I ran into the topic of Propaganda on one Russian site – the Encyclopedia of Propaganda (here) and was taken aback by the baldness of the facts and methods. My first reactions was – everone should read that!! Unfortunately I could not find such a detailed information in English, but will try to quote some important moments here.
Propaganda is generally an appeal to emotion, contrasted to an appeal to intellect. It shares techniques with advertising and public relations. Propaganda, in a narrower use of the term, connotes deliberately false or misleading information that supports or furthers a political (but not only) cause or the interests of those with power.
Propaganda has been a human activity as far back as reliable recorded evidence exists. Today we call it brainwash –the name that reveals the true nature of this phenomenon.
Common media for transmitting propaganda messages include news reports, government reports, historical revision, junk science, books, leaflets, movies, radio, television, and posters. In the case of radio and television, propaganda can exist on news, current-affairs or talk-show segments, as advertising or public-service announce “spots” or as long-running advertorials. A number of techniques based in social psychological research are used to generate propaganda. Many of these same techniques can be found under logical fallacies, since propagandists use arguments that, while sometimes convincing, are not necessarily valid.
Below are some of the typical brainwash techniques: (more…)