It is our responsibility to break the cycle of hatred, said Stephen Smith, executive director of the USC Shoah Foundation as he welcomed spectators to “Mind Over Media: Politics, Propaganda, and the Digital Age,” a panel discussion in Doheny Library on Thursday night.
Panelists discussed the role of propaganda in American politics and also how propaganda was used by the Nazi Party. The experts then explored ways in which new technologies, such as social media, affect political messaging.
The panel featured Steven Luckert, curator of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Permanent Exhibition, Eli Attie, a screenwriter for shows, including The West Wing, Tom Waldman, director of communications and media relations at Los Angeles Unified School District, and Nancy Snow, an adjunct professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
The panel was co-moderated by Dan Schnur, director of the USC Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, and Daniel Rothberg, news editor of the Daily Trojan.
The panel began by addressing how the Nazi party used political propaganda in Germany, analyzing several images, including a presidential campaign poster for Adolf Hitler.
After talking about Nazi propaganda, the discussion shifted to a consideration of how information is presented and disseminated in American politics. The panel also addressed how the media can change a voter’s perception of a particular fact.
After the event, some students said the panel encouraged them to consider information from different perspectives.
“I want to be more informed about [the upcoming election] and make sure I look at everything from all different angles,” said Sarah Frendewey, a junior majoring in vocal performance.