These are the potential questions for the propaganda exam on Friday. Each should be answered in a thoughtful, specific paragraph of 6-10 sentences that demonstrates an understanding of the text, our discussion, and the notes.

  1. Construct an argument in which you prove Chomsky and Herman wrong. Why might their model not work? Be sure to offer multiple, defended points of opposition. After all, these guys do have PhDs.
  2. How, according to Orwell, can misused language be used to justify, promote, or defend totalitarianism?
  3. Explain and analyze Jacques Ellul’s claim that effective propaganda must reach the individual in the masses and masses of individuals.
  4. Using Jacques Ellul’s “current events man” and Neil Postman’s theory about television spectacle, explain how the news media fails to educate the public in the United States.
  5. Describe Chomsky and Herman’s concept of framing the debate and explain how the practice undermines democratic discourse in the United States.
  6. Explain the fundamental dilemma of democracy and explain how the proliferation of propaganda in the United States makes democratic discourse so challenging.
  7. Explain Chomsky and Herman’s contention that ownership and advertising undermine news coverage and evaluate whether you believe their claims are valid.
  8. Discuss Neil Postman’s theory about media ecology and explain how he believes we are the product of the dominant media of our time.
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