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Reading: A Propaganda Model for Hollywood


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A Propaganda Model for Hollywood


Matthew Alford

University of Bath
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This article proposes a Hollywood Propaganda Model, based on Herman and Chomsky’s original theory for news media, to explain the ideological output of mainstream Hollywood. The five filters are: concentrated ownership; the importance of merchandising; dependence on establishment sources; the disproportionate ability of the powerful to create flak; and a dominant ideology of ‘us’ versus the ‘Other’. The article acknowledges the limits of such a model but makes the case that the filters are important overarching concerns in determining the ‘bounds of the expressible’ and that countervailing forces such as the supposed left-wing beliefs of grassroots Hollywood are of limited significance.

How to Cite: Alford, M., 2009. A Propaganda Model for Hollywood. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, 6(2), pp.144–156. DOI:
Published on 01 Oct 2009.
Peer Reviewed


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