Propaganda and public perception manipulation

“It is not enough for journalists to see themselves as mere messengers without understanding the hidden agendas of the message and myths that surround it.”

John Pilger

From Anti-Propaganda Propaganda

Defining propaganda has always been a problem. The main difficulties have involved differentiating propaganda from other types of persuasion, and avoiding an “if they do it then that’s propaganda, while if we do it then that’s information and education” biased approach. Personally I prefer the following definition provided by Garth Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell: “Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.”

What is modern propaganda? For many, it is the lies of a totalitarian state usually associated with Nazis and Communism.

From 10 Most Evil Propaganda Techniques

Today, we prefer to believe that there is no submissive void in our society that could be manipulated by propaganda.  Is that really so?

Propaganda does not always come in a form of posters or slogans. As history shows, selection of certain story angles and facts for the mass media distribution is a much more effective away of manipulating public perception while maintaining the illusions of personal freedom and choice. The media’s truly the most powerful entity on earth when it comes to propaganda. Internet can facilitate the spread of facts and real life photos misrepresented in line with a certain agenda and supported by false generalisations such as “we are all good, they are all bad” etc.


What can we do to counteract propaganda in our societies? Not all people can write anti-propaganda articles and make films like John Pilger. However we all can:

  • learn to critically evaluate everything we see and hear
  • teach our children to question everything and think critically
  • challenge our own beliefs and biases that we were brought up with
  • open our minds to new perspectives and points of view.
  • make friends with people from different cultural backgrounds to learn more about their lives and beliefs
  • engage in discussions with people from different cultural backgrounds to build relationships, improve understanding and dispell any existing myths and propaganda.
  • read and learn more about other cultures and other people.

I’m very grateful to all people the blogosphere who helped me to learn more about their cultures and beliefs and dispelled some of the myths I was brought up with. We are the world, we are the people, we are one great family. It is time to realise that a change can only come when we stand together as one.



18 thoughts on “Propaganda and public perception manipulation

  1. melanie says:

    I was born and I lived for 24 years under one of the toughest communist régimes in Europe where people could go to jail for jokes about the régime and its dictator… I was not a member of the communist party and I was a prisoner in my native country, just like in “1984” by Orwell or the “Prisoner” – the famous British television series with Patrick McGoohan… 😦

  2. katelon says:

    I know that ultimately, we all write and share with a desire to affect people in some way. But I also understand there is a way to share without it being an us against them agenda. Thanks for this article. I’m going to reblog it!

    • Otrazhenie says:

      True. We all have certain views and biases but good journalists and bloggers usually acknowledge different perspectives even if they do not disagree with some views. They also avoid generalisations such as “they vs. us”.

  3. katelon says:

    Reblogged this on Empower and Balance and commented:
    I know that ultimately, we all write and share with a desire to affect people in some way. But I also understand there is a way to share without it being an us against them agenda.

  4. paxgirl says:

    I had to share this one, for your bullet points alone! Imagine our world if everyone followed that advice. Thanks again for some wonderful insight.

  5. […] Propaganda and public perception manipulation. […]

  6. Reblogged this on waywardspirit and commented:
    I am on savasana. George isn’t, but we are wondering about the same things.

  7. […] Propaganda and public perception manipulation […]

  8. That makes sense to me. I have friends in other countries where I won’t talk about them to everybody because they are geographicly and racially in the same general grouping of others who are killing. Its troubling because my friend is someone threatened. I honestly can tell you I wouldn’t blame him if he shot back in the vicinity thathas no gov’t rule. Then I would be talking to someone who would say, “We shot a few people yesterday and buried them.” They bury people already. Every day. I am interested because what American media tells us to be afraid of, he sees. An exploding bus. It makes me sick. But the consensus reaction is deep sadness. It is NOT “let’s get them back 1000 times worse at 10, 000, 000x the expense to show we have balls”. A country needs to know they have their “balls” but use their brain. Like Syrian president- use CIA and lock him up with Justin Beiber’s monkey in secret cottage in Germany. That monkey sings about as good. Let the monkey judge him. Monkies seriously hate bad people. I had one until 5 years ago. They slap you.

  9. navaara says:

    Reblogged this on Mind Chatter and commented:
    I am not sure if I have re-blogged this already, as I know I have read this before. I hate, I mean HATE, the way media twists and turns things all around to suit the ‘suits’ needs. I like the ending wherein we are encouraged to analyze all that we read, see, and hear. Then we are asked to challenge viewpoints, especially extreme viewpoints. This doesn’t mean argue with people about them, but find out where the information is coming from, is it academically supported, is it rational to the average person, can it be relied upon as a general opinion or consensus, and lastly, is it hurtful or hateful to any one population? If even the last part is true, then it cannot be true, as we were not made to hurt and hate each other, whether of Christian belief or not, it simply doesn’t make sense for us to be here, at this time, and have such hate for each other. Love is easier, makes us feel better physically and psychologically; our health is better when we love and are happy; our relationships are better; and our societies are better for love and happiness. So hate does not make sense for any reason. If we need to reduce the population, then there are natural methods which are used, such as natural disasters, which are out of our control, but cause a population to either decrease, or migrate to other areas. I know there may be lots of arguments against what I am saying, but you cannot argue that hate creates anything but more hate, and a diseased self and society.

  10. […] Propaganda and public perception manipulation […]

  11. […] a few experts are trying to put the story straight in Ukraine from the geopolitical perspective, propaganda machines is busily working on all sides, manipulating public perception. Similar to the media coverage of […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s