Almost every theoretical type of propaganda was employed by Saddam Hussein. Some of the prominent types are agitation, white, black and vertical propaganda. As the example of mass funeral of dead babies illustrates, Saddam intended to appeal to the emotions of the audience, circumventing deliberation on fact and logic. It served to agitate the minds of sympathizers and rally them behind his cause.
Vertical propaganda is identified with government missives given to international press, which were full of exaggeration and fabrication of facts and events. For example, Saddam perpetrated misinformation about how American missiles targeted hospitals and civilian areas. This was dictated to journalists in a top-down fashion. After the media carried these dubious official stories without cross-checking facts, it was disseminated horizontally among Iraqi citizens as well as abroad.
There are also instances of misattribution of sources (black) as well as intended ambiguity with . . . Read More
Margaret Atwood has never shied away from controversial subjects and issues and her widely acclaimed novel Oryx And Crake contains its fair share of hard-hitting questions. Moreover, Atwood seldom gets into controversies for the sake of gaining publicity. Her bravadoes have always been to reflect on contemporary social, political and economic problems and this book too maintains this standard. Not quite a full-fledged science fiction novel, while at the same time not confining to the realist norm, the book can be loosely classified as ‘speculative with a tinge of dystopia’. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the book re-invokes the themes found in Aldous Huxley’s masterpiece A Brave New World. Just as in the latter, Oryx And Crake ponders on the darker aspects of technological development such as xenotransplantation, genetic engineering and creation of transgenic life forms. With a little creative license, Atwood presents readers with animals such as ‘wolvogs’, . . . Read More
Crisis occurs in all organizations and hence there should be a robust crisis response plan in place to deal with it. A key component of the crisis response plan (usually implemented by the Emergency Response Team) is to draw up a Crisis Communications Plan (CCP) either in anticipation of a crisis or in the wake of one. Different kinds of crisis could hit an organization, and these crises could be of varying probabilistic occurrences. Hence, the management has to weigh the costs and benefits of investing resources to this exercise before going forward with it. Moreover, irrespective of the nature and intensity of a real crisis, the way it gets projected in the media can have an effect on the way the crisis is perceived by stakeholders. Hence, appointing an experienced Public Relations Officer to take charge of CCP is vital to its success.
A good crisis communication plan will contain the following key elements. First, it should have gotten the endorsement of the . . . Read More
The Public Relations industry, which is an offshoot of the traditional advertising industry, turned into a dominant business institution through the course of the twentieth century. The two countries that pioneered this industry are the United States and the United Kingdom. In the case of the former, Edward Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud, is widely acknowledged as the founding father of the industry. In the United Kingdom, the government propaganda campaigns to mobilize support during the two World Wars made clear the importance and potency of strategic PR campaigns to influence and control public opinion. Toward the end of the century, as business corporations became the dominant institutions of our times, the scope of PR widened and assumed new roles in the commercial realm of product marketing. At the birth of the new millennium, the ascendency of digital technology into the mainstream has once again enhanced and redefined the nature and role of public relations industry. . . . Read More
How useful is the concept of ideology for media analysis? Discuss in relation to soap operas.
Ideology as a sociological term has been interpreted in many different ways. But the following is an approximate definition of the term: Any system of beliefs, values and habits that are based on a particular political or religious school of thought. Media in general and Television in particular has always been used to propagate ideologies. Although the word “ideology” has come to carry negative connotations, the propagated ideas need not necessarily be detrimental to the well-being of the audience. A very good example of this positive use of ideology is the British government run propaganda machinery during the First World War. As the strength of the British army grew weak in confronting an imposing German hostility, the military administration had to resort to Conscription as a means of restoring its strength. But a glimpse at the history of media in . . . Read More