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Perhaps this is an obvious point, but the democratic postulate is that the media are independent and …

Perhaps this is an obvious point, but the democratic postulate is that the media are independent and committed to discovering and reporting the truth, and that they do not merely reflect the world as powerful groups wish it to be perceived. Leaders of the media claim that their news choices rest on unbiased professional and objective criteria, and they have support for this contention in the intellectual community. If, however, the powerful are able to fix the premises of discourse, to decide what the general populace is allowed to see, hear, and think about, and to manage public opinion by regular propaganda campaigns, the standard view of how the system works is at serious odds with reality.

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