The University of Illinois has launched a course focusing on what it calls “Trumpaganda” to examine US President Donald Trump’s impact on democracy and the free press.
The state’s flagship university at Urbana in Champaign County said on Tuesday that it will offer “Trumpaganda: The War on Facts, Press and Democracy” as an eight-week course as of October 22.
The weekly class “examines the Trump administration’s disinformation campaign, its running war with the mainstream news media, and their implications for American democracy and a free press,” the course description read.
“As a candidate, Trump employed the most common propaganda device, name-calling, to define, degrade, discredit and destroy his primary opponents as well as the “fake” news media,” the description noted.
Mira Sotirovic, associate professor in media, who is teaching the class, told the Daily Illini that students would focus on Trump’s strategies for dealing with the press to figure out how propaganda can exist in a democracy.
“Propaganda is effective only if it is concealed and camouflaged as something else, such as news, advertisements or PR releases, and it is critical to learn how to detect propaganda and recognize propagandistic features of any communication, including presidential,” Sotirovic told the paper.
The professor also said the course would concentrate on Trump’s unconventional use of social media like Twitter.
Trump frequently brands news articles and media outlets he dislikes as “fake news”. Since his election, he has repeatedly criticized and rejected critical media reports about his administration, often without providing any evidence to support his case.