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Mind Over Media: Teaching About Propaganda

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The Walker Ames Lecture at the University of Washington, delivered by Renee Hobbs, November 28, 2018.

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Mind Over Media: Teaching About Propaganda

  1. 1. Mind Over Media: Teaching About Propaganda Renee Hobbs University of Washington November 28, 2018
  2. 2. Misconceptions about propaganda interfere with effective teaching and learning Critical analysis of contemporary propaganda helps counter its emotional power Multi-perspectival dialogue about global propaganda can activate intellectual curiosity and promote cultural understanding By expressing opinions, creating and commenting on propaganda, people build citizenship skills that advance democratic goals Preview of Key Ideas
  3. 3. What can be done about rising propaganda & misinformation around the world?
  4. 4. PRESS FREEDOM QUALITY JOURNALISM FACT CHECKING DIGITAL TOOLS PLATFORM ALGORITHMS LAW ENFORCEMENT REGULATION RESEARCH CIVIL SOCIETY EDUCATION
  5. 5. www.mediaeducationlab.com
  6. 6. Digital and Media Literacy: A Learning Process ACCESS ANALYZE CREATE REFLECT TAKE ACTION
  7. 7. Rhetoric Print Literacy Visual Literacy Information Literacy Media Literacy Computer Literacy News Literacy Digital Literacy Literacy Expands in Relation to Culture, Technology & Society
  8. 8. Literacy is the sharing of meaning through symbols #chariholearns @reneehobbs
  9. 9. What do American teachers and students know about propaganda?
  10. 10. What is Propaganda?
  11. 11. What is Propaganda?  It is historical  It is bad  It is hard to define  It is risky to discuss in school
  12. 12. Propaganda & Nationalism
  13. 13. Hoaxes Parody/Satire ACTIVATE STRONG EMOTIONS ATTACK OPPONENTS SIMPLIFY INFORMATION RESPOND TO AUDIENCE NEEDS Rhetorical Techniques of Propaganda
  14. 14. How have definitions of propaganda changed over time?
  15. 15. Propaganda 1622 Congregatio de Propaganda Fide
  16. 16. What is Propaganda? Propaganda is one means by which large numbers of people are induced to act together. -Bruce Lannes Smith and Harold Lasswell, authors of Propaganda, Communication and Public Opinion, 1946
  17. 17. What is Propaganda? Propaganda is a form of information that panders to our insecurities and anxieties. -Jacques Ellul author of Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, 1962
  18. 18. What is Propaganda? Propaganda is indifferent to truth and truthfulness, knowledge and understanding; it is a form of strategic communication that uses any means to accomplish its ends. -Walter Cunningham, author of The Idea of Propaganda, 2002
  19. 19. • Propaganda appears in a variety of forms • Propaganda is strategic and intentional • Propaganda aims to influence attitudes, opinions and behaviors • Propaganda can be beneficial or harmful • Propaganda may use truth, half-truths or lies • Propaganda uses any means to accomplish its goal • To be successful, propaganda taps into our deepest values, fears, hopes and dreams
  20. 20. Where is Propaganda Found? Advertising Activism Journalism & Public Relations Government Education Entertainment
  21. 21. European Association for Viewer Interests (2018). Beyond Fake News.
  22. 22. Media Literacy Education has its Roots in Propaganda Education Hobbs, R. & McGee, S. (2014). Teaching about propaganda: An examination of the historical roots of media literacy. Journal of Media Literacy Education 6(2), 56 – 67.
  23. 23. Civic Education 101 “The vital task of preparing students to become citizens in a democracy is complex. The social studies disciplines are diverse, encompassing an expansive range of potential content. This content engages students in a comprehensive process of confronting multiple dilemmas, and encourages students to speculate, think critically, and make personal and civic decisions on information from multiple perspectives.” --National Council for the Social Studies
  24. 24. How can creating and commenting on contemporary propaganda build citizenship and literacy skills?
  25. 25. Recognize Propaganda in Entertainment It’s difficult to recognize propaganda when it aligns with existing values Activation of emotion can make critical analysis more challenging
  26. 26. Recognize Propaganda in Entertainment It’s difficult to recognize propaganda when it aligns with existing values Activation of emotion can make critical analysis more challenging By presenting violence as heroic and justified, viewers are encouraged to identify with terrorism
  27. 27. https://mindovermedia.eu
  28. 28. Mind Over Media https://mindovermedia.eu
  29. 29. https://mindovermedia.eu/ro
  30. 30. More than 2,000 examples from 40 countries
  31. 31. How does the examination of global propaganda activate intellectual curiosity and promote cultural understanding?
  32. 32. Propaganda Can Provoke Questions
  33. 33. Propaganda Can Provoke Questions
  34. 34. Analyzing Propaganda with the MEDIA LITERACY SMARTPHONE
  35. 35. TURN AND TALK Analyzing Propaganda with the MEDIA LITERACY SMARTPHONE
  36. 36. https://mindovermedia.euhttps://mindovermedia.eu
  37. 37. https://mindovermedia.euhttps://mindovermedia.eu
  38. 38. https://mindovermedia.eu
  39. 39. Message: What is the nature of the information and ideas being expressed? Techniques: What symbols and rhetorical strategies are used to attract attention and activate emotional response? What makes them effective? Means of Communication & Format: How did the message reach people and what form does it take? Environment: Where, when and how may people have encountered the message? Audience Receptivity: How may people think and feel about the message and how free they are to accept or reject it? CONTEXT
  40. 40. Close Analysis of Propaganda through Digital Annotation https://ant.umn.edu
  41. 41. Virtual Exchange as a Pedagogy of Propaganda Education Hobbs, R., Seyferth-Zapf, C., & Grafe, S. (2018). Using virtual exchange to advance media literacy competencies through analysis of contemporary propaganda. Journal of Media Literacy Education 10 (2), 152 – 168 GERMANY UNITED STATES
  42. 42. Time to Reflect
  43. 43. Misconceptions about propaganda interfere with effective teaching and learning Critical analysis of contemporary propaganda helps counter its emotional power Multi-perspectival dialogue about global propaganda can activate intellectual curiosity and promote cultural understanding By expressing opinions, creating and commenting on propaganda, people build citizenship skills that advance democratic goals Review of Key Ideas
  44. 44. Should students create propaganda as part of their learning experience?
  45. 45. Student-Created Example COM 416, University of Rhode Island
  46. 46. Student-Created Example COM 416, University of Rhode Island
  47. 47. Student-Created Example COM 416, University of Rhode Island
  48. 48. Student-Created Example COM 416, University of Rhode Island
  49. 49. All That We Share - Denmark
  50. 50. Propaganda is both the cause and the cure in our polarized & fearful world
  51. 51. Renee Hobbs Professor of Communication Studies Director, Media Education Lab Harrington School of Communication and Media University of Rhode Island USA Email: hobbs@uri.edu Twitter: @reneehobbs WEB: www.mediaeducationlab.com

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