Concision refers generally to brevity, or the practice of using no more words than necessary to describe an idea. In the context of media criticism, the word concision is also used to describe the practice of limiting debate and discussion of important topics on broadcast news on the basis of broadcast time allotment.

Media critics such as Noam Chomsky contend that this practice, especially on commercial broadcasts with advertising, encourages broadcasters to exclude people and ideas that they judge cannot conform to the time limits of a particular program. This leads to a limited number of "the usual suspects" who will say expected ideas that will not require extensive explanation such as mainstream political ones. Furthermore, introducing controversial or unexpected statements that do not conform to those conventional ideas are discouraged as time inefficient because the person will be required to explain and support them in detail. Since this can often take considerable time in itself and digress from the primary discussion topic of the broadcast, this is discouraged. Alternatively, the explanation could be subject to extensive editing for time which could lead to an inadequate presentation of the subject's thoughts.

Media illustration

This media control idea is illustrated in the film documentary Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media where journalist Jeff Greenfield explains why a person like Chomsky may be excluded from being interviewed on air because he takes too long to warm up. The film then follows up with Chomsky himself explaining the concept while the film gives examples of controversial statements he has made in the past that would require extensive explanation in an interview.

The 1999 feature film The Insider has a dramatization of the media concept where journalist Mike Wallace goes public on a news show about the censoring of a controversial story on 60 Minutes. When Wallace sees his interview broadcast, he is furious that his testimony is limited to a cut part statement that does not adequately explain his position and the only excuse from the producers he receives is that it had to be cut for time.

See also

For the Greek word translated "beware of the concision," in Philippians, KJV see (κατατομή) katatomē


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  • concision — [ kɔ̃sizjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1706; « retranchement » 1488; de concis ♦ Qualité d une personne concise, de ce qui est concis. La concision d une définition. La concision du style. Tacite est un modèle de concision. ⊗ CONTR. Prolixité, redondance,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Concision — Con*ci sion, n. [L. concisio: cf. F. concision. See {Concise}.] A cutting off; a division; a schism; a faction. South. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • concision — CONCISION. s. f. Qualité de ce qui est concis. La concision du style …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • concisión — sustantivo femenino 1. (no contable) Brevedad y precisión al expresar algo de manera oral o escrita: El profesor valoró positivamente la concisión en los exámenes …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • concision — late 14c., cutting away, mutilation, also, from 16c., circumcision, from L. concisionem a separation into divisions, lit. a cutting up, noun of action from concidere to cut up (see CONCISE (Cf. concise)). From 18c. it began to be used in the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • concisión — (Del lat. concisĭo, ōnis). f. Brevedad y economía de medios en el modo de expresar un concepto con exactitud …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • concision — [kən sizh′ən] n. [L concisio] 1. Obs. a cutting off; division 2. concise quality; conciseness …   English World dictionary

  • concisión — (Del lat. concisio, onis.) ► sustantivo femenino Brevedad y precisión al hablar o escribir: ■ expresó su opinión con gran concisión. SINÓNIMO laconismo sobriedad brevedad [esqueatismo] precisión ANTÓNIMO imprecisión …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • concision — (kon si zion ; en poésie, de quatre syllabes) s. f. Qualité du style qui dit ce qu il veut dire en peu de mots. SYNONYME    CONCISION, PRÉCISION. La concision diffère de la précision en ce qu elle est plutôt la brièveté même du discours, que l… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • concisión — {{#}}{{LM C09721}}{{〓}} {{SynC09953}} {{[}}concisión{{]}} ‹con·ci·sión› {{《}}▍ s.f.{{》}} Brevedad y economía de medios en la forma de expresar un concepto con exactitud: • tratar un tema con concisión.{{○}} {{#}}{{LM SynC09953}}{{〓}} {{CLAVE… …   Diccionario de uso del español actual con sinónimos y antónimos