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AN HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF POLITICAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES SUCH AS PROPAGANDA, AND ITS INFLUENCE ON PUBLIC OPINION

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AN HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF POLITICAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES SUCH AS PROPAGANDA, AND ITS INFLUENCE ON PUBLIC OPINION

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

The advancement of information and communication technology (ICT) has prompted political parties to use this new technology for political communication, including interactions among political parties, government institutions, and their constituents (Castillo, 2018). The internet, namely websites, has emerged as a new medium for political parties to communicate their messages. As an opposition party, it is crucial for the PDI-P to articulate the party's stance on many issues pertaining to the nation's challenges. A website is a cost-effective and efficient method for conducting political communication initiatives aimed at the general public. The system is available 24/7, interactive, and readily controllable.

Political communication employs a blend of oratory, deliberations, and interrogations to disseminate information on policies and the activities of the government. Political communication refers to the exchange of information and ideas (Collins, 2017). Political Communication examines the manner in which political campaigns and policies are conveyed to the general public. The study examines how politicians, supporters, and other stakeholders use communication strategies to influence people with their perspectives.  Political communication is a kind of communication used to sway public sentiment. This may be accomplished by governmental entities, politicians, political factions, or interest organisations with the aim of reaching broader demographics and influencing people to do certain activities (Lock & Ludolph, 2020).

Propaganda has been pervasive throughout the globe for an extensive duration. A cursory examination of history shows many instances of propaganda being used. Demosthenes' lectures against the Macedonians were replete with propagandistic methods. Early Christian missionaries, along with practitioners of several other religions, extensively used propaganda tactics to disseminate the teachings of their respective faiths. In 1633, Pope Gregory XV founded the Catholic Propaganda institution with the aim of advancing the objectives of the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, the extensive use of these methods, particularly with catastrophic consequences, occurred during the World Wars, when the "paper bullets" were considered to be as destructive as traditional lead bullets. Propaganda may be defined as a kind of communication that serves the only objective of satisfying the propagandist's desires. It aims to elicit a certain reaction from the audience that aligns with the propagandist's purpose. Propaganda is a potent instrument capable of shaping public opinion and influencing changes in conduct (Lock, Seele & Heath, 2016). Propaganda is considered by several historians to be an inherent aspect of social culture, including both thinking and activity. Several recent studies have examined the function of propaganda in disseminating ideology and its influence on the prevailing ideological interpretations in mass media (Mehta, 2019). Hence, it is crucial to acknowledge that Propaganda encompasses more than only disseminating ideas and views to the people in order to influence their perspectives and behaviours. Propaganda distinguishes itself from other types of communication by its use of loaded communication style, using powerful symbols and charged phrases to evoke emotional responses in the general public. Individuals often rely on cognitive shortcuts rather than using a more logical approach when making decisions or taking action. Consequently, they become vulnerable to influence by propagandists. Contemporary mass communication, used by both political parties and corporations, mainly depends on these strategies. Therefore, the researcher sought to look into an historical analysis of political communication strategies such as propaganda, and its influence on public opinion.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Political communication tactics, such as the use of propaganda, may have both advantageous and detrimental influences on public sentiment. Although these tactics are often used to influence public opinions and garner support for certain ideologies or policies, they may also lead to various issues (Milan, 2015). One of the problems related to political communication tactics, particularly those including propaganda, is that propaganda often involves the deliberate presentation or modification of facts to construct a desired narrative, resulting in a skewed perception of reality. Propaganda utilises deceptive information or partial truths to manipulate public sentiment, possibly causing individuals to make judgements based on erroneous or insufficient data (Peterson-Salahuddin & Diakopoulos, 2020). Propaganda has the potential to erode confidence in political establishments, politicians, and the press. When individuals recognise that information is being manipulated, they may develop scepticism about all sources, which hinders the building of an educated and active citizenry. Moreover, the use of propaganda has the potential to erode democratic values such as openness, responsibility, and unrestricted dissemination of knowledge. Salter (2018) argues that this has the potential to undermine the fundamental principles of a democratic society. Solving these issues requires a dedication to openness, constructive discussion, the ability to evaluate media, and the development of an educated and analytically-minded population..  Hence, the need to look into an historical analysis of political communication strategies such as propaganda, and its influence on public opinion.

1.3       Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to look into an historical analysis of political communication strategies such as propaganda, and its influence on public opinion. The specific objectives is as follows

i.          Assess the forms of political communication strategies used in influencing public opinion.

ii.        Examine the historical use of propaganda in influencing public opinion.

iii.      Investigate the challenges in political communication strategies such as propaganda in influencing  public opinion

1.4       Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study

i.          What are the forms of political communication strategies used in influencing public opinion?

ii.        What is the historical use of propaganda in influencing public opinion?

iii.      What are the challenges in political communication strategies such as propaganda in influencing  public opinion?

1.5       Significance of the study

The findings of the study will be significant to political parties as communication strategy is a crucial component of a political partys overall strategy, as it helps to effectively convey messages, build relationships, and achieve specific goals.

The findings of the study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.

1.6       Scope of the study

The study focuses on historical analysis of political communication strategies such as propaganda, and its influence on public opinion.  Hence, the study will assess the forms of political communication strategies used in influencing public opinion, examine the historical use of propaganda in influencing public opinion and investigate the challenges in political communication strategies such as propaganda in influencing  public opinion.

1.7       Research Methodology

Research methodology deals with the different ways or methods the researcher applied in order to carry out the research as well as the instrument used for gathering the data. There are several research methodologies appropriate for answering the research questions. The type of research methodology used in this research to gather data and relevant information is the historical research. This will involve the making of oral interviews and collections of materials from secondary sources, such as books, journal articles, magazines, internet sources, international and national conference proceedings, published and unpublished articles.

1.8       Definition of terms

Politics: the activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power.

Communication strategy: plans for communi- cating information related to a specific issue, event, situation, or audience

Public opinion: the collective opinion on a specific topic or voting intention relevant to society.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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