Episode 7: Propaganda with Renee Hobbs

In episode 7, Dan and Michael interview Renee Hobbs about teaching propaganda in addition to some discussion of media literacy education.

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Books, articles, lessons, and other amazing resources

1. The National Association for Media Literacy Education website (namle.net) is the national membership organization for this transdisciplinary field.

2. The Journal of Media Literacy Education is the open-access, peer-reviewed journal sponsored by NAMLE and co-edited by Renee Hobbs and Paul Mihailidis.

3. Gardner, H. (2011). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic books.

4. Rheingold, H. (2010). Attention, and Other 21st-Century Social Media LiteraciesEducause Review45(5), 14-24.

5. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum developed State of Deception, an exhibit about the history of Nazi propaganda.

6. MindOverMedia: Analyzing Contemporary Propaganda (www.mindovermedia.tv) is a crowdsourced educational website that helps learners explore many forms of contemporary propaganda. At the website, you can discuss definitions of propaganda and learn to recognize propaganda in journalism, advertising, government, education, entertainment and advocacy. Rate examples as beneficial or harmful, share opinions, and learn about new forms of propaganda including viral media and content marketing. Teachers can create custom galleries using the hundreds of global examples on topics including the environment, social and political rights, nutrition and health, immigration, terrorism and much more.

7. For more on Clyde Miller see: Hobbs, R., & McGee, S. (2014). Teaching about Propaganda: An Examination of the Historical Roots of Media LiteracyJournal of Media Literacy Education6(2), 56-67. For more on the relationship between propaganda and media literacy, also see Hobbs, R (2013) The Blurring of Art, Journalism and Advocacy: Confronting 21st Century Propaganda in a World of Online Journalism. I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society 8, 625 – 637.

8. Is it propaganda? Look for these four techniques: 1. Activates strong emotions; 2. Simplifies information and ideas; 3. Responds to real human needs; 4. Attacks opponents. But even more important than spotting techniques is a careful examination of context.

9. Housed at the University of Rhode Island, the Media Education Lab (mediaeducationlab.com) advances the practice of media literacy education through scholarship and community services. At the website, you can find multimedia curriculum resources, F2F and fully online professional development, and published research that examines the impact of digital and media literacy education.

10. The University of Rhode Island’s Summer Institute in Digital Literacy is held July 24 – 29, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island. Co-directed by Julie Coiro and Renee Hobbs, it brings together K-12 and college faculty, school and public librarians, and media professionals for a hands-on, minds-on learning experience like no other. Keynote speaker: Chris Lehmann, Science Leadership Academy. It is part of the Graduate Certificate in Digital Literacy.

11. Hobbs, R. (2006). Non‐optimal Uses of Video in the ClassroomLearning, Media and Technology31(1), 35-50.


Renee Hobbs is Professor of Communication Studies and Director of the Media Education Lab at the University of Rhode Island.  You can contact her on Twitter @reneehobbs or check out her website… you’ll become more media literate just from visiting it.

3 thoughts on “Episode 7: Propaganda with Renee Hobbs

  1. Michael K. Milton says:

    I am thinking of having students create propaganda during my American Revolution unit to start the conversation early next year. Note 8 above is great – as is her discussion of positive and negative propaganda from the podcast. With the election coming up, I think it will provide an intriguing lens to that discussion as well.


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