Manufacturing Consent

The Limits on Access to the Mainstream Media Since September 11

by Jayne Seminare Docherty, October 2001

Many of our readers have urged us to submit our materials for publication in “major media outlets.” We have tried to do this, with little or no success. We have, in fact, had greater success when our materials were submitted to newspapers and other publications outside of the United States. For example, some of our first papers were translated and published in Korea.

We would be less concerned about this response from the U.S. media, if they were publishing materials from other writers who were articulating ideas and responses to September 11 that reflected the peacebuilding and conflict transformation perspective. They are not. Consequently, we think it is valuable to keep a watchful eye on the processes by which the mainstream media outlets are cooperating with our political leaders to manufacture consent for the “War on Terrorism.”

We will be posting papers – written by us and by others – that analyze the media coverage of post-September 11 debates about appropriate responses.

We started this series with a paper by Jayne Docherty on the Washington Post coverage of those who were stepping forward to question to rush to war: Peace Activists or Concerned Citizens? We continue now with an article about Colman McCarthy’s analysis of media coverage written by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, Jayne Seminare Docherty, PhD.

Jayne Seminare Docherty, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Conflict Studies
Email: