Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky describe the media as businesses which sell audiences to advertisers. In their propaganda model of the media they point to five 'filters' which determine what we read in the newspapers and see on the television. These filters produce a very narrow view of the world that is in line with government policy and business interests.
In the book Newspeak in the 21st Century David Edwards and David Cromwell ask
Why on earth do we, the public, continue looking to corporate media like the Guardian and the Independent for honest analysis and credible solutions? If we can wake up to the irrationality of our own trust and expectations — if we can become dis-illusioned — we can do something different. We can begin to build our own media, our own sources of information, communication and analysis. This, perhaps more than ever before, is entirely possible. As a result, ideas and action can emerge that are uncompromised by the profit drive. And out of this, in turn, can come hope that is not just one more clever deceit.
While there is still a lot of work to be done, there is already plenty of uncompromised, non-corporate news on the web. The aim of this project is to encourage people to start exploring the world of non-corporate online news and analysis. We have tried to make these sources of news more accessible by making available web applications allowing users to find, select and read stories in a variety of formats. We hope these applications will also be useful for authors and publishers to more easily distribute their work.
How it started
The project started off as a proposal to explore the five filters of the propaganda model in an interactive installation. After exploring several ideas, we decided to focus on the creation of an application which would scan a physical newspaper clipping and find related news stories using non-corporate news sources.
A prototype was developed at Medialab-Prado in Madrid, Spain during the Interactivos 09 workshop. The installation was available to see and use at Medialab-Prado. More information on how the project developed during the workshop is available on our wiki page.
We have since created a version to accept input through the browser: Explore Independent Media.
What is the Propaganda Model?
FiveFilters.org was started in Madrid, Spain in 2009 by Keyvan Minoukadeh and a wonderful group of collaborators. The initial team included the following members:
It is now continued by a smaller team, including Keyvan Minoukadeh.