Transcript of Propaganda

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The word PROPAGANDA has been derived from Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (Congregation for Propagating the Faith), a committee of Cardinals founded in Rome in 1622 for the care of foreign missions. It was first given general currency by the Roman Catholic Church to refer to the disseminations of its doctrines. Its activity consisted in a group of cardinals pitching Catholicism in non Catholic countries.

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In the most general terms “Any attempt to persuade persons to accept a certain point of view or take a certain action” is propaganda.

An authoritative handbook states:“Propaganda is the manipulation of symbols to transmit

accepted attitudes and skills”

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Philosophy teaches us to feel uncertain about the things that

seem to be self- evident.

Propaganda teaches us to accept as self-evident matters about

which it would be reasonable to suspend judgment or to feel


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Propaganda has a negative connotation attached to it. It is something that we generally tend to look rather down

because it is presumed to depend on “suppresso veri” and “suggestio falsi”

– in which one gives half-truths, distorted versions, tendentious and garbled reports.

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The pervasive use of propaganda by the Nazis is largely responsible for the word "propaganda" itself acquiring its present negative connotations.

Propaganda, the coordinated attempt to influencepublic opinion through the use of media, was skilfully used by the Nazi Party in the years leading up to and during Adolf Hitler's leadership of Germany.

Hitler and Goebbels said that the “big lie” is something that will always convince the people.

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The word propaganda is used these days mainly to describe those types of persuasion which are based solely on self-interest and in which it may be necessary to distort the facts or even to falsify them in order to achieve the purpose.

Public relations, on the other hand, recognizes a long term responsibility and seeks to persuade and achieve mutual understanding by securing the willing acceptance of attitudes and ideas. It can succeed only when the

basic policy is ethical and the means used are truthful.

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In favour of action that is in consonance with the enlightened self-interest of those who make it and those to whom it is addressed.


Not consonant with anybody’s enlightened self-interest but is dictated by, and appeals to, passion.




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The science or perhaps the art of propaganda is similar to the arts of advertising and selling, and like the advertiser and salesman, the propagandist must study his market and tailor his product to suit the demand. He must analyze the preconceptions, the fears, the desires, and the weakness of the group to be approached in order to use the most promising technique to achieve his purpose.

The total no. of available techniques is large. One handbook lists as many as 77 but these may be grouped under 4 general headings:

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Methods of Presentation

Techniques of Gaining attention

Devices for Gaining response

Methods of Gaining acceptance

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‘Education tends to make people more receptive to the influence of propaganda. Knowing the particular propaganda techniques will make you resistant to their affects, because you will recognize that they are attempting to fool you.’

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