ERIC Number: ED219807
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Propagandizing in the Interest of War: A Rhetorical Study of the Committee on Public Information.
Hollihan, Thomas A.
The Committee on Public Information was created by President Woodrow Wilson in 1917 and charged with informing the public about the war in Europe. Under the leadership of newspaper publisher George Creel, the Committee undertook a vigorous campaign that included censorship of government press releases; the production of posters, films, and patriotic advertising; the release of pamphlets and newspapers; and the introduction of a national speaking program. Speech teachers played an active role in this latter program. Through an organization called the "Four-Minute Men," they volunteered their expertise and delivered speeches across the nation explaining the draft, urging the purchase of bonds, stressing the necessity of supporting the Red Cross, and explaining why the country was at war. In addition, these teachers helped to train other speakers for the program. The Four-Minute Men used emotive rather than factual appeals, and usually relied on a personal approach to establish rapport with their audiences. The work of the Committee helped to undermine freedom of the press and intellectual freedom, and it is disappointing that the speech discipline has paid so little attention to its role in this endeavor. (FL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Committee on Public Information; World War I
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Milwaukee, WI, April 15-17, 1982).