Archival Analysis of The Committee on Public Information: The Relationship between Propaganda, Journalism and Popular Culture

By Krystina Benson.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In 1916 American President Woodrow Wilson was re-elected on the slogan “He kept us out of war”. On April 6th, 1917, America joined the Great War. The Wilson administration recognised the support of the nation was required for the war effort. To mobilize the fractioned population, The Committee on Public Information (CPI) was created. Their campaign was the first of its kind. It propagated through a multi-media platform incorporating text, image, moving pictures, speech, and live events. The success of the campaign was noted both domestically and abroad. This paper details archival research findings on three divisions of the Committee on Public Information (CPI): The Division of News, The Four Minute Men, and The Division of Pictorial Publicity. This study differs from previous studies about the CPI (cf. Mock and Larson, 1939; Blakey, 1970, Vaughn, 1980; Cornebise, 1984) because it situates the CPI as a historical case study to inform a diachronic analysis of the relationship between Propaganda, Journalism, and Popular Culture.

Keywords: Propaganda, Journalism, Popular Culture, Committee on Public Information, World War I, Notion of Objectivity, Creel Committee

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp.151-164. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.147MB).

Krystina Benson

Phd Student and Sessional Academic, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

PhD Student, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Krystina is in the third and final year of her PhD. She teaches in the areas of media and communication, project management, and semiotics. Her research interests include new media workflow, production, and consumption, online activism, and political communication.

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