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PROPAGANDA. DEFINITIONS. Definitions of Propaganda. From Latin propagatio : to grow, to spread, to multiply. Propaganda = to disseminate, to propagate but also: distort, manipulate, brainwash…. Or, maybe propaganda is:. any statement from a source we don’t like

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definitions of propaganda
Definitions of Propaganda
  • From Latin propagatio:

to grow, to spread, to multiply.

  • Propaganda = to disseminate, to propagate

but also:

distort, manipulate, brainwash…

or maybe propaganda is
Or, maybe propaganda is:

any statement from a source we don’t like

(Joseph Schumpeter, 1966)

or maybe
Or, maybe…
  • We cannot define it but we know

when we see it.

  • When in 1964 Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart tried to define what is obscenity, he said, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced, but I know it when I see it . . .”
is propaganda just another form of persuasion for example
Is propaganda just another form of persuasion? For example:
  • Marketing = selling
  • School = teaching
  • The Church = proselytizing
  • Politics = propagandizing
  • The Military = indoctrinating
jowett and o donnell definition
Jowett and O’Donnell Definition
  • 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

definition further refinements
Definition: further refinements
  • A sub-set of both information and persuasion.
  • Tries to look like informative communication and persuasion
  • Tries to control information flow
  • Manages public perception and opinion
  • Well-being of the audience is not a primary concern.
definition further refinements1
Definition: further refinements
  • Does not seek mutual understanding or mutual fulfillment of needs.
  • Is deliberate and systematic
  • (often) Conceals true purpose
  • (often)Conceals propagandist’s true identity
  • Ultimate object of propaganda is behavior change
kellner s definition kellner 1992 the persian gulf tv war p 194
Kellner’s definition. Kellner (1992).The Persian Gulf TV War (p. 194)

Propaganda is

a mode of discourse

intended to persuade, to manipulate, and to indoctrinate its audience

into accepting policies

that they might not otherwise support.

kellner s definition kellner 1992 the persian gulf tv war p 1941
Kellner’s definition. Kellner (1992).The Persian Gulf TV War (p. 194)

It attempts to squash questioning and criticism

by dramatizing evil and concealing facts that might be embarrassing for the forces disseminating the propaganda.

kellner s definition kellner 1992 the persian gulf tv war p 1942
Kellner’s definition. Kellner (1992).The Persian Gulf TV War (p. 194)

Propaganda is a discourse that legitimates certain interests and polices while providing a one-sided, simplified, and distorted, but not necessarily totally untrue, view of events or people.

kellner s definition kellner 1992 the persian gulf tv war p 1943
Kellner’s definition. Kellner (1992).The Persian Gulf TV War (p. 194)

Propaganda might not be purely false.

Propaganda is not mere lies and must appeal to facts, though often selectively.

types of propaganda
Types of propaganda
  • Defined by
  • the purpose of propaganda (the ends)
  • the methods used (the means)
  • the source
political propaganda
Political propaganda
  • Political propaganda appears when a group, usually a government or one of its agencies, uses techniques or influence in order to achieve political goals which are clearly distinguished and quite precise
sociological propaganda
Sociological propaganda
  • Sociological propaganda: an attempt to influence individuals to accept or assimilate the dominant economic and political ideologies/ beliefs of the society
propaganda of agitation
Propaganda of Agitation
  • Propaganda of Agitation: an attempt to agitate emotions. Leads to changes.
  • Usually subversive and oppositional
propaganda of integration
Propaganda of Integration
  • Propaganda of Integration: Seeks to obtain stable accepting behavior
the source usually concealed
The source: (usually concealed)
  • Vertical (from the top)
  • Horizontal(from within, same level)
  • White(identified, information tends to be accurate, but biased)
  • Black(unidentified/misidentified and false)
  • Gray
the methods the means
The Methods (the means)
  • Concealed Purpose
  • Disinformation
  • The False Statement (pretended to be true)
  • The Deliberate Lies
  • The Suggestion of falsehood
  • The Suppression of Truth
  • The Slanting of News
propaganda and control of information
Propaganda and Control of Information
  • withholding information
  • releasing information at predetermined times
  • releasing information in juxtaposition with other information
  • manufacturing information
propaganda and control of information1
Propaganda and Control of Information
  • communicating information to selective audiences
  • distorting information
  • suppression of minority opinion.
  • control of media
  • presenting distorted information from what looks like a credible source
information control distortion
Information control / distortion
  • Giving texts to be published in newspapers
  • Favoring journalists who cooperated
  • Planting fake “letters to the editor”
  • Planting stories in foreign newspapers and then publicizing them as true (disinformation)
legitimizing information through legitimate sources
Legitimizing information through legitimate sources


Propagandist The Public

Planting Receiving



facilitative communication
Facilitative communication
  • Public Diplomacy:
  • To explain and promote U.S. domestic and foreign policy, cultural life, artistic and scientific accomplishments, American way of life, etc.
  • Through broadcast, print publications, organizing cultural events, subsidizing U.S. artists abroad, etc.
successful public diplomacy
Successful public diplomacy:
  • Voice of America popularizing jazz music abroad (since the 1950s)
  • Sponsoring opinion journals
  • Teaching English language
  • Subsidizing Scientific Conferences and Research
  • Fulbright Program for scholars
  • Even promoting counterculture