Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position by presenting only one side of an argument. Propaganda is usually repeated and distributed over a wide variety of broadcasting in order to create the chosen result in audience attitudes. It often presents facts selectively (thus possibly lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The preferred result is a change of the attitude toward the subject in the targeted audience to further a political or religious plan. Propaganda can be used as a form of political warfare. During World War I the government needed citizens to fight in the war, and to think what they wanted them to think. To accomplish this, the government used a technique known as propaganda to influence the minds of American citizens. These techniques were generally practiced through the media.
This propaganda in the media would give one-sided information, to convince you to think a certain way. This was how the government persuaded the citizens to think one way, and to do what they wanted. I do not approve of these methods of persuasion. In this essay, I will explicate why I personally disagree with the methods of propaganda. Recapping from the first paragraph, propaganda is the way in which the media induces a person to their way of thinking by showing one sided views of an occurrence to change their attitudes towards that event or to “mask the truth.” The government, as a means to accomplish all their major objectives during the war, used propaganda. Propaganda played a major role in winning over the citizens of the Unites States of America during World War I. The governments’ use of propaganda helped gain support for the war, and also created a high morale of the people. Although the government used this method to try and persuade American citizens, the real question is how effective were these efforts in persuading the people? The answer is it was tremendously effective.
The reason why this propaganda was so successful throughout the war was simple; there were several types of media of propaganda. It was effectively used through war songs, poetry, advertisements, posters, editorial cartoons, speeches, and movie stills. Many different forms were necessary because the war effort was a national cause and needed to be stimulated everyplace people looked to becoming involved. A large percent of the population of the United States did not read newspapers. This is why posters were important when it came to having a visual aspect of propaganda. For instance, the government would put up posters of a content family in which the children would ask their father “what was the war like father?” which proposed that you must go to war because you will end up in a situation like this and you will be seen as a coward if you say that you stayed at home.
Another example is a young lady in a nightdress, a baby in her arms, floating lifeless at the bottom of the sea next to the lone world “Enlist”. In my opinion, I believe that it’s signifying that you have to enlist to protect the young, so they don’t end up deceased and inert anywhere. The government used propaganda in posters to recruit and mobilize; their intentions were to make the troops hate the opposing side. I disagree with these methods, because people are making actions exclusively based on one-sided information. For example, someone would join the army because what they saw in the media convinced them that it was what they were supposed to do, rather than what they want to do. Regardless if the citizens want to fight in the war, or not, the government is exploiting the media to get what they want.