Media propaganda, also known as media influence is molding

Media Propaganda: Is it more powerful than we think?Influence of mass media has been existing from the early 20th century. That was the time mass media technologies, such as, radio, film, newspaper were developing and started playing a role in shaping public opinion. Also, that is how media propaganda came into being by holding an almost irresistible power to persuade or brainwash people.Among the wide variety of definitions of propaganda, the one given by Garth Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell provides a clear idea about the word. “Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behaviour to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.” Media propaganda, also known as media influence is molding an audience’s thought process, behaviour, ideologies through mass media according to the communicator’s will.Media propaganda is always biased and can be positive or negative. Approving sides are rarely seen these days. This kind of manipulation has become the new normal in this century. As far as one can recall media has had a huge leverage over people’s insights. For example, in 2011, Time magazine which is considered a leader in national news in the U.S.A. published a cover story on “anxiety” for Americans whereas the same issue of the magazine featured a cover story on “Revolution Redux” for the rest of the world. Again, CNN has been alleged for faking war in news coverage.Mass media attempts to shape public opinion on a variety of things. It is taught at home and school that skin complexion does not matter, for instance, yet advertisements showing fairness in skin is necessary are seen everyday on television, newspaper, billboards etc. These kinds of ads are designed to urge the audience to buy a certain product. Even influencing people to vote for a certain political group is prevalent in media. Also, social media’s take on bringing political propaganda into the 21st century is evident.George Orwell says, “If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt  thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation, even among people who should know better.” This explains that language can be used by media to feed opinions among the audience and thus public opinion is formed through media propaganda.Even though media propaganda generally carries a negative connotation, sometimes it has been used effectively to relay positive messages, like health recommendations, encouraging people to vote, to send children to schools, to join the military etc. For example, Meena cartoon in Bangladesh champions female education and helps break the stigma of gender discrimination and emboldens the citizens to send both male and female child to schools.In the recent times, unfortunately, the negative side of media propaganda is mostly seen. Instead of using this tool to bring a spread positivity, it is used only used to promote biased information and manipulate and brainwash target audience.In this age of propaganda, we must know how to defend ourselves. In the late 1930s, an American professor Clyde R Miller made a list of criteria that he believed defined propaganda. It is necessary to do more extensive research on the matter from state level to personal level. Ways to identify propaganda should be taught to everyone.Necessary efforts should be made for checking our news sources and making sure they are reliable. We should not become used to media propaganda but we have to learn how to recognise lies. In this way, it is definitely possible to save our thoughts from getting corrupted.