Propaganda

Propaganda has been used in so many ways to manipulate people’s ideologies throughout time. Personally, when I think of propaganda I think about war, Feminism and Marxism.

War is probably the main factor that uses propaganda and there are so many examples. One example of war propaganda is the posters that were used to persuade British citizens to join the army and fight in world war one, saying ‘your country needs you’ (as seen below). In Germany, Nazi’s also used propaganda during world war 2 to turn Germans against Jewish people so they could gain power. Nowadays, there is still war propaganda and the film American Sniper is a prime example. This is because it is very patriotic and shows American militants in a very positive light, fighting in Iraq.

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Feminism can also be related to propaganda due to the sexism that’s in a lot of advertisements. A lot of advertisements in the past enforced patriarchy. This was presented by stating in the adverts that women weren’t clever and their only purpose in life was to be housewives and sex objects, who cleaned and looked after their husbands. Advertisements are less sexist nowadays but unfortunately it still happens. The Yorkie chocolate bar advertising campaigns were hugely sexist when they first started. In all the advertisements, they said that Yorkie chocolate bars weren’t for girls and the wrapping was blue to represent boys. To make this seem less sexist, they then decided to bring out another chocolate bar with pink wrapping which insinuated it was for girls due to the connotations from the colour.

Marxism also relates to propaganda because of what we see in the media. Photographs of the royal family, police and military forces etc. all relate to Louis Althusser’s ideological state apparatus. By having these in the media, it enforces power over the public and contributes to hegemony (Antonio Gramsci). The Lego Movie is a fantastic example of Marxist theories. As in the film you see the main character, Emmet, being ideologically repressed by President Business.

As a journalist, the main sources of propaganda you’re likely to come across are press releases. This is because they are all likely to be very positive about the businesses and organisations, and they miss out any negative information. Being a journalist, it would be my job to find the negative side to a business. This would then stop me from reporting something biased, by showing the good and bad.

Overall, propaganda has and will always be everywhere throughout media texts. It seems to be the most simple and subtle way to gain control over peoples ideologies.

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