Q1. I think that Eco’s notion, “if sign can be use to tell the truth, they can also be used to lie (Berger, p13),” elucidates one of the strong point of the semiotics. It enables us to catch the nature of symbol manipulations by the oppressive power. Dictators and its friends always tried to mask their oppressive nature by producing images and rhetoric.
Q2. Berger suggests useful ways of interpreting the television grammar by showing the way how camera works to convey its images: fade in, fade out, pan down and pan up etc (p 31). As Berger notes that semiotics analysis need to focus on the TV program. I see many possibilities of research in this area.
Q3. My answer to Berger’s question in Ch2, “each of us has to decide whether Marxism still makes sense” is that Marxist perspectives have fundamental limitations to analyze the period we are living: it is based and developed in the early stage of capitalism, mass production and mass consumption. There is no class conflict or class consciousness without class.
Q4. According to Van Dijk, the central issue of critical discourse analysis is reveal how discourse plays in reproducing social dominance: how hierarchical social relations are enacted, sustained, and legitimated through discourse. However some critics argue, “How can we explain Hollywood movies that usually describe “the rich” as greedy and selfish, “the core class” as conspiracy-oriented snob?”
Q5. It seems to me that neither Herman and Chomsky’s views on media, news media marginalize dissent and allow the government and dominant private interests to get their messages across to the public, nor Entman’s argument, corporate-owned media have strong power to organize the public opinion, have explanatory power on Internet age we are living now (Santa Ana, Section 6). They seem to reiterate old Marxist’s perspectives: media as an apparatus of ruling class or media owned by ruling class sing a song of their own. We cannot say that corporate-owned news media support the interest of military-industrial complex. Although some corporate-owned news media are supporting conservatives, there are many news media owned by corporate company or family that do not support conservatives.