    • Individuals in the group are seen as less than true people, lacking souls, humanity, culture, etc.

    • Derogatory names are used to characterize the group.

Civilizational mission

Civilizational Mission

  • Because it believes it is superior, one group takes it upon itself to "civilize" the “inferior” people.

    • Manifest Destiny

    • White Man’s Burden

    • Crusade on Terrorism

Ideological camouflage

Ideological Camouflage

  • The subjugation and ill-treatment of other people need justification.

  • Sham science

    • Bell Curve

    • Eugenics

Political denial

Political Denial

  • Government denies responsibility in the mistreatment of a group of people.

    • Ecuador gives indigenous people rights to land in their territory, BUT the government retains the rights to what is BELOW the land!

Five elements of ethnocentrism1

Five Elements of Ethnocentrism

  • Viewing the Other as Inferior

  • Dehumanization

  • Civilizational Mission

  • Ideological Camouflage

  • Political Denial

Five filters of propaganda

Five Filters of Propaganda

Distortion in the Media



  • Five Filters of Propaganda

    • Concentration of Ownership

    • Advertising

    • “Sourcing” the News

    • Flak

    • Anti-Communism

Students and education

Students and Education

  • More than 50% of students at four-year schools and more than 75% at two-year colleges lacked the skills to perform complex literacy tasks.

  • That means they could not … understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, compare credit card offers with different interest rates and annual fees or summarize results of a survey about parental involvement in school.

    • http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2006-01-19-college-tasks_x.htm

Recent media studies

Recent Media Studies

  • “A new study based on a series of seven US polls conducted from January through September of this year reveals that before and after the Iraq war, a majority of Americans have had significant misperceptions and these are highly related to support for the war in Iraq.”

  • http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/international_security_bt/102.php?nid=&id=&pnt=102&lb=brus

Misperceptions support war

Misperceptions Support War

Five filters in the propaganda model

Five Filters in the Propaganda Model

  • Concentration of Ownership

  • Advertising

  • “Sourcing” the News

  • Flak

  • Anti-Communism

Concentration of ownership

Concentration of Ownership

  • 20 years ago, 50 companies controlled the vast majority of media resources. Now, it is five.

    • “These five huge corporations —

      • Time Warner,

      • Disney, (owns ABC)

      • Murdoch's News Corporation,

      • Bertelsmann of Germany, and

      • Viacom (formerly CBS)

    • — own most of the newspapers, magazines, books, radio and TV stations, and movie studios of the United States.” http://www.benbagdikian.com/



  • Advertising supports the costs of production for media outlets.

  • Outlets not able to attract advertisers are less able to compete.

  • Advertisers seek a “buying mood.”



  • Media outlets attempt to save money and time by relying on readily available sources for news.

  • Corporations, politicians and others provide press releases, press conferences and prepared videos for the media.

Week 2


  • People and groups dissatisfied with media coverage will attempt to change coverage through complaints.

    • Complaints by pundits and editorial writers

    • Complaints by organized groups

    • Complaints by politicians

Anti communism


  • While the authors wrote about the concept of anti-communism, we can see its application today.

  • Both the terms “liberal” and “terrorism” are used to dichotomize debate.

    • You are either with us, or against us.

  • The fear of terrorism is used to promote policies.



  • Concentration of Ownership

    • How does Murdoch and editors control news through memos?

  • Advertising

    • What is the “Fox Effect” on other networks?

  • Sources

    • Where does Fox get its information, commentators and guests?

  • Flak

    • Shut Up!

    • Personal Attacks

  • Anti-Terrorism

Coming up

Coming up

  • Outfoxed

    • Applying the Filters of Propaganda

  • Login