White propaganda is propaganda which truthfully states its origin. It is the most common type of propaganda. It generally comes from an openly identified source, and is characterized by gentler methods of persuasion than black propaganda (which purports to come from the opposite side to that which actually produced it) and grey propaganda (which has no identifiable source or author). It typically uses standard public relations techniques and one-sided presentation of an argument, but in some languages the word "propaganda" does not have a negative connotation. A more accurate translation of the word "propaganda" from Russian, for example, would be "promotion" of an opinion or argument. Jacques Ellul, in one of the major books on the subject of propaganda, Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes, mentions white propaganda as an acknowledgment of the awareness of the public of attempts being made to influence it. In some states there is a Ministry of Propaganda, for instance; in such a case, one admits that propaganda is being made, its source is known, and its aims and intentions are identified. Throughout the course of a propaganda campaign, however, white propaganda may serve as a cover for black propaganda when the propagandist seeks to mask the latter.
- Ellul, Jacques (1965). Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, p. 16.Trans. Konrad Kellen & Jean Lerner. Vintage Books, New York. ISBN 978-0-394-71874-3.
- On The Craft of Intelligence, Frank G. Wisner, CIA, 22 SEPT 93
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