ethics

Morality and ethics in media on an example of “Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media”

Documentary “Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media” talks about how the media are used for propaganda purposes and sometimes misinform the public on what government and corporations are doing. One of the examples he gave was a difference in how Cambodian Civil War and Indonesian occupation of East Timor were covered and presented to the public. The first one got a lot of attention form the press, with daily updates and news articles, while the other one was marginalised and very little was said about it in the media. Chomsky claims that disproportion was caused by the fact that Indonesia was an ally of US, while Cambodia was considered an enemy. In his eyes it’s a perfect example of media’s unwillingness to criticize an ally, which from a brief research I did and evidence provided by the creators of the documentary I have to agree with. However I’m not sure if it was pure unwillingness from the media. We have to remember that it was back in the times of the Cold War when world was basically divided in two sides. From my understanding that region was very important from sea travelling perspective, trade routes were going there and apparently American submarines were patrolling the region. I think that US was afraid that they might lose the control over it and Soviets would have took it over from them. The region is close to Australia who also played a role in the conflict and was criticised in the documentary as well. I think from their perspective it was better to have their allies “next door” rather than let Soviet get closer to them. As I said it was most likely morally wrong, but the Cold War times were very different and sadly the me versus them mentality was very strong back them. I think it is foolish to expect media to be objective, of course that would be great, but we’re not living in the idea world. Everyone has their own views and opinions that they will try to present to the public. I’m afraid we, as the audience have to remember to critically analyse our news sources. It also applies to people like me, who want to work in media and the entertainment industry. We will somehow try to get through with our own views and opinions in our work, I don’t think that it is avoidable. What I think is important is not to misinform the audience, present them with false data and claims, especially in the news industry. Issues such as global warming are still very controversial and some media are trying to present them as false and something that public shouldn’t worry about which is rather a lie and according to science we finally should do something about it.