Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, August 03, 2021

One of my earliest explicit exposures to the concept of propaganda came from a grade-school teacher, who related this prime (probably apocryphal) example from out of the then-current Cold War:

It was about two headlines — one in an American newspaper and the other in a Soviet newspaper — reporting on the same event, a relay race in which, as it turned out, the only competitors were the American and Soviet teams. The American team won.

The American headline was:

AMERICANS BEAT SOVIETS IN RELAY RACE

The Soviet headline was:

SOVIETS SECOND IN RELAY RACE
AMERICANS NEXT TO LAST

To me, this still holds up as a concise example of the intricacies of spin. Note how neither side is lying about the race results — but the perceptions are completely altered. It really highlights the artistry that goes into communications processing.

Being that I now spend most of my days crafting marketing messages, I’ll defer on assessing how much the above story influenced my future worldview.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/03/2021 03:55 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Political, Wordsmithing
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