Trumpaganda: U of I course on Trump's use of twitter, attacks on - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Trumpaganda: U of I course on Trump's use of twitter, attacks on 'fake news'

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URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, Ill -- Students at the University of Illinois are going to get a chance to study how President Trump uses the media for propaganda purposes.

Trumpaganda: The War on Facts, Press and Democracy is an advanced eight-week Journalism 460 course launching October 22 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

According to the course description, the weekly class "examines the Trump administration's disinformation campaign, its 'running war' with the mainstream news media, and their implications for American democracy and a free press."

"Previous American administrations have had a contentious relationship with the news media," the course allows, "but the Trump administration's conflict with the press is different in strategies and tactics, challenging Americans' tendency to think of propaganda as something that doesn't happen in democratic societies."

"Propaganda is effective only if it is concealed and camouflaged as something else, such as news, advertisements or PR releases," Associate Professor Mira Sotirovic told the Daily Illini, "and it is critical to learn how to detect propaganda and recognize propagandistic features of any communication, including presidential."

Sotirovic joined Northwestern University colleague Christopher Benson in writing a chapter titled "Donald Trump 'Tells You What He Thinks'" for the recent collection "Communication in the Age of Trump."

Returning to the 2016 election, they found, "Trump's populist campaign message expressed in tough talk was among many reasons for his electoral victory, creating an impression that Trump 'tells you what he thinks,' even when those messages had racist and sexist overtones."

The course expands on that line of thinking and carries it into the present day. It also figures to concentrate on Trump's unconventional use of social media like Twitter.

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