Propaganda may be defined as an organized campaign of persuasion that attempts to control information that is intended to influence belief and behavior. The key characteristics of propaganda are (1) its organization, (2) its campaign character, and, most importantly, (3) its systematic attempt to control information. This entry explains the distinguishing characteristics of propaganda, offers a brief overview of its history, and identifies a few of its elementary techniques.

Propaganda Defined

As with most concepts in communication studies, there is no consensus for defining propaganda. Propaganda is commonly understood as a form of persuasion and until after World War I was widely accepted as a neutral term for mass dissemination of information. Given public disaffection with deceitful pro-war communication, propaganda was cast as nefarious, manipulative, and even ...

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