What is propaganda?

What is “propaganda”? Is it bad, good, or neutral? Who does it? Is it what “the other guy” does but you don’t?
Is something “propaganda” because of its content, delivery, audience, intent, effect, all the above or none of the above?

I’m interested in your thoughts. Next week I’ll post one – possibly two – proposed revisions to the definition of propaganda to continue this discussion.


Defining Public Diplomacy

Previously, I offered a high level definition of public diplomacy. Below is a slightly modified:

Public diplomacy is the direct or indirect engagement of foreign publics in support of national security, political, cultural, and economic objectives.

Ok, so what about the following, more specific definition:

Public diplomacy involves understanding, influencing, developing relationships with and providing information to the general public and civic society abroad, in order to create a favorable environment for achieving national security, political, cultural and economic objectives

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Defining Public Diplomacy: Preparing for a new Administration

What is public diplomacy? It can’t be everything otherwise it is nothing. Is it a dialogue or a monologue? It is based on the speaker, the means of engagement, or the targeted audience? Is “convening” discourse between, within or between foreign audiences public diplomacy? What about the content or force of the message? Is public diplomacy passive hoping to “win hearts” or can it be actively engaged in a psychological struggle to change minds and encourage the will to act in an audience? Does it have to be focused on physical security or can it apply to all elements of national security from economics to global health?

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