Important to determine fact and propaganda

Published 8:15pm Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Propaganda and yellow journalism influence the mind of vulnerable individuals. One of the main purposes of education is to help people learn to think. However, it is very important to be able to distinguish between what is a fact and what is a judgment, or personal opinion. One’s experiences in school teach him or her to check on facts by finding the necessary information.

When people fail to think for themselves they easily become victims of propaganda. Propaganda usually takes two forms. When propaganda ideas are presented as facts and sources are kept secret, they are called concealed propaganda. Concealed propaganda attempts to fool people without letting them know that it is trying to influence them.

Revealed propaganda is very often used in America’s society. When revealed propaganda is implemented, people are aware that someone is using ideas to influence them.  Practically all advertising is revealed propaganda.

The most commonly used methods of propaganda are:

Endorsement: Famous people are paid to endorse or approve a product.

The bandwagon technique: If you say something often enough and loud enough, a huge number of people will believe it. This method appeals to people to do what their friends and neighbors are doing

Name calling: This is the use of an unpleasant label or description to harm a person or a group.

Glittering generalities: This method uses words that sound good but have little real meaning.

Plain-folks appeal: This method is designed to get votes for political candidates. Candidates want to show that they represent the common man.

Slanting ideas: Words are used to favor a product, an idea, or a candidate.

Yellow journalism is exaggerated or biased reporting that is disguised as facts. Propaganda and yellow journalism feed off each other. Individuals with propaganda use the media for exposure.

Yellow journalism is utilized to sell newspapers and attract a wide range of radio listeners and television viewers. Selling more newspapers was the goal of publishers in the late 1800s when yellow journalism originated.

Freedom of speech and free press is a fundamental right of the American citizen. However, it is the responsibility of a person to ascertain facts to make intelligent decisions.

The American educational system has witnessed tremendous growth since its development, and it continues to grow. People value a free public education for all. Unfounded propaganda attacks on school officials and school districts is inappropriate.

Credible individuals have high standards. They do not destroy a social unit.

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