Communication using persuasion, propaganda and argumentation are three of the ways people try and convince people that their opinions are accurate, factual and can shape a person perspective on an issue. If used effectively the three methods can be used to shape public opinion, change perceptions of individuals outside of a person’s worldview and can spark people to action if a cause does not meet a persons ethical or moral compass of what is considered acceptable. (Jernigan, 2013.)
When the writer looks for an example of propaganda as a communication method, the best example is social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The guardian website talks about how social media is affecting public opinion throughout the world. Specifically in the US there can be an illusion put out by manipulation of the algorithms that are used to send relevant content to users that there is online support for a candidate or a cause which can a real world effect. The current president used Twitter for his campaign and currently and it has an effect on peoples thoughts about issues and makes people take notice based on all the soundbites that appear on the nightly news. The same article also discusses how Russian propaganda can influence people and to filter out dissent with the current leadership in Russia and attempts to stop the reach outside Russia have been taken in the Ukraine specifically to slow down the misinformation that is being sent out by the media. (Hern, 2017)
A communication example that can be used to describe persuasion is any candidate that appears at an event running for an office. The writer was attending a public event and there was a candidate that was running for governor. The candidate made it known that he was the only candidate for the office that was at this event and that he would be traveling around the state as part of his attempt to take his message to those that would be affected the most by his election as governor which was something that his opponents were not attempting to do. The candidate exhibited a trait where he relied on empathy from people he speaks with to side with the issues that he is running his campaign for. He also did mention his opponent’s positions and explained why proposed changes were the best in his evaluation. The candidate was well informed on issues that could be asked about and with fact-based answers, he could persuade someone to vote for him. Also, the candidates used his personal experiences to indicate why the issues that were important for the platform had a real emotional, moral or personal perspective to them which was used as a means persuasion to adopt their point of view. As a final thought on persuasion, the candidate has evaluated what issues are important his constituents and has come up with a position on the issue that has been stated in a format such as a website or literature that is passed out that discusses what is important to the candidate. By focusing on what is the perceived hot topic of a group a candidate can tailor the platform to hopefully convince them that they will the optimal choice or at least consider what they have to say in their evaluation of the choices for an office or position (Jernigan, 2013.)
Next an example of argumentation on a topic is a show that based on a news channel. Jernigan describes argumentation as having a goal of obtaining the truth. The writer feels that this is not the best example because the truth is contingent on what the host perceives as being truthful. The truth is based on research in any case however it can perceived differently dependent on the scholastic nature of the research that was used in the preparation of the argument. Jernigan discusses that there are 4 parts to an argument: claim, evidence, reasoning and counter claims. First, the host will present a claim or a central topic of debate that is based on fact finding. Next, they will then present the evidence to support their claim in the form of statistics, anecdotes or analogically. Traditionally, an expert is used also as a means of supporting the person claim as a means of justification of the evidence. Third, they will explain how the evidence correlates to the claim and how the fact finding supports the claim. Again, this is based on factual information or based on information that is reliable. There have been cases where factual information was not used correctly and the creditability of the story and the person were called into question which had an adverse effect on them. As with any argument there is another side to a story or a different perspective that needs to presented to make it a valid argument. A news show usually has a guest or two that have a different opinion on the topic that the host does to give a perception that they are considering another perspective on the issue. (Jernigan, 2013.) When the conversation remains calm then both sides can state their position in a rational manner while acknowledging that differing opinions exist. At this time counterclaims to the initial claim can be presented. As with the initial claim, the counterclaim must be presented with evidence to support it. Also, the counter claim has an aim to refute the initial claim by presenting why the counterclaim is the correct side of the argument. At this time, the claimant and counterclaimant complete their arguments and leave the information for the audience to process and determine if the argument was effective in presenting both sides of the issue and as a result a person’s thoughts on the issue may have changed to more reflect the claimant or counterclaimants thoughts on the topic discussed.
Communication using persuasion, propaganda and argumentation are three of the ways people try and convince people that their opinions are accurate, factual and can shape a person perspective on an issue. If used effectively the three methods can be used to shape public opinion, change perceptions of individuals outside of a person’s worldview and can spark people to action if a cause does not meet a person’s ethical or moral compass of what is considered acceptable. (Jernigan, 2013.)
Propaganda, persuasion and argumentation have their respective places in Communication. The knowledge of knowing what form to use for a specific situation can allow a person to get their point out there and in done correctly can change people to believe what truth they are trying to give and with the correct conversation progress can be made to correct issues or at least make those known so that an agreement to disagree can be reached.