A set of assumptions underlying the stance of some commentators that the mass media have an awesome persuasive power over a helplessly passive general public. In a left-wing inflection, this is seen as involving manipulation and mystification by those in political power (or even as a conspiracy). In a right-wing inflection, it is seen leading inevitably towards a lowering of cultural standards and the proliferation of permissive values. Journalists serve the interests of their paymasters rather than the public interest. The manipulative model is the polar opposite of the market model (Cohen and Young). See also dominance model; hypodermic model.
Subjects: Media Studies.