I thought this was interesting enough to depart from the normal 'amused' intent of this simple little blog for a few moments and commend Sheldon Rampton's thought provoking update of Chomsky et al's work on media manipulation to you. Sheldon outlines the parlous state of media today and wonders if Web 2.0 will help. You'd hope so, wouldn't you?
In 1928, my old mate Edward Bernays wrote: "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country."
Bernays also wrote: "There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.”
Given that they've had 80 years to get it right since Eddie Bernays first penned those increasingly famous words, you would be forgiven for wondering if the age of social networks, citizen journalism and all else that is Web 2.0 can survive the ministrations of the evil manipulators intact... the evidence is already starting to build that they're at the gates.
The PR Watch article is here if you would like to read it: http://www.prwatch.org/node/6068