Propaganda by zhouwenjuan


        What is propaganda?
 We must remember that in time of war
  what is said on the enemy’s side of the front
  is always propaganda, and what is said on
  our side of the front is truth and
  righteousness, the cause of humanity and a
  crusade for peace.
              — Walter Lippmann
          Two battlegrounds
 Probably every conflict is fought on at least
  two grounds: the battlefield and the minds
  of the people via propaganda. The “good
  guys” and the “bad guys” can often both be
  guilty of misleading their people with
  distortions, exaggerations, subjectivity,
  inaccuracy and even fabrications, in order to
  receive support and a sense of legitimacy.
       Elements of Propaganda
 Propaganda can serve to rally people behind a
  cause, but often at the cost of exaggerating,
  misrepresenting, or even lying about the issues in
  order to gain that support.
 While the issue of propaganda often is discussed
  in the context of militarism, war and war-
  mongering, it is around us in all aspects of life.
            Common tactics
 Common tactics in propaganda often used
  by either side include:
   Using selective stories that come over as wide-
    covering and objective.
   Partial facts, or historical context
   Reinforcing reasons and motivations to act due
    to threats on the security of the individual.
        Common tactics …
 Narrow sources of “experts” to provide insights
  in to the situation. (For example, the
  mainstream media typically interview retired
  military personnel for many conflict-related
  issues, or treat official government sources as
  fact, rather than just one perspective that needs
  to be verified and researched).
 Demonizing the “enemy” who does not fit the
  picture of what is “right.”
        Common tactics …
 Using a narrow range of discourse, whereby
  judgments are often made while the boundary
  of discourse itself, or the framework within
  which the opinions are formed, are often not
  discussed. The narrow focus then helps to serve
  the interests of the propagandists.
        Propaganda and War
 At times of war, or build up for war,
  messages of extremities and hate, combined
  with emotions of honor and righteousness
  interplay to provide powerful propaganda
  for a cause.
 “The first casualty when war comes is
  Truth” ~ U.S. Senator Hiram Johnson, 1917
      Propaganda used to …
 Many say that it is inevitable in war that
  people will die. Yet, in many cases, war
  itself is not inevitable, and propaganda is
  often employed to go closer to war, if that
  is the preferred foreign policy option.
      Promotion of propaganda
 Those who promote the negative image of the
  “enemy” may often reinforce it with rhetoric about
  the righteousness of themselves; the attempt is to
  muster up support and nurture the belief that what
  is to be done is in the positive and beneficial
  interest of everyone.
 Often, principles used to demonize the other, is
  not used to judge the self, leading to accusations
  of double standards and hypocrisy.
  Galtung’s journalism concerns
1. Decontextualizing violence: focusing on
   the irrational without looking at the
   reasons for unresolved conflicts and
               Galtung …
2. Dualism: reducing the number of parties in
   a conflict to two, when often more are
   involved. Stories that just focus on
   internal developments often ignore such
   outside or “external” forces as foreign
   governments and transnational companies.
3. Manicheanism: portraying one side as
  good and demonizing the other as “evil.”
4. Armageddon: presenting violence as
  inevitable, omitting alternatives.
5. Focusing on individual acts of violence
  while avoiding structural causes, like
  poverty, government neglect and military or
  police repression.
6. Confusion: focusing only on the conflict
  arena (i.e., the battlefield or location of
  violent incidents) but not on the forces and
  factors that influence the violence.
7. Excluding and omitting the bereaved, thus
  never explaining why there are acts of
  revenge and spirals of violence.
8. Failure to explore the causes of escalation
  and the impact of media coverage itself.
9. Failure to explore the goals of outside
  interventionists, especially big powers.
10. Failure to explore peace proposals and
  offer images of peaceful outcomes.
11. Confusing cease-fires and negotiations
  with actual peace.
12. Omitting reconciliation: conflicts tend to
  reemerge if attention is not paid to efforts to
  heal fractured societies. When news about
  attempts to resolve conflicts are absent,
  fatalism is reinforced. That can help
  engender even more violence, when people
  have no images or information about
  possible peaceful outcomes and the promise
  of healing.
            Siegel’s 4 levels
 The first level is the Big Lie, adapted by
  Hitler and Stalin. The state-controlled
  Egyptian press has been spreading a Big
  Lie, saying the World Trade Center was
  attacked by Israel to embarrass Arabs,” said
 “The second layer says, ‘It doesn’t have to
  be the truth, so long as it’s plausible.’
          Siegel’s 4 levels …
 “The third strategy is to tell the truth but
  withhold the other side’s point of view.
 “The fourth and most productive is to tell
  the truth, the good and the bad, the losses
  and the gains.
    Preparing or Justifying War
 Ottosen identifies several key stages of a
  military campaign to “soften up” public
  opinion through the media in preparation for
  an armed intervention.
              Stages 1 and 2
 The Preliminary Stage—during which the country
  concerned comes to the news, portrayed as a cause
  for “mounting concern” because of
 The Justification Stage—during which big news is
  produced to lend urgency to the case for armed
  intervention to bring about a rapid restitution of
             Stages 3 and 4
 The Implementation Stage—when pooling
  and censorship provide control of coverage;
 The Aftermath—during which normality is
  portrayed as returning to the region, before
  it once again drops down the news agenda.
           “dead baby” story
 In the 1991 Gulf War, a U.S. public
  relations firm got a Kuwaiti Ambassador’s
  daughter to pose as a nurse claiming she
  saw Iraqi troops killing babies in hospitals.
  The purpose of this was to create arousal
  and demonize Iraq so war was more
  acceptable. More information:
           Media preparation
 1. The crisis: The reporting of a crisis which
  negotiations appear unable to resolve.
  Politicians, while calling for diplomacy,
  warn of military retaliation. The media
  reports this as “We’re on the brink of war”,
  or “War is inevitable”, etc.
        Media preparation …
 2. The demonization of the enemy’s leader:
  Comparing the leader with Hitler is a good
  start because of the instant images that
  Hitler’s name provokes.
        Media preparation …
 3. The demonization of the enemy as
  individuals. For example, to suggest the
  enemy is insane.
 4. Atrocities: Even making up stories to
  whip up and strengthen emotional reactions.
         Journalists’ dilemma
 While some stories are known to have been
  fabrications and outright lies, others may be
  true. Knightley asks, “how can we tell?” His
  answer is unfortunately not too reassuring:
  “The media demands that we trust it but too
  often that trust has been betrayed.”
          Journalists’ dilemma
 One difficulty is that the media have little or no
  memory. War correspondents have short working
  lives and there is no tradition or means for passing
  on their knowledge and experience. The military,
  on the other hand, is an institution and goes on
  forever. The military learned a lot from Vietnam
  and these days plans its media strategy with as
  much attention as its military strategy ~ Knightley
           Propaganda strategies
   Incompleteness
   Inaccuracy
   Driving the agenda
   Milking the story (maximizing media coverage of
    a particular issue by the careful use of briefings,
    leaking pieces of a jigsaw to different outlets,
    allowing journalists to piece the story together and
    drive the story up the news agenda, etc.)
         Propaganda strategies
 Exploiting that we want to believe the best of
 Perception Management (in particular by using PR
 Reinforcing existing attitudes
 Simple, repetitious and emotional phrases (e.g.
  war on terror, axis of evil, weapons of mass
  destruction, shock and awe, war of liberation, etc)
 Military control of information
 Military control of information during war
  time is also a major contributing factor to
  propaganda, especially when the media go
  along with it without question.
 The military recognizes the values of media
  and information control very well.
              Key strategies
   Overloading the media with information
   Ideological appeals
   Spinning information
   Withholding information
   Co-option and Collusion
        Embedded journalists
 Sometimes knowingly, sometimes
  unknowingly make a decision to be biased
  in their reporting, in favor of the Coalition
  troops. They travel with the forces, it’s a
  way to get cooperation
    Dilemma of journalists and
        wartime coverage
 On the one hand, the military wish to
  present various aspects that would support a
  campaign, while on the other hand, a
  journalist is supposed to be critical and not
  necessarily fall in line
          Wider propaganda
 The doctrine to be instilled in the target
  audience should not be articulated. The
  proper procedure is to drill them home by
  constantly presupposing them
         Delwiche’s devices
 Word games (name calling, glittering
 False connections (Transfer, testimonial)
 Special Appeal (Plain folks, band wagon,
 Follow-up avoidance

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