Media propaganda is a form of communication that is utilized by media houses to influence the attitude of the community towards various issues. Propaganda is spread across various media houses and is repeated over time in order to emphasize the facts and to change the attitudes of individuals. The primary objective of propaganda is to sway the thinking and understanding of the community towards various courses of action. The media use propaganda in order to generate attraction towards various pieces of news that could be vital for the welfare of the community. There exist various propaganda techniques. Media houses would always use the most appropriate one according to the situation at hand. This essay explicates the recent propaganda techniques and the BP oil spill using the functionalism, critical, and interactionism theories.
The current propaganda techniques that have been used by the media include common man technique and repetition. The common man technique has been used by various media recently, especially in relation to political figures. The technique aims at winning the confidence of society by ensuring that they change their normal way of thinking and reasoning according to the politician’s way of thinking. The common man technique has been used to convince individuals during political campaigns in order to change the normal thinking of individuals in relation to various aspects of the society such as macroeconomic policies. If one is portrayed as the individual to bring change in the society in case he/she is elected, this changes the normal thinking of citizens towards the individual.
Repetition is another key propaganda technique that has been used especially in various adverts. The media have been emphasizing on the feature of the advertised products and the benefits one would derive from using the products. Repetition is aimed at ensuring that the community does not forget about the product. Such propaganda has been used in the introduction of new products and in the improvement of existing products. This has seen most businesses increase their profit margins; hence, they have achieved stability in their operations.
The BP oil spill was portrayed by the media as the worst happening ever. In fact, the media stated that the spill was a global disaster, as it would lead to the spillage of oil and chemicals to other parts of the world. Politically, the oil spill was portrayed as the inability of the government to deal with disasters. It instilled fear and concern among most individuals, as the problem appeared difficult to solve. This portrayal is related to the functional theory, in that it helped coordinate the social system and vividly disseminated vital information to be used in precautionary measures. This theory defines media propaganda as a tool for social information on significant issues. The critical theory is also related to this portrayal of the spill. This theory asserts that media propaganda is tailored towards ensuring that the interests of the elite are catered for. The interactionalism theory is related to this media portrayal in its explanation that propaganda is a social process that emphasizes on pragmatism and the change of the community’s perspectives. The theory asserts that the attitudes of the society could be changed by the use of some specific practical ideas.
This portrayal is not only information, but also propaganda, because it is presented in a manner that captures the minds of individuals and affects their attitudes. Citizens were made to hate the government for the oil spill and live in fear of further effects of the spill. It is because there was a media threat that the spill could affect the entire world. The interactionism theory provides the best explanation of propaganda, since typical propaganda should entail the use of practical words that would change the attitudes of individuals. The theory deals with the living conditions of individuals and the use of specific words to change the normal state of events.