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Data Deprivation Essay

1097 words - 5 pages

In the article “Data Deprivation” By Herbert Schiller, he argues that in industrialized nations, the rise of corporate decision making has become stronger and more influential than government authority, this is especially prevalent in the arenas of communication, in particular the dissemination of information. As a result the information which usually comes from the same source(same corporate powers) are able to utilize this power by making their own actions and authority covert while actually diverting the public's or society's attention away from much needed socially beneficial and essential information.

Schiller constructs his argument by discussing data deprivation and how freedom ...view middle of the document...

Historical arguments such the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Civil War and the anti-Vietnam War movements of the 1960s are used to explain how corporations did and continue to shun government regulation in terms of social responsibility, it ( Corporate Power) has led the campaign to privatize a variety of activities and functions that has been under public administration. And it has sought to extend market relationships to new spheres of rapidly growing economic activity, e.g. information management (Schiller, 1996).
The social arenas of science and education have been polluted by corporate interests, “In the scientific sector, for example, research findings have become a source of intense effort to gain competitive advantage .Profit-seeking ventures now penetrate the core of many major universities and threaten to undermine the openness of the scholarly community” (Schiller,1996). This restriction of information that should be made known to the public extends itself to the government in terms of what information can be produced, accessed and sold. The government is ‘contracting out’ some of their roles to private contractors which is justified as being a money-saving tactic and less government involvement. This can be seen in the public school system and in certain agencies such as Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Schiller, 1996).
Deregulation was supported as being ideologically favourable to allow America be number one in the communication and technology section in the world. Business problems such as low profits or rising costs were blamed on regulation (Schiller, 1996). “… reducing or eliminating the social regulatory function over consumer and workplace protection and corporate communication practices, also meant reducing or eliminating public information about these crucial social spheres”(Schiller,1996).Information that is socially beneficially has a price tag on it which only high paying clientele can purchase.
Schiller uses an old and new model, then/now evidence style throughout his piece. This can be seen in the first paragraph when discussing the all –embracing structural transformation of the last fifty years. The threat to individual expression was arbitrary power now its corporate power in paragraphs four and five. The supposed overlapping of government and corporation is shown by using a New York Times advertisement example. He uses quotations from other works such as the Age of Missing Information and official voices of authority like University of Miami’s president’s concern over biotech equity, both examples...

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