But first, do you know what is propaganda?
According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, propaganda is the dissemination of information – facts, arguments, rumours, half-truths, or lies – to influence public opinion. A definition that might make us feel like: What else around us that is not propaganda then? Unfortunately there is no clear answer to this question yet, as almost all the media our brains consume are never completely objective, since it is simply man-made. And the only way to stop propaganda, which will never completely succeed, is to spot it out, report against and raise awareness. This was a job of academia, investigative journalism and other institutions. However, in today’s world flooded with manipulative media pretending to be independent, the truth has become very difficult to find, and the propaganda-concerned above mentioned entities cannot do the job alone anymore. Now it is your turn to take responsibility to critically think not to only submit to what you are told to think. This is your rule as an average citizen, but yet responsible to help yourself step out of the cattle.
Britannica also says that propaganda is the more or less systematic effort to manipulate other people’s beliefs, attitudes, or actions. Deliberateness and a relatively heavy emphasis on manipulation distinguish propaganda from casual conversation or the free and easy exchange of ideas. So! Do you think you, as an average citizen watching TV, reading a newspaper or checking your favourite online news source, have been subject to propaganda? If yes, just like most of the mankind, then it is your duty to report against it. And Propaganda Monitor will help you have your voice heard by other concerned institutions that should take action, and more importantly passes your message to other average citizens, where awareness among the masses could be, or should be, more powerful than authorities that use propaganda to manipulate you, or turn a blind eye on others trying to.
Types of propaganda
Propaganda Monitor does not want to make it difficult on you, or make it seem complex to report against a propaganda practice you have witnessed. We will initially, focus on only four aspects of propaganda (political, ethnic, sectarian and corporate) that we think are enough of a violation to international human rights law and basic notions of democratic practices. And as we develop our scope by the day – thanks to your responsible involvement and contributions to Propaganda Monitor – our varieties will increase, sharpen and get louder.
To help you as a non-specialist understand propaganda in order to stand up and confidently flag it out, we bring you the following basic examples:
- If you watch a government official or a leader of a political group on TV spreading any sort of a lie about another group, inside or outside your country, this is political propaganda.
- If you read in your newspaper that a person or a group in power advocating for their own superiority as humans against a different group based on race or colour, especially if it was against a disadvantaged minority in your country, this is ethnic propaganda.
- If you, while listening to your religious leader or spiritual preacher, find him/her discrediting others’ faith or calling for limiting or depriving them from their full rights as citizens based on their choice of religion, this is sectarian propaganda.
- If you, while walking in the main market of your village, find a poster or been handed a flyer saying that the new chemical fertilisers factory being built there is not harmful to the environment, while it is, this is corporate propaganda.
Now, have you carefully read the above and digested it well?
Have you witnessed any similar practices in your country, wherever it is?
Write an average of a 300-word description of the propaganda you have witnessed, include at least one link (Youtube video, newspaper article… etc.) as evidence, email it to editor@PropagandaMonitor.com and we will edit it, publish it and make your voice heard.
Looking forward to receiving your report!