Propaganda in My Life (100 points)

Make a comprehensive examination of propaganda in your life today.

DUE: February 14

Learning about propaganda makes us confront our own biases. Princeton communication psychology professor Hadley Cantril once pointed out that, to be well-educated, we must “understand our own biases, the forces in the environment that have given us our particular status and our particular opinions” (Cantril, 1938, 220). Although it is perhaps inevitable that we will accept propaganda that suits our personal interests and reinforces our identity, the processes of selecting, filtering and assessing propaganda can be made more intentional and mindful through personal reflection.

Pay special attention to the websites, newspapers, books, movies, music, videogames, TV shows and the social media networks that you use. Consider how many different forms of propaganda you encounter there. Review the worksheet to get inspired on finding examples from all 6 places where propaganda can be found.

Compose an essay that describes and comments on six different current examples of propaganda in your life. Be sure to include examples from all 6 places where propaganda can be found:  (1) news and information (2) advertising (3) entertainment (4) education (5) government and (6) activism. To help develop your ideas, use key ideas from the readings to explain why the particular examples you have selected can be defined as forms of propaganda. Be sure to include at least two images in your blog post, and where appropriate, use hyperlinks to point to information sources or other relevant content. Expected length: 1,000 – 2,000  words.

Criteria for Evaluation
1. My essay provides an examination of propaganda in my own daily life, with special focus on six examples of propaganda in entertainment, advertising, journalism/public relations, politics/government, education, and activism/advocacy.
2. The content is well-organized with good use of descriptive writing that helps the reader visualize examples and understand my own interpretation of these messages, which may be potentially beneficial or harmful. I have used subheads to organize my writing plus a minimum of one visual image and one hyperlink to web content in my essay.
3. I have made explicit reference to some ideas from the course readings to deepen my interpretation of propaganda in my life, using the practices of summarizing, paraphrasing and direct quotation. I have used author-date citation and included a works cited list in APA format.  I have posted the essay to my website and tweeted a link to it, using the #COM416 hashtag.