Promote the need for sincere information for a democracy based on trust

Media and the Neoliberal Swindle: From ‘Fake News’ to ‘Public Service’

Des Freedman

This chapter argues that neoliberalism remains a crucial frame through which to understand media power. Drawing on Marx’s notion of a ‘democratic swindle’ in which allegedly democratic institutions were used to disempower citizens in the second half of the nineteenth century, the chapter argues that we are now facing a new democratic swindle. Elite institutions are using the crisis posed by the growth of political polarization and the fracturing of centrist politics to advance the need for consensual, rational, truth-telling media—precisely the same structures that failed in their democratic duties and that are intimately connected to an increasingly discredited neoliberal order. The chapter reflects on two case studies—the emergence of the ‘fake news’ scandal and the performance of the BBC, perhaps the world’s most famous public service media organization—and argues that, in different ways, they are both intimately tied to media systems governed by a neoliberal logic.

Topic :  Media  
Format :    
Edition :  Springer  
Country :  United Kingdom 
Language  :  English 
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