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As generally understood, propaganda is opinion expressed for the purpose of influencing actions of individuals or groups...
Propaganda thus differs fundamentally from scientific analysis. The propagandist tries to "put something across," good or bad. The scientist does not try to put anything across; he devotes his life to the discovery of new facts and principles.

The propagandist seldom wants careful scrutiny and criticism; his object is to bring about a specific action. The scientist, on the other hand, is always prepared for and wants the most careful scrutiny and criticism of his facts and ideas.

Science flourishes on criticism.
Dangerous propaganda crumbles before it.

Propaganda Gallery
Propaganda Gallery

28k World War I Propaganda 56k Demonizing the Enemy

In 1917, the film industry lended its wholehearted support to the war effort. Films like tis one demonized the German people, portraying them as brutal, callous and stupid. 

28k Triumph of the Will 56k Triumph of the Will

In 1934, Adolf Hitler asked Leni Reifenstahl to film the Nazi Party's annual rally in Nuremberg. The result was Triumph of the Will, a movie that is widely recognized as a classic work of propaganda.

28k US War Cartoon 56k Stepping Up Production

During the Second World War, Disney and Warner Brothers produced hundreds of propaganda films. This light-hearted clip calls on citizens to make sacrifices for the war. 

28K Daffy Duck at War 56k Daffy Goes to War

The transfer technique is a staple of political propaganda. This short clip bolsters the war effort (represented by Daffy Duck) by evoking the courage and moral authority of respected figures in U.S. history. 

28k Atom Bombs over Russia 56k A Big Bunch of Atom Bombs

Although the Soviet Union and the United States were once allies, their relationship had soured by the late 1940's. In this short clip, a concerned citizen suggests that the Soviet Union should be attacked with nuclear weapons.

28k He Must Be a Communist 56k He Must Be A Communist

In 1949, the President of the University of Washington argued that Communists should not be allowed to teach in U.S. universities. This short clip teaches people how to recognize Communists in their own communities. 

28k Russian Invasion 56k Red Nightmare

During the repressive McCarthy era, many citizens feared a Soviet invasion of the United States. This clip from Red Nightmare dramatizes Communist subversion of the American family. 

28k Pro-Communist Propaganda 56K Oppressor and Oppressed

Anti-communists certainly do not have a monopoly on propaganda. This clip is taken from a public access television show produced by the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA). 

Truth in Advertising - A Collection of Vintage Cigarette Advertisements from the Age of Innocence

Pall Mall - 1954 This site is powered by the white-hot bitterness of long-term Nicotine withdrawal
Once upon a time, the rich, sweetly pungent smoke of tobacco offered more than dreary old diseases like emphysema and lung cancer. It promised sophistication, sex appeal, even longevity itself. 


Fun Small Print:
"Should you CUT DOWN now? Why cut down on the relief and enjoyment of extra smoking now, when you feel you need it most? Even chain-smokers find that new Julep Cigarettes banish unpleasant oversmoking symptoms. Unlike ordinary cigarettes, Juleps sparkle up your mouth, refresh your throat, keep your breath clean, inviting. With Juleps, you end over-smoking jolts, you enjoy every puff, and you smoke all you want. If smoking is one of your big pleasures, smoke Juleps! 

1. No 'stale-tasting' mouth: The miracle mint in Juleps freshens the mouth at every puff. Even if you're a chain-smoker, your mouth feels clean, refreshed at end of day.
2. No raw 'burned-out' throat: Miracle mint stays in the smoke of Juleps, caresses your throat. No harsh, "burned-out" feeling, even if you smoke 20-40-60 Juleps a day.
3. No heavy 'tobacco-breath': Unpleasant tobacco-breath is a common form of halitosis. But... the hint of mint in Juleps lingers, leaves your breath pleasant and inviting." 


"In cigarettes, as in armored scout cars, it's modern design that makes the big difference!" 

Fun Small Print:
"Fast as a racer, staunch as a tank! No wonder these new streamlined scout cars are a vital development in mechanized warfare. Modern design makes the big difference - a difference that's mighty important in national defense. 

Talk with the men who ride these cars. They'll tell you that in cigarettes, as in armored scout cars, it's modern design that makes the big difference. 

Now, at last - thanks to modern design - a truly fine cigarette provides in fact what other cigarettes claim in theory - a smoother, less irritating smoke - Pall Mall." 


Advertising and Propaganda Techniques

Television commercials and newspaper advertisements have an enormous impact on audience buying power. We need to become aware of the influence used in commercials to make them more appealing to the buyer.

There are five propaganda techniques generally used in advertisements:

1. BANDWAGON: persuading people to do something through the implication that "everybody else is doing it."

2. TESTIMONIAL: using the words of a famous person to persuade you to buy or do something - the association of a respected person with a product or idea.

3. TRANSFERENCE: using the names or pictures of famous people, but not direct quotations

4. REPETITION: the product name is repeated at least four times.

5. EMOTIONAL WORDS or GLITTERING GENERALITIES: words that will make you feel strongly about someone or something or using "good" labels, such as patriotic, beautiful, exciting, that are unsupported by facts.

6. PRESTIGE or SNOB APPEAL: of product or in the buyer desire for sophistication or "coolness."

7. PRODUCT COMPARISON: ours is better than theirs

8. CARD STACKING: distorting or omitting facts.

9. NAME CALLING: stereotyping people or ideas.

10. PLAIN FOLKS: the implication that "users of this product are just like you."


Illustrate each of the propaganda techniques with a clipped ad from newspapers or magazines. Describe and classify TV or radio commercials that come to mind.
Magazine Ads

BRAND NAME AND PRODUCT:____________________________
BASIC MESSAGE: ____________________________________
VISUAL IMAGE:______________________________________
CATCHY WORDS:______________________________________
TECHNIQUE USED AND WHY:____________________________
TECHNIQUE USED AND WHY:____________________________
TECHNIQUE USED AND WHY:____________________________
PERSUASION RATING (1 - 5):_________________________
(1 = Yawn.  5 = I'm sold on this product!)

Using art, collage or webpage, design a business or product advertisement using one or more technques.


Most movies these days are just hero-worship vehicles where Mel Gibson or Denzel
or some other action hero battles drug lords or terrorists who are  brain-dead. We have a PC distribution of races and sexes and nationalities, and special effects which are so much a part of the film that we often see them repeated three or four times as the occur, from different angles and sometimes in slow motion. Everyone emotes all over the place, shouting and screaming, wholly unlike professional people who actually deal with such matters. Police heroes routinely beat up "suspects", but for some reason they never get sued. A female is nearly always present as an action figure in these films, and usually she can take on men and beat them up. The handgun is the weapon of choice for most heroes, and if they do use a sub-machine gun they like to use two at once, crossing their arms so the guns fire in two directions at once, opposite from where they would point directly ahead. Generally the heroes are running or jumping or rolling during these shootouts, out in the open, rather than sitting  behind cover and taking aim; but that doesn't seem to matter, since the bad guys keep running out into the open to be shot. When the police come, they often arrive in the hundreds, and all aim their M-16s at whoever or whatever is the target, without anyone tellling them that this person is armed or dangerous; and if the bad guys are in a building these police enjoy firing their weapons at the building itself, creating bullet marks everywhere but in the windows.  No mirror or line of liquor bottles has ever survived an action film, no matter that no villain is within fifteen feet of it. Mirrors are born to die.

Listening exercise:


Arrange in sequence
Cut up some popular comic strips ask a group partner to put the panels back in the correct order.

Expand your vocabulary
Each student will take a different letter of the alphabet. Browse through the newspaper, find five unfamiliar words beginning with your letter, and look up the definition of each. Next create and illustrate a dictionary page containing the five words and their meanings. Combine the pages into a classroom dictionary.