The First Spin Doctors: Propaganda and Public Opinion

Simpson Colloquium SC 101 – The First Spin Doctors: Propaganda and Public Opinion

What is propaganda? Honest persuasion or deceptive manipulation? In this class, we’ll look at the history of propaganda – from wars to women’s suffrage to marketing consumer products like soap and bacon – and the masters behind its origin. We will discuss benefits of the power to sway public opinion in a democratic society. We’ll find and analyze messages that change or crystallize public opinion, and look at connections between psychology and the art of persuasion. Lastly, we will see how strategies are changing to break through the advertising clutter in our ever-changing, multimedia environment.

Meet Your ProfessorJane-Murphy-296x167

Jane Murphy, M.A.

Assistant Professor of Communication Studies

Everyone has a story, but more importantly, everyone IS a story. My curiosity is usually connected to people, and finding out what makes them tick. I enjoy helping students develop their next chapters at Simpson College.

I am an assistant professor in the Communication & Media Studies Department. I teach the core courses for the public relations major, including the introductory course, writing, research and a PR campaigns class. I am passionate about the PR field and the opportunities that lie ahead for students. Public relations jobs are growing faster than most, and the variety of options makes it an attractive long-term career.

Before teaching, I worked in public relations for several nonprofit organizations, including a dance production, an arts festival and a chamber of commerce. I earned my master’s degree in journalism with a PR/marketing emphasis from the University of Iowa, where I became a loyal Hawkeye fan despite my Illinois roots.

I enjoy being active, skiing, boating, running outside and spending time with my husband and three children. A good day starts with a cup of coffee and ends with a glass of wine. I couldn’t imagine drinking either one 15 years ago, but I’m a life-long learner, so I look forward to what else I’ll discover in the next 15 years – as my story unfolds. In public relations, things are always changing – unexpected issues arise – and adaptability is key.

Meet Your SC LeaderScreen Shot 2014-03-05 at 9.25.50 AM

Kristin Richert

Hey everyone!

My name is Kristin Richert. I am originally from Texas, I went to high school here in Indianola, and now I live in St. Augustine Florida. If you are curious, yes, I live only five minutes from the beach! During high school I was always busy. The different organizations I was involved in include, cheerleading, show choir, choir, debate, spirit club, National Honor Society and volunteering for different political organizations within the surrounding community.

This fall I will officially be a senior (scary I know), but it has truly been the best time of my life. I love it here! I am a double major in Integrated Marketing Communications with a management focus and Political Science. Here at Simpson I am also very involved. I’m an Ambassador for admissions, a cheerleader, a Wesley Service Scholar, I’m in Pi Beta Phi, and those are just a few.

I would also like to mention that I am writing this biography all the way from Poland! I was given the great opportunity to study abroad this semester and I must say I am loving every minute of it! I would love to share my adventure with each of you and answer any questions you may have about your upcoming college experience. I am available on Facebook, Twitter and email. Please do not hesitate to contact me, both students and parents! I look forward to meeting you!

Meet Your Writing Fellowandy mayes

Andy Mayes

My name is Andy Mayes. I will be a junior for the 2014-2015 school year and I will be your Writing Fellow for the class “The First Spin Doctors: Propaganda and Public Policy,” taught by Professor Murphy. I am from Gilbert, Iowa, a small town north of Ames where Iowa State University is located. I am a History Major with a minor in Secondary Education and endorsements in American History, World History, and American Government. I would like to be a Middle or High school history teacher and I plan to teach after Simpson.

At Simpson, I participate in many different activities on campus. I am member of the cross-country and track teams. I also participate in the symphonic and pep bands in the low brass section. I am the president of the Education Club, a councilman of the Environmental Awareness Club, and a member of the Simpson College Democrats. I also work as an intern at the State Historical Building in Des Moines. If you have any questions about time management, getting involved, or the mythical concept of free time, please do not hesitate to ask.

I am an outgoing and friendly person who cannot wait to get started this fall. I hope that you all have one great last hurrah your senior year. Treasure these last moments of high school; they pass quickly. If you have any questions about class, Simpson College, or student life, do not hesitate to email or look me up on Facebook. I am excited to get to know everyone and assist you in the transition from high school to college. Have a great summer! I will see you in the fall.


Click below to continue viewing another option for Simpson Colloquium:

Previous Course                                              Next Course