Americans first began to give serious consideration to the power of propaganda in the years following World War I. The war had demonstrated that modern propaganda techniques could be used with startling effectiveness to assemble massive armies and to maintain civilian morale through long years of warfare. Never before had so many people been mobilized to fight a war. Never before had so many died with so little to show for it over such a long period of time and under such harsh conditions. Earlier wars had been quickly settled by decisive battles. But in this war, massive armies confronted each other along a front that extended for hundreds of miles. From their trenches they bombarded each other and launched occasional attacks that ended in futility. Harold Lasswell, a political scientist who developed several early theories of media, expressed considerable respect for the propaganda efforts marshaled in the cause of […]

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Propaganda was not an American invention. The term originated with the Roman Catholic Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (Committee for the Propagation of the Faith), an order of the church established by a papal bull in 1622. The Propaganda Fide was originally founded in an effort to suppress the Protestant Reformation. Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, the meaning of propaganda was debated. Was propaganda necessarily bad or was it a good form of communication that could be corrupted? Many forms of communication seek to persuade people—were all of them propaganda? Gradually, the term propaganda came to refer to a certain type of communication strategy. It involves the no-holds-barred use of communication to propagate specific beliefs and expectations. The ultimate goal of propagandists is to change the way people act and to leave them believing that those actions are voluntary, that the newly adopted behaviors—and the opinions underlying them—are […]

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Reporting in Print Media

Reporting: Reporting is just a genre of writing, alongside essays and stories, and bloggers most certainly fall into that genre.” When they talk about reporting on a show like Frontline, they mean the process a reporter goes through. 1. Interviews, research. 2. Assemble a story. 3. Fact-checking and editing. 4. Publishing. Most bloggers aren’t doing this whole thing. Our process is different, and I’d argue no less rigorous, just more distributed, and step 2 is something everyone does for themselves. Key point in last night’s piece — sources are part of the reporting process, and more and more, the sources are becoming bloggers. GENERAL REPORTING Reporting means gathering facts and presenting them objectively with ail news writing skills. It is an active, creative, long and tough process of news, gathering, ideas and opinion collection, fact finding in order to serve the general public by informing them and enabling them to […]

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