This is the first class of this term. The issue we talk about today is propaganda and war. Different from the normal start like introducing the term, background or history, Pam gave us a role play work to do. The question is: suppose your country is going to begin a war, what propaganda will you do?
Actually, I have never thought about it before. The war issue used to be far out of my business. But for the role play, I imagined what I would do if my country tries to invade another country. My target audience will include: own population, international population, people of the country we invade, colleagues in the government and people with big influence.
My messages sent out will be: we do your own good; for liberty and freedom; we are going to help not kill; we are going to win in a short time.
And the biggest weapon to convince the own population to be prepare of the war is through the media. There is a saying that all is fair in war. Take the Iraq war for example, Blair and Bush’s excuses of starting the Iraq war turns out to be wrong now. Look at the perfect female ‘hero’ Jessica Lynch, her whole brave and patriotic story are all made up by the military who controlled the media coverage perfectly well. It seems that the so called American freedom of press depends on the time or any purpose of the government.
For me, the documentaries ‘War Spin’ arouse my indignation against the USA and Britain government. How could they kill any people they want in the peace era? It is a political question, which I can’t do anything to change it. But the great power of propaganda was evident in the Iraq war.
According to the definition of propaganda in the book Persuasion and Propaganda, ‘Propaganda is a deliberate and systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist. The essence of propaganda is its deliberateness of purpose; considerable investigation is required to find out what the purpose is.’
‘The propagandist’s intent is to obscure the identity of the message originator, thus creating a high degree of credibility for both message and apparent source.’
Two cases study can be two good examples to explain the perfect execution of propaganda: 1 the us government’s and industry’s unusual efforts to promote productivity by easing the life of women shipyard workers in Vanport, Oregon, during world war 2 Gulf war