Week 12: Fake News, Demagoguery & Alt-Right

If you did not participate in the “live” class, please watch the recording. Using the “Leave a Reply” function below, perform the task that you see students do in small groups by composing a written response to share your ideas and opinions below. 


  1. Renee’s Reflections on LEAP #3: Collaborate/Compare/Contrast
  2. Facebook, Propaganda & Fake News in the News #COM416 Twitter Wall
  3. Discuss and comment on themes in the readings using They Say, I Say PPTS
  4. Demagoguery and Democracy VIDEO
  5. Demagoguery 101: Discuss which of these statements you agree or disagree with
    1. You can’t have democracy without demagogues
    2. Demagogue is just a loaded term for “highly effective communicator”
    3. Demagogues thrive because people are gullible to accept promises of easy answers and simple solutions
    4. If our government worked properly, we wouldn’t be enthralled by demagogues
    5. The separation of powers and the work of experts and elected politicians ensure that demagogues don’t get too much control
    6. The best way to take down a demagogue is to expose his or her hypocrisy
  6. Discussion of LEAP #4: Create Propaganda – DUE Friday, May 7
  7. Review of activities due April 25

Next week, we explore Global Propaganda. Please complete activities on the Pathwright for WEEK 13 before Wednesday, April 25.


  1. After watching the video on Democracy vs Demagogue and reading the statements, the one that I agree with most is the idea that demagogue is just a loaded term for “highly effective communicator”. I thought it was really interesting what Merideth said about the fact that an effective communicator doesn’t have to be communicating a positive message. Being an effective communicator is completely different than being a positive influential leader. Hitler is a great example of a highly effective communicator. The statement that I disagreed most with was the one that said you can’t have democracy without demagogues. I feel like with our democracy we are likely to vote for a demagogue just for the simple fact that they are able to have an impact on the listeners with communication. Technically we don’t need to have a demagogue to have a democracy, they might be successful in a democracy but if we only have 2 average candidates to vote for, someones gonna have to win.


  2. One of the comments made that I really disagree with is Demagogues thrive because people are gullible to accept promises of easy answers and simple solutions. I disagree with this statement because it plain, straight forward words: it is not true. I think that as people who live in a world surrounded by millions of other people, generally you believe the things you hear. If there seems to be no reason to not believe someone, then you do not tend to go out of your way to find the truth. I believe that in negative situations, when you hear a positive you do not tend to question it. I do mot believe that makes people gullible, rather makes people hopeful.


  3. The statement that I agree with is “you can’t have democracy without demagogues”, in the case of the last election, people were unhappy with how the leaders of our country had been handling things in the past, so as soon as someone can up and presented them with all these ideas that were granting the change they have been waiting for, they used their democratic power to vote and elect a president that gave them empty promises and no real change. With this statement in a democratic society where everyone wants something different and people are elected by the people, there are always going to those who don’t feel comfortable standing behind a leader or elected official because they won’t appeal to their ideals, so demagogues come in an give them false hope that someone is with them, but then there are no accomplishments made that will have positive impacts on the people that supported them. It is an unhappy cycle of unmet wants and “leaders” who just want to gain a following without doing the work.


  4. The statement that I agree with is “Demagogue is just a loaded term for “highly effective communicator”. Although I don’t think demagogues are necessarily a good thing, this is what the public leans toward when they represent themselves. Being able to get people on your side and to get them to think specific ideas is what I would think a highly effective communicator is able to do, despite its means of telling lies and false information.


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