Media, Politics and Propaganda

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Mel Basil
Paper I: Media, Politics and Propaganda
Heather Palmer ENGL3850-002
October 16, 2012
Not What to Think, But What to Think About

With the 2012 Presidential Election in full swing right now, the issue concerning American troops in Afghanistan is a heated topic. President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Governor Mitt Romney have taken their quite opposite stances and debated this issue throughout the course of the election. That is until the last week when the Romney campaign began suggesting that their “administration would take almost precisely the same course,” according to ABC News. However, if you we’re to ask FOX News about the republican nominee’s shift in course toward American troops in Afghanistan, they would say “The Democratic Party has Lost its Mind and its Way,” according to the title of an article posted on foxnews.com.

Propaganda is not something new to the media. “When there is a communication channel, there is also a potential propaganda medium (Jowett and O’Donnell).” News media doesn’t tell you what to think, but what to think about. This paper will asses this generalization, based on the media’s presentation of the political topic of American troops in Afghanistan. The media is the people’s source for news. In America, the media gives the people an agenda of the topics we talk and think about. We put this responsibility in the hands of news professionals and trust what they tell us is fair, accurate and objective. Because it is the media that gives we the people our agenda, the media must have an agenda of their own.

Propaganda is widely used throughout the world and has affected politics everywhere. It is a type of communication used to spread specific beliefs, ideas and expectations. In modern propaganda, examples seen in the two news stations stated in the previous paragraph, political discourse and advertising become an issue because influential figures are able to control the mass media and its content,...
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