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Learning about Propaganda

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  1. Learning about Propaganda

  2. PropagandaStory Time “The Poisonous Mushroom” A Children’s Story by Ernst Heimer

  3. PropagandaStory Time A mother and her young boy are gathering mushrooms in the German forest. The boy finds some poisonous ones. The mother explains that there are good mushrooms and poisonous ones, and, as they go home, says: "Look, Franz, human beings in this world are like the mushrooms in the forest. There are good mushrooms and there are good people. There are poisonous, bad mushrooms and there are bad people. And we have to be on our guard against bad people just as we have to be on guard against poisonous mushrooms. Do you understand that?"

  4. PropagandaStory Time "Yes, mother," Franz replies. "I understand that in dealing with bad people trouble may arise, just as when one eats a poisonous mushroom. One may even die!“ "And do you know, too, who these bad men are, these poisonous mushrooms of mankind?" the mother continued. Franz slaps his chest in pride: "Of course I know, mother! They are the Jews! Our teacher has often told us about them.“ The mother praises her boy for his intelligence, and goes on to explain the different kinds of "poisonous" Jews: the Jewish pedlar, the Jewish cattle-dealer, the Kosher butcher, the Jewish doctor, the baptised Jew, and so on.

  5. PropagandaStory Time "However they disguise themselves, or however friendly they try to be, affirming a thousand times their good intentions to us, one must not believe them. Jews they are and Jews they remain. For our Volk they are poison.“ "Like the poisonous mushroom!" says Franz. "Yes, my child! Just as a single poisonous mushrooms can kill a whole family, so a solitary Jew can destroy a whole village, a whole city, even an entire Volk.“ Franz has understood. "Tell me, mother, do all non-Jews know that the Jew is as dangerous as a poisonous mushroom?" Mother shakes her head.

  6. PropagandaStory Time "Unfortunately not, my child. There are millions of non-Jews who do not yet know the Jews. So we have to enlighten people and warn them against the Jews. Our young people, too, must be warned. Our boys and girls must learn to know the Jew. They must learn that the Jew is the most dangerous poison-mushroom in existence. Just as poisonous mushrooms spring up everywhere, so the Jew is found in every country in the world. Just as poisonous mushrooms often lead to the most dreadful calamity, so the Jew is the cause of misery and distress, illness and death."

  7. PropagandaStory Time • What about this story is similar to other children’s stories you have read or had read to you as a child? • What about this story is different from other children’s stories you have read or had read to you as a child? • What is your reaction to this story?

  8. PropagandaDefinitions • Propaganda (n.)— • information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc. • the deliberate spreading of such information, rumors, etc. • the particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organization or movement. • Are you familiar with any types of propaganda?

  9. What is Propaganda? • Propaganda: what it means. • Propaganda is a specific type of message presentation aimed at serving a particular purpose. • It means to propagate (actively spread) a philosophy or point of view (which may be true but often is not). • The most common use of the term (historically) is in political contexts; in particular to refer to certain efforts sponsored by governments or political groups. • In most countries propaganda has negative connotations, but this is not universally true.

  10. Where do we see propaganda? • Newspapers and books • Magazines • Internet • Clothing • Billboards • Bumper stickers • TV • Radio • Signs • Products • Cartoons (political)

  11. What is propaganda? • Propaganda is usually a pejorative term. • Propaganda is typically a label assigned to others’ persuasion. • “Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.”—Jowett & O'Donnell, 1986, Propaganda and Persuasion

  12. Propaganda Purpose • The aim of propaganda is to influence people's opinions actively, rather than to merely communicate the facts about something. • For example, propaganda might be used to gather either support or disapproval of a certain position, rather than to simply present the position. • What separates propaganda from "normal" communication is in the subtle, often insidious, ways that the message attempts to shape opinion. • For example, propaganda is often presented in a way that attempts to deliberately evoke a strong emotion, especially by suggesting non-logical (or non-intuitive)relationships between concepts.

  13. Why are they used? • To manipulate the readers' or viewers' reason and emotions; to persuade you to believe in something or someone, buy an item, or vote a certain way.

  14. Importance of teaching students the techniques of propaganda • The PBS election guide Web site “By The People” makes the following argument for why political advertisements should be looked at more carefully: • “The bottom line, then, is that it's important for citizens to look carefully at political ads. Certainly the truth or falsity and, regardless of ‘truth’, the deceptiveness of ad content is important to examine. Many newspapers and television analysis programs provide the citizen a good opportunity to learn more about the quality of the verbal content of political commercials. Although a majority of Americans are not aware of this, government closely controls the truth-value of national product advertising on television. But because of the principle of free speech, a principle protected by the U.S. Constitution, there is no control whatsoever on the content of a political commercial. Basically, a politician can say anything she or he wishes in a political ad. The only ‘control’ over content in a political ad is media and public response to that content.”

  15. What is a Propaganda Poster? • A Propaganda Poster is usually created by an existing government or a political party trying to gain control of the government. • It uses patriotism and nationalism to glorify an idea or plan. • It is meant to convince the people to support the idea or plan. • It focuses either on the positives and ignores the negatives or focuses on the negatives and ignores the positives.

  16. What are Propaganda Techniques? • methods and approaches used to spread ideas that further a cause • political, commercial, religious, or civil

  17. Propaganda Includes: • A goal for the viewer • A technique • Images to capture the viewer • Words in the form of slogan

  18. Goal for Viewer? • Images/ Symbols? • Technique/Appeal? • Slogan?

  19. Goal for Viewer? • Images/ Symbols? • Technique / Appeal? • Slogan?

  20. Goal for Viewer? • Images/ Symbols? • Technique / Appeal? • Slogan?

  21. Goal for Viewer? • Images/ Symbols? • Technique / Appeal? • Slogan?

  22. Goal for Viewer? • Images/ Symbols? • Technique / Appeal? • Slogan?

  23. Goal for Viewer? • Images/ Symbols? • Technique / Appeal? • Slogan?

  24. Ten Commandments of Propaganda 1) Divide and Conquer a) More small groups are easier to pit against each other 2) Tell the people what they want a) Pander to the masses 3) The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it a) Make statements grandiose and loud 4) ALWAYS appeal to the lowest common denominator a) It’s O.K. to “dumb it down”

  25. Ten Commandments of Propaganda (cont) 5)Generalize as much as possible a) Paint in broad strokes 6) Use "expert" testimonial a) Have someone known or relatable “pitch” it 7) Refer often to the "authority" of your office a) Remind public of knowledge and power

  26. Ten Commandments of Propaganda(cont) 8) Stack the cards with "information" a) Use as much supportive evidence as possible 9) A confused people are easily led a) More informed means more skeptical 10) Get the "plain folks" onto the "bandwagon" a) Appeal to the common man & he will follow

  27. Features of Propaganda • There is a hidden motive which is not made obvious in all propaganda. • The methods used are generally insidious (wicked). • Propaganda are generally costly and carried out at a national scale. • When presenting the idea, there is always a bias. • Religious, national or political interests are usually sources of propaganda. • All forms of media and a lot of repetition are used to propagate the message. • The intention of propaganda is for the people to accept one idea and exclude any alternative ideas.

  28. Guarding Against Propaganda • Always question what you see or hear no matter where or how you see it or who says it. • Weigh ideas against everything you know and can find out. • Always look for a hidden motive. • Ask the person why he/she thinks that it is true and why.

  29. Propaganda Strategies Adapted from the Propaganda Critic Web site. For more detailed definitions and additional examples see www.propagandacritic.com. PROPAGANDA – the use of a variety of communication techniques that create an emotional appeal to accept a particular belief or opinion, to adopt a certain behavior or to perform a particular action. There is some disagreement about whether all persuasive communication is propagandistic or whether the propaganda label can only be applied to dishonest messages. NAME CALLING – links a person, or idea, to a negative symbol. Examples: commie, fascist, yuppie GLITTERING GENERALITIES – use of virtue words; the opposite of name calling, i.e., links a person, or idea, to a positive symbol. Examples: democracy, patriotism, family

  30. Slogan • A catchword or phrase loaded with emotion • Often sells through repetition • Clever and easy to remember • Stays with you a long time • Often a melody you already know “Trust Sleepy’s For the ‘rest’ Of your life”

  31. Name-Calling The name-calling technique links a person, or idea, to a negative symbol. The propagandist who uses this technique hopes that the audience will reject the person or the idea on the basis of the negative symbol, instead of looking at the available evidence. The most obvious type of name calling involves bad names. For example, consider the following: Communist Fascist Criminal Liar Terrorist Bum

  32. Name - Calling • A way of smearing an opponent • Intent is to damage opponent • It also arouses suspicion of opponent • Intention is to create an uneasy feeling • Used by politicians and product companies

  33. Name calling: • Attaching a negative label to a person or a thing. • Used to try to avoid supporting their own opinion with facts. • Rather than explain what they believe in, they prefer to try to tear their opponent down.

  34. Name-Calling • This technique links a person or idea to a negative image. • It is hoped that association with this negative symbol will cause the viewer to reject it outright. • A derivative of this technique involves carefully selecting descriptive words. • Compare the connotations word determined and aggressive. • This is the opposite of glittering generalities.

  35. Name-calling • A negative word or feeling is attached to an idea, product, or person. • If that word or feeling goes along with that person or idea, the implication is that we shouldn’t be interested in it.

  36. More Name Calling A more subtle form of name-calling involves words or phrases that are selected because they possess a negative emotional charge. Those who oppose budget cuts may characterize fiscally conservative politicians as "stingy." Supporters might prefer to describe them as "thrifty." Both words refer to the same behavior, but they have very different connotations. Other examples of negatively charged words include: social engineering , radical , cowardly, counter-culture

  37. For example: Do we want a mayor who will leave us in debt? Clipart-Microsoft Office XP 2002 Spending grew 100% under Mayor Moneybags!

  38. Propaganda Techniques 2. Name Calling (negative names or adjectives)

  39. Name-calling

  40. Name-calling

  41. Name-Calling

  42. Name-Calling "The Jew: The inciter of war, the prolonger of war."

  43. Glittering Generalities The Glittering Generality is, in short, Name Calling in reverse. While Name Calling seeks to make us form a judgment to reject and condemn without examining the evidence, the Glittering Generality device seeks to make us approve and accept without examining the evidence.

  44. More Glittering Generalities We believe in, fight for, live by virtue words about which we have deep-set ideas. Such words include civilization, Christianity, good, proper, right, democracy, patriotism, motherhood, fatherhood, science, medicine, health, and love. For our purposes in propaganda analysis, we call these virtue words "Glittering Generalities" in order to focus attention upon this dangerous characteristic that they have. They mean different things to different people; they can be used in different ways.

  45. Glittering Generalities: • uses important-sounding "glad words" • little or no real meaning. • used in general statements that cannot be proved or disproved. • Words like "good," "honest," "fair," and "best" are examples of "glad" words.

  46. Glittering Generalities • Use of words and images that generally carry a favorable meaning to everyone; including liberty, democracy, freedom, and civilization • It hopes to associate a person, idea, or group with a positive feeling, but no direct evidence. • The largest problem with this technique is that all of these words mean different things to different people.

  47. Glittering Generalities in Text • STATEMENT: “We are at a crossroads for human destiny! We must chose a true leader for our city.” • EXPLANATION: The attempt here is to get the audience emotionally connected to the subject through use of words such as “destiny” and “leader.” • WHY IT IS PROPAGANDA: The candidate may or may not be a good leader. The text provides no evidence to suggest actual positive qualities.

  48. Glittering Generalities in Media • STATEMENT: “Change We Can Believe In.” • PROPAGANDA: The audience is meant to be lured in by the promise of “change.” The idea is catchy and attractive, but without substance or evidence.

  49. Glittering Generality • A commonly admired virtue is used to inspire positive feelings for a person, idea, or product. • Words like truth, democracy, beauty, timeless are examples of those general terms.

  50. A Little More for Glittering Generalities When someone talks to us about democracy, we immediately think of our own definite ideas about democracy, the ideas we learned at home, at school, and in church. Our first and natural reaction is to assume that the speaker is using the word in our sense, that he believes as we do on this important subject. This lowers our 'sales resistance' and makes us far less suspicious than we ought to be when the speaker begins telling us the things 'the United States must do to preserve democracy.'