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Tuesday, May 05, 2015

National Education lesson: Censorship

Another Social Studies lesson that Singapore can learn from other countries:

"That Mussolini considered the control of the press to be a major priority was hardly surprising, in view of his own experience as a newspaper editor. Early measures included the suppression of many papers by the exceptional decrees of 1926 and, in 1928, the compulsory registration of all journalists with the Fascist Journalist Association. The press office under Rossi controlled news and censorship. The process was extended in the early 1930s when the press office came under the control of Polverelli. He increased the control over individual journalists and was responsible for the development of the cult of the Duce in the press. He managed to exert effective control over what was published; in difficult cases the government called upon the local prefects to enforce its decisions. Further changes were made when Ciano established the Ministry for Press and Propaganda - another example of radicalization for the purpose of presenting the Ethiopian campaign in the most positive way. By and large, Mussolini's regime of journalism was more successful than most other elements of the totalitarian state. There was, however, a price: constant distortion of the facts about Italy's record in her three wars led eventually to the entire government being misinformed. Mussolini, in particular, lost all contact with reality, even though - or because - he spent several hours each day reading the newspapers."

--- European Dictatorships 1918–1945 / Stephen J. Lee

Regulation of the press (and state writing of history) leads to the government losing touch with reality and being misinformed.


National Education lesson: Fifth Columns
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