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Mass Communication Theory and Propaganda Chapter 4.

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1 Mass Communication Theory and Propaganda Chapter 4

2 America in the 1930s A threatening era both at home and abroad –Deepening economic depression disrupted daily life in profound ways = Failure of Capitalism Unemployment rose to 25% Deflation –Rise of totalitarian political movements in Europe and the US Nazism Communism

3 America in the 1930s Rise of Powerful New Media –Radio became an inexpensive source of home entertainment Jack Benny, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Amos and Andy Fibber McGee and Molly, Our Gal Sunday, Lone Ranger the Green Hornet, the Shadow –Movies allowed inexpensive, attractive escape Shirley Temple Gangster Movies Gone with the Wind Wizard of Oz

4 WWI Propaganda Lessons Propaganda techniques were developed and applied widely during WWI Deliberate lies were used to mobilize nations against their enemies Widespread hatred and fear of enemies was sustained throughout a long war in which there were few victories

5 Threat Posed by Political Propaganda in the 1930s Two opposing Totalitarian Ideologies –Communism and Fascism Could fearful Americans be convinced by propaganda to accept a totalitarian political system? –Rule by one person and one political party –Basic Ideology = central control and management of all resources –Basic Appeal = security for average person against all threats - domestic and foreign –Democracy = failed, out-moded political system –Capitalism = failed, out-moded economic system

6 Definition of Propaganda Propaganda - promotion of specific beliefs and actions = Engineering of Consent –White Propaganda = promotion using simple, positive but necessarily selective images or associations; source is public –Gray Propaganda = promotion using misleading images or associations; source may be concealed –Black Propaganda = promotion using deliberate false images or associations; source usually concealed

7 Propaganda Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position.

8 Propaganda Propaganda Techniques used in advertising video propaganda techniques - youtube video Propaganda is an appeal to emotion, not to intellect (the mind). It shares techniques often used by advertisers to promote their product.

9 Bandwagon The bandwagon technique entices the viewer to become a part of a group. The bandwagon technique tries to convince the subject that one side is the winning side, because more people have joined it.


11 Bandwagon It plays heavily on the need for belonging, making the group a desirable place to be. video Dr. Pepper Commercial 1977 Im a Pepper, hes a Pepper, Shes a Pepper, were a Pepper, Wouldnt you like to be a Pepper, too? Be a Pepper. Drink Dr Pepper.

12 Bandwagon video Verizon wireless commercial The bandwagon technique is used in many forms of advertising today.

13 Glittering Generalities photo freedom Glittering generalities are words that are highly valued concepts. When these words are used, they demand approval automatically because such a treasured concept is involved. Words often used as glittering generalities are honor, glory, love of country, and freedom.

14 Glittering Generalities These phrases are appealing, but convey no content or meaning.

15 Glittering Generalities video McDonald's: "America's Favorite" Fast food restaurants in America are infamous for showing pictures of food that has little resemblance to their actual product. Fast Fresh Always fun Americas favorite Taking pride in what we do

16 Glittering Generalities Glittering generalities: How many glittering words can you identify? Video Marine Corps Recruitment Commercial

17 Card Stacking video Coke commercial 1961 Card stacking is presenting information that supports an idea or proposal and leaving out information that does not. Card stacking is used in most forms of propaganda, and is extremely effective in convincing the public. Although some of the information is truthful, it is dangerous because it leaves out important information. vintage commercial promotes Coca-Cola as a natural wholesome blending of pure food flavors that is low in calories.

18 Card Stacking videos New Mac Ad: Viruses Get A Mac: Computer Cart Frequently, advertisers manipulate information to make a product appear better than it is by using unfair comparisons, or omitting facts.

19 Card Stacking On May 1, 2003, Bush gave a speech announcing the end of major combat operations in the Iraq War. Displayed behind him was the warship's banner stating "Mission Accomplished." However, the conflict was far from being over. The vast majority of casualties, both military and civilian, occurred after the speech. photo Mission Accomplished - George Bush

20 Plain Folks Video Historical Campaign Ads: Morning in America /Reagan-Bush '84 The Plain Folks technique aims to appeal to regular people's values… such as family, patriotism and love. This campaign commercial from the 80s is a classic.

21 Plain Folks A variation of the Plain Folks technique is to show the audience that a prominent person and his ideas are of the people, that his views reflect those of the common person, and that they are working for the benefit of the common person. Sometimes politicians use the accent of a specific audience and employ certain idioms or jokes.

22 Plain Folks photo Ronald Reagan eating jelly beans Ronald Reagan used his fondness for unglamorous foods (jelly beans) to his advantage. George H. Bush brought pork rinds to the White House, and Bill Clinton was known for his fondness for fast-food burgers. (fallon/michelle) layer_embedded&v=Hq-URl9F17Y

23 Testimonials Justin Bieber - Proactive Commercial Testimonials in advertising rely on the popularity of celebrities to promote the products being sold.

24 Testimonial A testimonial features a celebrity enjoying a product.

25 Transfer The Transfer is an attempt to make the subject view a certain item in the same way as they view another item… to link the two in the subjects mind. This technique is often used to transfer negative feelings for one object to another, but it can also be used in positive ways. By linking a product to something enjoyable, positive feelings can be generated for it. video Come Alive! Pepsi Generation

26 Repetition video Kool-Aid Repetition is a favorite of advertisers. Few things aid memory retention as dependably as repetition. Notice the glittering generalities used by this 1950s homemaker when describing Kool-Aid, such as pure and thrifty.

27 Name Calling video Max Headroom Coke Commercial Name calling is using harsh words to make something, or someone, look bad. Although name calling is predominantly used in political campaign commercials, it is also used in advertising for household products. In this commercial, Pepsi is shown in a negative light in order to promote Coca- Cola.

28 Band- wagon Glittering Gener- alities Card stacking Plain folks Testi- monials transferrepetitionname calling entices the viewer to become a part of a group words that are highly valued con- cepts pre- senting infor- mation that supports an idea and omitting infor- mation that does not aims to appeal to regular people's values use of celeb- rities to promote the product or idea being promoted make the subject view a certain item in the same way as they view another item using a word or phrase over and over using harsh words to make some- thing, or someone, look bad Propaganda

29 Multiple Techniques video I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke Typically, propaganda techniques overlap.

30 Public Service Announcements The term propaganda has acquired a negative connotation because of association with its most manipulative examples.

31 Public Service Announcements Propaganda can be truthful and serve a vital function.

32 Why is understanding propaganda important? =Y4MnpzG5Sqc Watch Kony As you watch, identify the propaganda techniques that are used. bandwagonglittering generalities card stackingplain folks testimonialstransfer repetitionname calling

33 Discussion questions Propaganda is the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping, or injuring, an institution, a cause or a person. Which cause is the filmmaker trying to help?

34 Discussion questions How did the film make you feel?

35 At which points in the film was the bandwagon technique used?

36 How were glittering generalities used?

37 What other propaganda techniques did you notice?

38 What was the most effective form of propaganda used?

39 Have you been changed by the film? If so, how?

40 Will you tell anyone about the film? Why or why not?

41 What was the most persuasive moment of the film?

42 How could the film be improved?

43 Do you have any interest in participating with any of the activities proposed by Invisible Children?

44 Are there other places in the world that require humanitarian relief? If so, is their need greater than the Uganda situation… or is Joseph Kony and his army the biggest threat to the world?

45 Why has this film gone viral?

46 Can you think of any other YouTube videos that have become viral? Why did they become popular?

47 Do you predict that the film will lead to the arrest of Joseph Kony?

48 Jon Stewart: takes-on-kony-2012-and-the-medias- reaction-to-its-success /jon-stewart- takes-on-kony-2012-and-the-medias- reaction-to-its-success Why does this coverage get more play than traditional coverage? march /my-little-kony---youth- activism

49 Viral Propaganda is Possible 1.Infomercial is framed as underground movement -Government doesnt justify invasion. People demand it. Makes it seem like peoples victory, appears grassroots -Reversing the propaganda model makes agenda not just accepted by masses but perceived as a victory.

50 2. Identify the bad guy -Arresting KONY will make world better. -Ignores long history of rebel groups in African countries. -Sadaam Hussein: facts given to justify invasion. -With Kony, emotion is utilized. -Problem oversimplified and explained to an actual child who represents viewers.

51 3. Define the Agenda -Military action. Register with bracelet so you can be targeted. -Celeb endorsements (possibly also controlled by elites) -Donate.

52 Reverse Propaganda Digital/Social networks Reverse prop – agenda appears to come from the people. Ploy to legitimize American invasion of Uganda? Ugandans throw rocks at screen. Uganda stable and Kony not there for 6 years. angrily-to-kony-2012-propaganda-film/





57 Magic Bullet Theory of Propaganda Like a bullet, effectively designed propaganda can easily overcome defenses of average people When hit by propaganda, it can suddenly transform peoples ideas and actions Example: Orson Welles War of the Worlds Broadcast

58 Debate over Propaganda Harold Lasswell – Propaganda promotes Master Symbols that are vital to national unity– it should be used as a tool by American elites to promote democratic symbols. Walter Lippmann – The world outside is too complicated so most people use simple pictures in their heads to guide action. US elites should provide these pictures – not totalitarian propagandists.

59 Debate over Propaganda John Dewey – Propaganda can best be resisted by teaching the public to think critically and question media messages from elites. Chicago School - Media should serve large, pluralistic communities, they should provide a defense against propaganda that comes from outside the community and threatens the interest of the community.

60 Strategies Used to Combat Propaganda Censorship - pass strict laws against totalitarian propaganda Public Education - educate Americans on how to spot and resist propaganda techniques Pro-Democracy (White) Propaganda - use propaganda techniques to promote democracy Gray Propaganda - Disinformation intended to undermine opposition propaganda Black Propaganda – Deliberate lies about enemies

61 Is Black Propaganda Effective? Hitlers chief propagandist Goebbels argued that Big Lies are most effective form of propaganda since people cant believe they arent true But if Big Lies are proven to be false this can undermine source credibility At the end of WWII, when Hitlers assertions about easy victories and a Thousand Year Reich were proven false, very few German soldiers deserted – did they still believe Hitler?

62 Public Education Institute for Propaganda Analysis –Bandwagon - Join a popular movement –Testimonial and Appeal to Authority –Plain Folks/Common Man - Populist appeal –Glittering Generalities, Name-Calling, Virtue Words, Slogans - Promote Positive or Negative Associations –Fear Appeal and Scapegoating - –Logical Fallacies - Strawman, One-Sided The Institute was closed in 1942 to avoid undermining the effectiveness of prodemocracy propaganda

63 Propaganda Issues Do the ends of propaganda justify the means? When? Should propaganda be used to defend and/or promote democracy? Is propaganda a necessary means of organizing mass action in modern societies? –Consider how advertising serves to regulate demand for products so that demand matches supply Can/should people become more critical of propaganda?

64 Use of Propaganda by US Government Officially there was no use of government propaganda prior to 1940 In 1941 the use of propaganda was debated – a decision was made to deliberately use propaganda to defend democracy Propaganda education efforts were stopped Propaganda continued during the Cold War –Used to combat Communism –Used to promote Civil Defense

65 Is the Concept of Propaganda Still Useful? Are people today less susceptible so the concept of propaganda is less relevant? Are new forms of media more likely to transmit propaganda? Are new forms of media more effective at transmitting propaganda? Since totalitarianism is no longer a threat do we still need to defend democracy with propaganda? Could propaganda undermine public deliberation of social issues and make democracy less effective?

66 Can Entertainment be Propaganda? Entertainment shows on TV provide powerful portrayals of the social world Consider your favorite TV shows –To what extent do you believe that the characters and situations are realistic? –Can these programs affect your expectations of people and real life situations?

67 Is CSI Propaganda or Entertainment? Program producers intend it to be entertainment The program routinely misrepresents the social world in ways that promote misleading views: –Crimes solved in 60 minutes –Unrealistic high tech forensics equipment and procedures –Unrealistic CSI teams

68 Is CSI Propaganda or Entertainment? The program may have effects: –Jurors want more high tech evidence in order to convict defendants –Jurors think that high tech evidence is routinely and easily produced –More teenagers want to become CSI team members –Research on jurors shows mixed findings but enrollments in forensics programs has risen

69 What Does CSI Promote? A positive but unrealistic perspective on law enforcement A positive but unrealistic perspective on technology and science

70 Should Entertainment Be Intentionally Used to Promote Useful Ideas and Actions? Entertainment unintentionally promotes many ideas and actions Intentional promotion could: –balance unrealistic entertainment –improve public health –increase public understanding the social world Consider the objectives of a University of Southern California program – Hollywood, Health & Society

71 Hollywood, Health & Society From the HH&S Website: –Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), a program of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, provides entertainment industry professionals with accurate and timely information for health storylines. –Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The California Endowment, and the Health Resources and Services Administration's Division of Transplantation and Poison Control Program, the program recognizes the profound impact that entertainment media have on individual knowledge and behavior.

72 Hollywood, Health & Society From the HH&S Website: –In partnership with our funding agencies, we offer several resources, including quick facts, briefings and consultations with experts, case examples, panel discussions about timely health issues, a quarterly newsletter with health updates called "Real to Reel," and an expanding list of tipsheets written specifically for writers and producers. Tipsheets are available on the CDC Web site, as well as the NCI Web site.The broad range of topics includes influenza, toxic mold, smallpox, cancer, autism, motor vehicle crashes, obesity, adolescent health issues, antibiotic resistance, clinical trials and much more. Find out more.

73 Final Thoughts about Propaganda Is propaganda still a useful concept or should it be replaced by more recently developed concepts? Should we use notions of propaganda to assess and criticize contemporary media content?

74 Contrast the era in which the original propaganda research was done with our own time. Identify key differences, and note similarities. Was it more reasonable to fear direct and powerful effects of media then as opposed to now?

75 Harold Lasswell's theory of propaganda. How did it differ from simple magic bullet theories of propaganda effects? What were the key concepts in Lasswell's theory? How optimistic or pessimistic was he about the ability of average persons to resist the influence of propaganda? What role did he foresee for propaganda researchers?

76 What strategies did Dewey and Lippman propose to take to limit the influence of extremist political propaganda?

77 Explain what you think is meant by propaganda. Give some examples from your own experience. Is a bit of official propaganda necessary to maintain order in a society? If you think it is, how much is enough? If you think it isnt, why not?

78 Is the use of propaganda ever justified? If so, should limitations be placed on it? Is deliberate lying or deception ever justified?

79 Discuss the dilemma that propaganda created during the 1930s. Which was worsecensorship by our own elites or the threat posed by subversive totalitarian propaganda? Is censorship of communication always a threat to democracy?

80 Can you envision a contemporary scenario similar to that of the early propaganda period that would justify official propaganda efforts? For example, the contemporary German government is working diligently to prevent Nazi material from entering Germany by means of the Internet. If you do not favor this overt censorship, would you advocate official government propaganda as an alternative?

81 Recall Lasswells view that people can be conditioned to associate strong emotions with master symbols. Think of a symbol that you find very powerful and consider the emotion that it arouses in you. How did this symbol come to have this meaning for you? Did media messages or interactions with other people influence you?

82 After the terrorist attack on America on September 11, 2001, images of the World Trade Centers Twin Towersboth in flames and intactwere ubiquitous. Can you make an argument that the Twin Towers became a master symbol? If so, what meanings did they convey? To what end was this master symbol used? By whom?

83 . Both independent investigations and the militarys own analyses have conclusively demonstrated that military press briefings in both the Vietnam and Gulf wars were often composed of intentional lies and obfuscations. And as in those conflicts, Pentagon spokespeople for the invasion of Iraq continued to see their jobs as spinning the conflict for maximum benefit of the military. Are you troubled by this manufacturing of consent? Should government employees intentionally lie to the press and public? Dont we have the right to know precisely how the war is being conducted so we can make a reasoned judgment to support or not support the governments actions? Doesnt this smack of ­old-­fashioned elitist notions that the people dont know whats good for them?

84 . In early 2002, during the war on terrorism, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced that a new division was to be set up in the Pentagon, the purpose of which was to provide information to foreign governments and journalists. In a moment of candor, he admitted that intentional lyingdisinformationwould be a significant tool in the arsenal of this office. Reaction, both at home and abroad, was instant and negative. The greatest democracy in the world, one that has enshrined in its Constitution the importance of a free press to its people, the argument went, should not be lying to that press. Its war, countered the offices supporters, disinformation has important strategic and propaganda value. Still, plans for the new office were quickly scrapped in the face of the controversy. What do you think? Is lying to the press ever proper? If so, how much? Where do you draw the line?

85 Dewey argued that public education was the best means of resisting propaganda. Why did so many propaganda experts reject his views as idealistic and impractical? Do you think that average people can be educated to resist the influence of propaganda? Why or why not? How about yourself, are you able to resist propaganda?

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