Monday, 28 May 2012

Propaganda.

First we want to apologise for our absence, we are sure that you have all been pining, but fear not faithful followers we are back, just like Backstreet.


We have spent the last few weeks working solidly on our documentary. It is a very intense process and pretty much every day we work well into the wee hours of the morning, but it is all worth it in the end! We are so excited to share it with everyone (we will do some kind of showing in the Autumn). We are really proud of it so far and we hope you all will enjoy it and take something from it.

Whilst we have been working we obviously chat a lot, sometimes about mindless drivel but sometimes about important wordly matters. Recently, we have been talking a lot about propaganda and how unbelievably effective it is. 
Before we go on, we should probably define what propaganda is, so hear goes. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as 'information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view'. Hitler appointed Joseph Goebbels to the post of Minister of Propaganda. The Nazis used every medium from music, to newspapers and everything in between to spread their particular brand of prejudice. They created films and staged rallies to get their message out there. They had an entire newspaper called Der Sturmer that was devoted solely to demonising Jewish people and spreading anti-Semitism. 




Propaganda of course, was not invented by the Nazis and it did not end with them. So, the interesting question is, how is it used today? In the UK and US, propaganda is often used (as it was by the Nazis) to demonise (and ultimately dehumanise) specific groups in society. In the UK, asylum seekers are often targets by specific newspapers to show the effect of immigrants on society. They almost never describe the positive things that immigrants have done for the UK.


In the USA (and in countless other countries), gay people are often targeted by religious propaganda, which attempts to maintain the status of homosexuals as second class citizens. Propaganda either tells complete lies, or it often uses an individual and their negative actions, to represent an entire people. 




These examples of propaganda are obviously quite extreme but propaganda can also be subtle, so subtle in fact, that we don't always notice it. So how do we make sure that we don't get hoodwinked by the media? We must take everything we read with a pinch of salt. Different forms of media are so easy to access, that we don't really have an excuse not to research/verify certain news stories. We have to be responsible for our own thoughts. 

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