Sunday, November 15, 2009

Propaganda.... works.


I always thought that a bit of cynicism was good protection from propaganda and manipulation, but I may have been wrong.
That's at least what seems to indicate a new British study:
Michael Bruter, a senior lecturer in European politics at the school, fed a steady diet of slanted newsletters about Europe and the European Union — either all good news or all bad — to 1,200 citizens of six countries over two years.

Over time, Bruter found, and without exception, the readers subconsciously adopted the bias to varying degrees and changed their view of the EU and of themselves as Europeans, a few of them in the extreme. Surprisingly, they didn't register any change right after the newsletters stopped — not until full six months later, when they had obviously let down their guard.

Bruter calls this the "time bomb" effect of one-sided news. His study paints a blunt picture of how cynicism, far from inoculating citizens to resist political persuasion, merely delays the impact. (Source)

Mmmm... I wonder if fair and balance news could somehow make people "fair and balance" over time.....

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