International Propaganda

What is propaganda?

(At least) 2 schools of thought
 Propaganda, however it is defined, is inherently deceitful and thus morally reprehensible  Because it is about manipulation (of symbols, images, words, ideas) it can never be justified  Or - that it is a process of persuasion and, as such, is inherently neutral or value neutral  This lecture takes the latter view…..  ….and thus sees propaganda as a process of persuasion which can be used for good as well as ill.

(At least) 2 models
 Authoritarian/Totalitarian – coercion or force in support of persuasion; total censorship; permeates every aspect of society from schools to sport; repetition whether true or not; ‘The Big Lie’;  Democratic – consensus through persuasion, minimal censorship, news rather than views, issue-based, ‘The Strategy of Truth’

What is Propaganda?
 Original meaning – to propagate the Catholic ‘faith’ - (Congregatio de Propaganda Fide – 17th Century renamed the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in 1967)  Sowing seeds of thought to translate into action (or inaction)  Acquired pejorative meaning 1914-18; cultivation of germ(an)s

‘A Good Word Gone Wrong’ –
Popular Associations post 1918
Atrocity propaganda Lies and half-truths A ‘black art’ ‘defiling the human soul’ at a time when the mind was only just becoming understood (psychology)  BUT…..Better to persuade than perish?   

The Taylor Definition
 Propaganda is a process of persuasion which utilises any available means (media) to persuade people (target audiences) to think and/or behave in a manner desired by the source in order to benefit the interests of that source, either directly or indirectly.  This does not preclude the possibility that the recipient might also benefit in some way.

What it is not
Education …. But? Is it COMPLETELY honest? It is not about ‘Truth’ Confined to dictatorships/authoritarian regimes  Designed to benefit solely the recipient    
SPECTRUM OF PERSUASION HOW TO THINK
EDUCATION PUBLIC RELATIONS ADVERTISING

WHAT TO THINK SPIN
WHITE & GREY PROPAGANDA BLACK PROPAGANDA

What is propaganda?
 It is a process of persuasion  It is on the spectrum of communication from who says what to whom, when, how and with what effect  It injects the question ‘why?’ into that spectrum  Therefore it is about intent
 Moral judgements more appropriately directed at intention, not the process or the results

Intentions
 As a process, propaganda is value-neutral  As such, it is neither a ‘good’ nor a ‘bad’ thing  Value judgements (‘good’ or ‘bad’) like this are more appropriately directed as the intentions behind doing it  Also more useful to speak of ‘effective’ and ‘ineffective’ propaganda (results) rather than ‘good propaganda’ = successful and ‘bad propaganda’ = unsuccessful

‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ Intentions?

WW2 Nazi Propaganda

1990s Balkans Democratic Propaganda

21st century info-propaganda

Propaganda is something someone else does!!
 ‘Democracies only resort to propaganda in wartime’  ‘Totalitarian regimes do it all the time’  We tell the ‘truth’; they tell lies  In fact we tell our ‘truth’ and they tell their ‘truth’  Whose ‘truth’ is right?  Better to talk about credibility

Propaganda – NATO definition
ANY INFORMATION, IDEAS, DOCTRINES OR SPECIAL APPEALS, DISSEMINATED TO INFLUENCE THE OPINIONS, EMOTIONS, ATTITUDES OR BEHAVIOUR OF ANY SPECIFIED GROUP IN ORDER TO BENEFIT THE SPONSOR, EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY

PROPAGANDA CATEGORIES
 WHITE - overt, attributable to a definite source  BLACK - covert, deliberate deception where a false source is definitely implied  GREY - where a source is concealed and not acknowledged by the originator

COHESIVE PROPAGANDA
CREATES GOODWILL PROMOTES FRIENDSHIP RAISES MORALE STRESSES COMMON INTERESTS  GAINS CO-OPERATION    

DIVISIVE PROPAGANDA
 LOWERS MORALE  CREATES APATHY, DEFEATISM & DISCORD  PROMOTES DISSENTION, PANIC SUBVERSION, RESISTANCE, DESERTION, SURRENDER & DEFECTION

PROPAGANDA VARIANTS
 INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC INFORMATION (Public Diplomacy/Cultural Diplomacy)  PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE/OPERATIONS  INFORMATION WARFARE/OPERATIONS  PUBLIC RELATIONS/SPIN DOCTORING  ADVERTISING/MARKETING (?)  PUBLICITY  NEWS? (‘the shocktroops of propaganda’)

PROPAGANDA

AUTHORITARIAN MODEL (Censorship, police enforcement Media are state controlled, Opposition denied)

DEMOCRATIC MODEL (Regulation rather than censorship, media are free/act as watchdog, Opposition essential)

Messages are top down, Centrally coordinated, Outside world sealed off to deny competing ‘truths’

Messages compete with others, internally and externally, top down to bottom up to see consensus (ie ‘prevailing truth’) emerge

The process of persuasion spectrum in the democratic model

EDUCATION

ADVERTISING

PUBLIC RELATIONS

POLITICAL COMMS (‘spin’)

PROPAGANDA

How to think (benefits the recipient)

What to buy (benefits the profits)

Who to like (benefits the company)

Who to vote for (benefits the party)

What to think? (benefits the source)

SUCCESSFUL PROPAGANDA PRINCIPLES
IS MOST EFFECTIVE WHEN  IT IS BASED UPON CREDIBLE TRUTH  PRESENTED IN AN ATTRACTIVE FORM  IT AROUSES A NEED  IT SUGGESTS SATISFACTION

ADDITIONAL PRINCIPLES
REFRAINS FROM RIGID DOGMATISM AVOIDS ANTAGONISM IDENTIFIES ITSELF WITH THE TARGET  EXPLOITS, WHEN OPPORTUNE, WEAKNESSES IN HOSTILE PROPAGANDA TO THE MAXIMUM   

HOW TO GET CAUGHT OUT
 Lies will be discovered sooner or later  How to keep secrets (e.g. real source of black propaganda) in the Information Age (Google Earth)  The ‘truth’ must be credible, not incredible  Or do people believe what they want to believe and dismiss alternative views as ‘mere propaganda’?

Key Propaganda Writers
       Walter Lippmann & Harold Lasswell Aldous Huxley & George Orwell Hitler Jacques Ellul Noam Chomsky & Edward Herman R S Zaharna (on PD) A Pratkanis

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.