Propaganda and World War I

Propaganda and World War I

Propaganda and World War I
Propaganda is a form of communication aimed towards influencing the attitude of the community toward some cause or position by presenting only one side of an argument. Propaganda statements may be partly false and partly true and are usually repeated and dispersed over a wide variety of media in order to create the chosen result in audience attitudes. Though there are eight forms of this persuasion, there are four main forms used during WWI: Name Calling, Testimonial, Card Stacking, and Glittering Generalities.

Name calling propaganda occurs often in politics and wartime scenarios, but very seldom in advertising. It is the use of derogatory language or words that carry a negative connotation when describing an enemy. The propaganda attempts to arouse prejudice among the public by labeling the target something that the public dislikes. For example, in the following poster, German’s are referred to as “Huns”. "Hun" was a derogatory word for Germans introduced in the Great War (now known as First World War) in order to add irrational hatred against Germans for the British and later U.S. American population's motivation to keep up the effort for the war.

Testimonial propaganda is using the words and image of respected figures to promote a product or idea. For instance, Uncle Sam was a very famous celebrity figure who was often used in war posters to get soldiers to enlist.

Card stacking is a propaganda technique that seeks to manipulate audience perception of an issue by emphasizing one side and repressing another. Propagandist usually give the positive information and leave out the negative as shown in the poster below.

When using the Glittering Generalities technique, propagandists use vague, sweeping statements (Often slogans or simple catchphrases) with language associated with values and beliefs deeply held by the audience; words such as honor, glory, love of country, desire for peace, freedom, and family values...

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