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Propagating Propaganda Through New Media

Updated on September 11, 2020

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Propagating Propaganda Through New Media

Through New Media comes great reward to the world in the sharing information. Codependent on this reward is our trust in the intent and the sources of that information. I chose to focus on New Media for Technical Communication as it is a foundational piece for all businesses in the modern world. Likewise, education, social networks, non-profits, government institutions, and so forth rely on New Media to as a resource for their employees and consumers. Understanding the artistic capacity, opportunity, and responsibility of New Media is essential to developing Newer Media and the responsibility of those utilizing it.

“The spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person; ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause,” (Dictionary - Propoganda, n.d.) is the definition of propaganda.

In the modern would we think of propaganda in relation to politics. However, the initial concept ensued from – predictably – the Catholic Church. The Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith or in Latin, Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, was created on June 22, 1622 by Pope Gregory XV. Its mission was to, “regain the faithful in all those parts of the world where Protestantism had been established, and to bring the light of the true faith to heathen.” (Guilday, 1921)

Later, the Propaganda Fide, became known as The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (C.E.P.). It was a successful effort when you considering the accomplishments made by the Roman Catholic Church from the Propaganda Fide. It gave direction to missionaries, mandated from Rome, developing strict guidelines for the church. “Measures were taken against luxurious living, nepotism, and the neglect of the residence obligation; training of the clergy in seminaries was prescribed; prescriptions were given about pastoral care, schools for the young, diocesan and provincial synods, confession, and marriage; the right to benefices was purified of misuse; and the formalistic law of procedure was simplified.” (Canon-Law - The Corpus Juris Canonici)

Propwatch.org, home of the The Propwatch Project, “ is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit, whose core mission is to increase media literacy and raise public awareness regarding the rapid growth of propaganda and disinformation in mass media, as well as to promote non-partisan critical thinking regarding the biased and misleading nature of political speech.” (Mission, n.d.)

I find the purpose of this website valuable in today’s world. As New Media is prolific in the world, we must be aware that we need to verify everything and simply not take everything at face value. It seems that if it is on the web, then it must be true. I disagree with that line of thinking. I say, “Don’t trust anyone, be aware, and verify everything.”

The valuable impact of New Media on our world today allows us to rapidly find and share information, to create beautiful new art, websites, and video games. When used to benefit society, New Media has the propensity to be invaluable. With that comes power. Gambling on responsibility to mankind rather than to one man – or corporation – is a game of risk.

References

Canon-Law - The Corpus Juris Canonici. (n.d.). Retrieved from Britannica.com: https://www.britannica.com/topic/canon-law/The-Corpus-Juris-Canonici-c-1140-c-1500

Dictionary - Propoganda. (n.d.). Retrieved from Merriam-Webster.com: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/propaganda

Guilday, P. (1921, January). The Sacred Congregation de Propaganda Fide. Retrieved from JSTOR.org: https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/25011717.pdf

Mission. (n.d.). Retrieved from Propwatch.org: https://www.propwatch.org/mission.php

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Deb Rogers

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