COMS Final Exam Notes.docx - COMS 361 Final Exam Part one...

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COMS 361: Final Exam Part one , the definition section (8%), is your assessment or evaluation of the definition you submitted at the beginning of the course. You should reflect on what you wrote in terms of what was accurate about it, what needed to be changed or improved upon and what might have been missing in your own view of propaganda at the time you submitted it. The point of this question is for you to observe how what you learned about your understanding of propaganda has evolved over this semester. It is assumed, since you defined your view of propaganda at the start of the course, that you will, from memory, recall the essence of it when you answer this question. In lieu of any formal citations you should refer to all course materials and any sources or authors which may have informed your response to this question. If you did not submit a definition at the beginning of this course then you should reflect upon your original understanding of propaganda at the beginning of this course as you currently are able to remember it. It is suggested that you spend 30 minutes of the 3 hours for this exam in answering this first question. Word count Guideline: 500. Part 1: Definition of Propaganda I first learned about propaganda in my World War History class in 11th grade. My understanding then of propaganda was limited to the works of Joseph Goebbels who was Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda during Nazi Germany. Therefore, my definition of propaganda, prior to having read the readings assigned in this course had been: a political ploy involving deceitfully promoting things that are, for lack of better words, not good. Now, I understand that propaganda is much more complex and therefore difficult to define. After having completed the first assigned reading for the course, I had loosely defined propaganda as a set of ideas and beliefs that are intentionally and widely advocated and encouraged. These ideas and beliefs encompass both controversial matters, as we saw in Nazi Germany through Goebbels’ propaganda tactics, and non controversial topics, as we see many examples of today but fail to recognize them as propagandic. Regardless of whether the topics of these propagandic works are controversial or not, propaganda has been utilized to change the way we think about the topic and the way we behave accordingly. Now that I have completed the lessons for this course, I can analyze what was accurate about this definition, and what needed to be changed or improved. In terms of what remains accurate, my understanding that propaganda is not limited to the spreading of a deceitful political ploy maintains the same. In fact, throughout this semester, I have learned about two distinct perspectives on propaganda, that of Randal Marlin and of Jacques Ellul. The two

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