The Impact of Print Media on Popular Culture: Umberto Eco's Number Zero

Fatma Altınbaş Sarıgül
June 15, 2016


In the book published by Umberto Eco in 2015 called Numero Zero (Number Zero), on the basis of theassumption that the newspapers are able to establish various perceptions to the public in a consciousway, he has examined what kind of interventions some popular newspaper bosses have realized for thepurpose of increasing their efficiencies in the business world within the frame of a fiction. According toEco; popular culture is not in a sudden and unexpected structure (at least from its appearance) as it is inthe cultural understanding of the modernism. By also taking the likes and demands of the wide massesit desires to be expanded into consideration, it aims a consensus between the culture producers and theculture consumers. In this way, it provides an easier and faster acceptance of the messages it sends bythe masses. However, the motivation of the culture producers has derived from the market economy. Theaimed thing is “profit”. Popular newspapers inflict, transform and even make up the news in the cause ofthis profit. Eco operates by which methods the newspapers perform these destructions and reveals theirtactics that direct the readers to certain assumptions with the quibbles. He tries to decipher the codesof the common popular perception delivered to the readers. According to Eco, “newspapers teach peo-ple how they should think; unfortunately, all we learn is fake and deformed”. Popular culture consists ofa reference made by the fake that is replacing the truth to itself as mentioned in the simulation theoryof Baudrillard, not a reality away from itself.

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