How effective is propaganda when used to influence society? “Write an essay (with introduction and conclusion) on the suggested topic. Your introduction should include the thesis statement – main idea of the paper (here is more detailed explanation
“Write an essay (with introduction and conclusion) on the suggested topic.
Your introduction should include the thesis statement – main idea of the paper (here is more detailed explanation – https://essayshark.com/blog/how-to-write-a-thesis-statement-to-make-it-clear/). Don’t include any new information in the conclusion. It should restate the thesis statement of the paper.
APA format – https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/general_format.html”
It is October of 1986. I am one of 25 children in the pre-school group of a kindergarten in the Leninsky district of Moscow. It is the “quiet hour” in the middle of the day when children are supposed to nap, but I cannot sleep. I am very worried. Every evening, after the “Spokoynoy Nochi, Malyshi” (Goodnight, Kids) children’s show on television at 8:45 pm, I watch the evening news program “Vremya” (Time). Last evening I heard that our leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, is going to meet the American leader, Ronald Reagan, in Reykjavík. I cannot understand why Gorbachev is going there. I am sure the Americans are going to kill him.
I am also sleepless because I am afraid of nuclear war. At this time “Star Wars” for me is not a movie, but a plan for American military aggression against the people of the Soviet Union.
So my parents offered me a new game. They gave me an old radio and taught me how to search for short-wave radio stations. Unlike our TV, which had only six buttons for six channels, the radio offered a range of voices in different languages.
The purpose of the game was to scan the short waves and find Russian-speaking stations broadcasting from beyond the borders of the USSR; the so-called “Vrazheskie golosa” (Enemy Voices). It was quite tricky, since the tiniest movements of my fingers would sweep past these stations, and their wavelengths sometimes changed in order to avoid being jammed by the Soviet government.
I learned very quickly how to recognize Radio Freedom, the Voice of Israel, the Voice of America and the BBC. (Who could imagine that 30 years later I would have an office in Bush House, where the BBC Russian Service was broadcasting from at that time, and is now part of King’s College London!) I really enjoyed my parents’ new game. For the first time in my life, I was actively involved in searching for news.
I also started to sleep better during the “quiet hour” at kindergarten. Through that radio game I learned that the same events can be described in very different ways. Although I wasn’t able to understand many things, it highlighted the polyphony of voices and framings. I was lucky to have this experience just then, in 1986. Only a year later, “glasnost,” a new policy of media openness, began to influence Soviet TV, and the “enemy voices” lost their unique value as a window onto an alternative reality.
The image of me as a child sitting in my bedroom in front of the radio and searching for “enemy voices” comes back as I think about how the Internet has changed propaganda. In 1986 that old short-wave radio was a physical mediator between me as a user and the global environment. It brought new meanings directly into my bedroom. I didn’t know that what I heard was called “anti-Soviet propaganda.” Similarly, I hadn’t known that the news I watched on TV was propaganda, either. What really mattered was the range of voices brought to me by these various tools of mediation.
Today, with the Internet, it is much easier to find alternative sources. The quality of information is often good, and there is no need for tiny movements of the fingers, although instead of the Soviet-style “glushilki” (jammers), we have new technologies like packet filtering and state-sponsored censorship.
These days, however, it seems that even a huge diversity of voices still does not help to challenge propaganda or increase critical thinking. One could suggest that, in order to address this puzzle, we need to focus not on the content of propaganda, but on its delivery, and to ask how the new technological tools used for the proliferation of propaganda change the relationship between users and their environment.