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Guardians of Power: The Myth of the Liberal Media [Paperback]

David Edwards , David Cromwell
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

20 Dec 2005
"Guardians of Power ought to be required reading in every media college. It is the most important book about journalism I can remember." John Pilger

"Regular critical analysis of the media, filling crucial gaps and correcting the distortions of ideological prisms, has never been more important. Media Lens has performed a major public service by carrying out this task with energy, insight, and care." Noam Chomsky

"Media Lens is doing an outstanding job of pressing the mainstream media to at least follow their own stated principles and meet their public service obligations. [This is] fun as well as enlightening." Edward S. Herman

Can a corporate media system be expected to tell the truth about a world dominated by corporations?

Can newspapers, including the 'liberal' Guardian and the Independent, tell the truth about catastrophic climate change -- about its roots in mass consumerism and corporate obstructionism -- when they are themselves profit-oriented businesses dependent on advertisers for 75% of their revenues?

Can the BBC tell the truth about UK government crimes in Iraq when its senior managers are appointed by the government? Has anything fundamentally changed since BBC founder Lord Reith wrote of the establishment: "They know they can trust us not to be really impartial"?

Why did the British and American mass media fail to challenge even the most obvious government lies on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction before the invasion in March 2003? Why did the media ignore the claims of UN weapons inspectors that Iraq had been 90-95% "fundamentally disarmed" as early as 1998?

This book answers these questions, and more.

Since July 2001, Media Lens has encouraged thousands of readers to email senior editors and journalists, challenging them to account for their distorted reporting on Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Haiti, East Timor, climate change, Western crimes in Central America, and much more. The responses -- often surprising, sometimes outrageous -- reveal the arrogance, unaccountability and servility to power of even our most respected media.






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Guardians of Power: The Myth of the Liberal Media + NEWSPEAK in the 21st Century + Why Are We the Good Guys? Reclaiming Your Mind from the Delusions of Propaganda
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (20 Dec 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745324827
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745324821
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 13.7 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 317,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

Regular critical analysis of the media, filling crucial gaps and correcting the distortions of ideological prisms, has never been more important. Media Lens has performed a major public service by carrying out this task with energy, insight, and care. (Noam Chomsky)

I really cannot do justice to this superb, devastating book ... It is not merely excellent, it is outstanding. Buy it. Read it. Use it. (Morning Star Online)

Bias can enter the news gathering system at many junctions. Edwards and Cromwell rightly point to the capitalist structures of the corporations that now own the satellites and instruct and direct the crews to various locations which interest them as corporations, and also as competitors, where being first to break the news or , say, report an exclusive story, really matters to them. The development of Media Lens may permit it soon to have the power to act as an alternative source and a correcting influence on the gross distortions in the news we receive at present. (Henry McCubbin, The Spokesman)

About the Author

David Edwards is co-founder/co-editor of Media Lens (www.medialens.org) for which he works full-time. He is author of Free to be Human (1995), The Compassionate Revolution (1998) and co-author of Guardians of Power: The Myth of the Liberal Media (Pluto, 2006).

David Cromwell is co-founder / co-editor of Media Lens (www.medialens.org) and a researcher at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. He is author of Private Planet (2001) and co-author of Guardians of Power: The Myth of the Liberal Media (Pluto, 2006). In 2002, he co-founded the Crisis Forum (www.crisis-forum.org.uk) with fellow Southampton academic Mark Levene. Surviving Climate Change: The Struggle to Avert Global Catastrophe, edited by Cromwell and Levene, was published in 2007 by Pluto.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent expose of the media 22 Sep 2006
By Mr. B. I. Precious VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This book is an excellent expose of the pressures put on the media of our 'free' society to conform to an agenda and set of assumptions which pose no threat to the ruling class.Indeed it is probably the best and the clearest example of this subject area- at least as good as Chomsky and Herman's 'Manufacturing Consent'.The final chapters are a bit of a let-down, but the section on maslakh refugee camp and it's non-coverage by the 'mainstream' media is worth the price of the book alone.Great stuff.Works like these, exposing the revenue pressure on the media to submit and conform to the assumptions of their advertisers,are vital to understanding the reality of our society: free and fair debate within consensual boundaries which can only be described as totalitarian.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it me, or are things just getting worse!!! 18 Feb 2006
By Deb
Format:Paperback
READ THIS BOOK!!! What a fabulous, and scary, read. If like myself, you have turned to the Guardian or Independant for a better picture of world events - you will be amazed at some of the evidence brought up in this book. Now, I am not an intellectual but found this really easy to read (and rivetting, couldn't put it down). I found the references given in the text were much more useful than trawling through the back of the book for them and overall can say this publication offers a succinct and straight talking approach to a subject most of us wish wasn't happening. All trainee journos should read as part of their training! It won't disappoint, essential reading.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable 24 May 2006
Format:Paperback
I finished reading this book at 3.30am last night and have thought about nothing else all day. It is a seminal read; one of those books, which changes the way you look at the world, and your role within it. I have been a subscriber to the New Internationalist magazine for many years, joined the Green Party in 1991, support all sorts of NGOs working with development and environmental issues, but have been only sporadically active. Over the years I have learnt to view the world differently, but have been frustrated to find that the media -and my family and some friends -regard people motivated by compassion for others of different races in faraway countries with friendly bafflement. As the New Internationalist advert says: they don't get it. This book explains that these people have been conditioned by a state and corporate media system which serves state and corporate interests, not ours, and certainly not the interests of people on the ends of our 'benevolent' bombs or sanctions in Afghanistan, Iraq or Kosovo. Newspaper readership is weakening as people turn to bloggers and organisations like Media Lens, who help us think about the framing of news stories in a rational, critical and compassionate manner. The crimes of our society against the Iraqi people (the genocidal sanctions, the illegal bombings, the illegal war) are examined under the microscope. It means that you will never watch Andrew Marr, Jon Snow or read David Aaranovitch again with the same complacent feeling that they are on your side. Monbiot's The Age of Consent, the film The Corporation and now this book have made me finally reach my 'tipping point'. Passive interest is turning into activism. Read more ›
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wake up call 9 Mar 2006
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is a fantastic read. It is brilliantly researched and is written in a simple but thorough, measured but powerful and focused but unbiased way. For everyone who complacently thinks that they are well informed about all sides of the most important public issues of our time because they read a broadsheet newspaper: you must read this book, it'll open your eyes.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have your bubble burst 16 Jan 2006
Format:Paperback
For those who understand Chomsky and Herman's propaganda model this is a very interesting read and adds more weight to their work. For those who don't, prepare to have your bubble burst....and begin on the path of realisation about the constant barrage of propaganda we endure as humans in today's society.
A great read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still manufacturing consent? 2 Dec 2008
By Mr. Tristan Martin VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Authors David Edwards and David Cromwell (founders of self-appointed media watchdog []) have written a British interpretation and updating of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky's seminal analysis of the mainstream mass media, Manufacturing Consent - The Political Economy of the Mass Media (read Herman and Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent first and then try Guardians of Power; for an insider's point of view, try Nick Davies' Flat Earth News).

It is certainly not essential to read that book to understand this one but if you haven't read Herman and Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent, you are not quite getting the full picture with Guardians of Power.

Edwards and Cromwell use the media analysis propaganda (or market-guided) model developed in the United States and apply it to the so-called 'liberal' mass media in the United Kingdom. The subtitle of this book - The Myth of the Liberal Media - telegraphs their conclusions. This is not a trashing of the gutter press; the likes of The Sun et al are quite open and honest about their loyalties and prejudices. Rather, Edwards and Cromwell investigate what might be called the acceptable dissident extreme of polite opinion - that expressed by the likes of Newsnight, Panorama and other news broadcasts by the BBC, as well as stories in the Observer, Independent and The Guardian newspapers.

What makes this book most interesting is when the authors challenge the various journalists for their lack of rigorous questioning of politicians and their parroting of politicians speeches, as if simply passing a (potentially erroneous) comment through the echo chamber that is the mass media constitutes 'objectivity.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes! Keeping me sane in an insane world
Great antidote to the barrage of domestic propaganda fed to us via corporations and their employees that read the 'news' to us.
Published 1 month ago by TalkingMammal
5.0 out of 5 stars quick delivery
Book came quickly and in the good condition. It was present and addressee was happy with book. I was happy as well.
Published 5 months ago by Ludmila Draxlerova
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was expecting!
I bought this book as a present for my husband as he often talks about how disgusting it is that the media has been taken over by big corporations and how you can't believe... Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2011 by Francisca
5.0 out of 5 stars Life-changing.
If you thought the western media is fair and free and critical, think again. If you are looking for the spirit of Orwell in our times, look no further. Read more
Published on 7 Feb 2011 by Prinz Eugen
5.0 out of 5 stars Squeegie your third eye
Excellent book, wakes you up to the extent that the media is controlled by the vested interests and status quo. Read more
Published on 4 Aug 2010 by matt
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
Are you aware of how much you're being manipulated? It's scary! This book will help you to see through the propaganda.
Published on 20 Jan 2010 by Frank Spence
4.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: YOUR VIEW OF THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA IS LIKELY TO CHANGE!
The basic premise of this work is the idea that the mainstream media to which most of us turn to for our daily intake of news and information is in fact filtered by the elite and... Read more
Published on 30 Oct 2007 by Caterpillar
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful study of the media
David Edwards and David Cromwell founded Media Lens ([...] a website which challenges the views given us by the corporate media. Read more
Published on 31 May 2006 by William Podmore
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