Propaganda in Your Neighborhood

1. 4.03 Discussion: Propaganda in Your Neighborhood
Propaganda is a common technique of persuasion used by government agencies, political campaigns, special interest groups or other organizations to build emotion for their cause or against the other. These propaganda tools are seen in all aspects of our everyday life. They appear in magazines and newspapers, on the television and radio, on billboards and other public advertisements. Some are attempts to persuade, others to educate and still others to discount opposing perceptions.
• Post two examples of propaganda that you see in your community. Describe the main theme and what group or organization has created it.
4.03 Exploring Tabloid Journalism
The differences between tabloid journalism and “hard” news journalism are seen in the format, delivery, style and stories that each cover. Tabloids focus on the dramatic to entice readership, often using sensationalized, shocking and sometimes fictional headlines and stories to develop interest. Tabloids will often use bright, large pictures and other marketing schemes to attract attention as well.
Please visit the websites of three news sources:
• National Enquirer
• New York Post
After reviewing the front page of each of the websites, consider each of the following questions below:
• Which of the three would be considered the “hard” news outlet?
• What are the “headline” stories of each of the three news sources?
• Which of the three is focused almost entirely on entertainment and celebrity news?
• Which of the three uses a “sensational” or “shocking” headline to draw attention? What is that headline?
• Where do you feel mainstream television media falls in this spectrum? Can you think of different examples of television news programs that align roughly with the three examples posted above?
• Do you feel mainstream media has a responsibility to be more objective and investigative in their journalistic styles than other media outlets? Why or why not?
• Do you feel that mainstream media sensationalizes the news in any way? If so, what impact do you feel it has and does it matter?