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Propaganda as effective arms in information war

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Write a 7 pages paper on propaganda as effective arms in information war. Jowett and O’Donnell (2006) defined propaganda as “a form of communication that attempts to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of a propagandist” (p. 1). The full Jowett and O’Donnell’s definition of propaganda is that it is “the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist”. In propaganda, elements of informative and persuasive communication are combined and this characteristic distinguishes propaganda as a specific class of communication (Jowett & O’Donnell, 2006, p. 1). In the most neutral sense, propaganda means to disseminate or promote ideas (Jowett & O’Donnell, 2006, p. 2). In Latin, it only means “to propagate” or “to sow” (Jowett & O’Donnell, 2006, p. 2). However, the propaganda of the Roman Catholic Church in opposing the spread of Protestantism resulted to the loss of neutrality in the word “propaganda” and the word has acquired a pejorative meaning (Jowett & O’Donnell, 2006, p. 2). The other terms which are considered “synonyms for propaganda are lies, distortion, deceit, manipulation, mind control, psychological warfare, brainwashing, and palaver” (Jowett & O’Donnell, 2006, p. 2-3). In addition, in the early 21st century and even earlier, the terms that imply propaganda included “spin” and “news management” (Jowett & O’Donnell, 2006, p. 3). “Spin” is associated with the manipulation of political information while “news management” covers even non-political matters (Jowett & O’Donnell, 2006, p. 3). Propaganda is often used as the catch-all term for all suspicious rhetoric (Jowett & O’Donnell, 2006, p. 3). It is also the description for organized persuasion by large organizations employing poor, non-existent, or flawed logic (Jowett & O’Donnell, 2006, p. 3). According to Standler (2005), the tools employed by propaganda includes name-calling, glittering generalities, transfers, testimonial, plain folks, card stacking, band-wagon, an insistence of only a binary choice, and pejorative labels. These tools, however, works on the mind.


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