White Propaganda is a type of Propaganda where the correct author of the information is clear and the purpose of the information is transparent. Because of the public accountability of the author, it is suggested that White Propaganda is often mainly based on the fact, and although the whole truth is often not told, it is not intentionally deceptive. White Propaganda differs from Black Propaganda, where the true source is falsely attributed for deceptive measures, and Grey Propaganda, where the correct author of the source is unknown.
White Propaganda in wartime situations is often associated with overt Psychological Warfare and Psychological Operations . During the Second World War, White Propaganda was heavily utilised by both the Allied and the Axis forces, often used to bolster the morale of citizens on the home front and guiding them as to how they could better contribute to the war effort. Both Axis and Allied sides utilised White Propaganda radio broadcasts and leaflet airdrops on the home front and over enemy territory.
Reported Examples of White Propaganda
Second World War
As part of the Allied campaign of Psychological Warfare targeted at the ordinary Axis soldier during the Second World War, German-language newspapers would be air-dropped to German soldiers fighting on both the Eastern and the Western fronts. One of these White Propaganda newspapers, Frontpost, stated clearly in German that it was “Published by American troops in Western Europe”.
Persian Gulf War
During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the United States Government commissioned the use of White Propaganda radio broadcasts which presented the United States in a positive light and reduced the enemy’s will to resist. White Propaganda radio stations, like the Voice of America, featured programs which gave testimonies from happy Iraqi prisoners of war, selected readings and prayers from the Qur’an, as well as the locations of United States bombing targets for the following day. Stations like the Voice of America attempted to build the credibility of the United States among Iraqi civilians and militants by trying to convince them of the good intentions of the broadcasters .
- National Library of Scotland, White Propaganda: Second World War White Propaganda resources
- William Levinson (1999), An Introduction to Propaganda: Definition and uses of White Propaganda
- Debra Kelly (2014), The Difference Between Gray, White And Black Propaganda: Comparative definition of White Propaganda
- Wikipedia, White PropagandA: Brief overview and definition of White Propaganda
- Caryn Neumann, Propaganda, Uses and Psychology: Outline of different propaganda types
- SourceWatch, Propaganda: Overview of Propaganda types
- Kenneth Osgood (2002), Propaganda: Good overview of different propaganda types
- Debra Kelly, The Difference Between Gray, White And Black Propaganda, KnowledgeNuts website, 12 February 2014, accessed 12 March 2015
- William Levinson (1999), An Introduction to Propaganda, The Stentorian website, accessed 12 March 2015
- War Witness, Propaganda and False Witness, War Witness website, accessed 12 March 2015
- Caryn Neumann , Propaganda, Uses and Psychology, FAQS website, accessed 12 March 2015