Mass media can be used to sell political messages that focus on ideas and ideologies. But, the goal of a free press is to be the watchdog for the abuse of power and to counter that propaganda. When the government (or State) uses the mass media to further their own agenda, it is called propaganda. When a news organization undercovers corruption in the government, they are fulfilling their Constitutionally protected First Amendment function.
However, not all propaganda is inherently bad. Consider the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) advertisements encouraging responsible behavior, for example.
In this Discussion, you will discuss the benefits and dangers of propaganda, provide an example of it, and discuss the many examples gathered with your classmates.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Read the Communication Program Discussion Guidelines.
- Read “What is Propaganda?” in this week’s Learning Resources.
- Review the source “50 Powerful Examples of Visual Propaganda and the Meanings Behind Them” in this week’s Learning Resources.
- Find a current example of propaganda.
By Day 4
Post a response that addresses the following questions:
- What are the benefits and dangers of propaganda?
- Attach your example of propaganda. Explain why you consider this to be propaganda.
- Do you consider this beneficial or harmful? Explain why or why not.