Thursday, November 5, 2015

Propaganda Used Today

In my opinion, the class section talking about propaganda was one of the most interesting classes we had all year. It was fun to learn about something relevant to today's communication and also at the same time really affective and easy to use. This made me think of different types of propaganda that I might see on a day to day basis. The best example I could think of took me back to my high school days. It was around my junior year of high school and Barack Obama was running for his second term as president. At the time my classmates were huge on politics (since that was what we were learning in history class). Not many of us knew enough to make educated, or responsible decisions on who we wanted to be president. Being 16 or 17, most of us went off of what we heard from our parents, or even what we saw on social media or television. Knowing what I know now, this proves the effectiveness of propaganda. It really can affect people that are ignorant to real life situations. One of thing I remember about this event was the mock election we had for the students in the school. We had  a week where teachers let us research topics and we all had a vote for who we thought should be president. That whole week I could remember seeing posters up in school that looked similar to this:

This again proves the effectiveness of propaganda considering Obama lost our mock election as about 80 percent of the kids in class voted for the opposing candidate. So now this brings up many other questions like: What exactly is propaganda? How is it different from persuasion? In simpler terms, propaganda is the spreading of a political idea made to attack a person, movement, or group. I like to think of it as political "rumor" spreading. This poster is propaganda because of its attempt to slander the current president. Ignorant high school kids that might not know a lot about politics see this poster in school and automatically assume Obama is doing a bad job as president. This causes them to form an opinion and the propaganda spreads. In many ways this is totally different from persuasion. In simpler terms, persuasion is trying to convince someone to do something in a logical manner. So an example of this would be if one of my classmates used facts to try and convince me that Obama had a bad first time as president. Its a little more difficult to use then propaganda because of the actually facts and information needed to persuade the person to feel differently. So with propaganda being something that we see on an everyday basis, I hope we realize it might not all be true. Looking for facts is more affective when forming an opinion about something. 


  1. I agree that propaganda can be very effective in persuading people, not only naïve high school, but a whole nation of people. Hitler is an example of someone who commonly practiced of propaganda. He was able to use fear and national pride to turn a whole nation against a group of religious people. propaganda can be manipulative and deceiving to anyone unaware of it.

  2. This lecture over propaganda was definitely an interesting one! I think that your example of the high school mock-elections was a great way to focus on how the aspects of propaganda appeal more so to our based emotions/feelings. Especially as a high school student, I would assume for myself that it would be easy to sway someone given that they are unknowing of the issues in a political campaign. I also feel as though younger audiences (even those around our age) can have stronger reactions to any media/rhetoric that is playing with high emotions than perhaps that of an older audience. Maybe it is because they haven’t been exposed to the political world quite as much, or maybe it is pressure from the propaganda of various social circles that could make them feel associated with a group. Good post!