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Lesson 5: Propaganda’s Beneficial Role: Functionality and Normativity Introduction and Reading Summaries Introduction to Beneficial Propaganda “there are some of us who believe propaganda is the part of democratic education which the educators forgot.” John Grierson in Marlin (2013), p.11 “communication to affect deep-rooted beliefs and attitude, such as those encouraging support for one’s country and democracy.” Marlin (2013),p.11 “a deliberate attempt to influence public opinion of audiences through the transmission of ideas, values for a specific purpose.” Welch (2013), p.2 Propaganda’s Deliberated-Ness Education: Provides the ability to think VS. Propaganda: Structured to tell us what to think and by extension, what to do. Applying this perspective to propaganda’s beneficial roles: - Those in authority use persuasion to tell the population what they should know and do for their own well-being Some Examples Public health campaigns: when populations are trained about the dangers of a disease as well as how to manage it - Comprise attitudinal and behavioural changes - Functions to warn, inform, and save lives news and public affairs are important functions that keep citizens informed in a democracy - Forms of advertising for altruistic and social good - Citizens action for social change that utilize mass persuasion techniques
Public Interest Groups and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Propaganda that serves the public interest can emanate from advocacy groups and NGOs: - Use propaganda to influence public opinion to improve and change society - Include various kinds of public mobilization through events, advertisements or public service announcements (PSAs) - Education and PSA’s regarding drinking and driving have been successful in helping to change public perception of the practice Canada Public health messages: - An essential part of the Canadian public sphere - Attributed to the decline in the rate of infectious diseases during the 20 th C overall health has been shaped by messages that stress the adoption of healthy behaviours Public Health Messages: encourage Canadians to eat properly, avoid stress, exercise regularly, avoid excessive alcohol, and to pay attention to their mental health, etc. David Welsh: Trap Your Germs Provides a history of public health campaigns to frame how the focus on health allows individuals to view propaganda in a positive light - Propaganda is viewed as a strong participant in saving and maintaining lives This history looks at several examples: The Role of Positive Propaganda over Time The War On: - Poverty - Infant mortality
- Infectious diseases - Poor nutrition - Healthy behaviour Public Health Campaigns: operate in conjunction with wider technological, political, economic, social and cultural players and contexts Media Techniques and Materials

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