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'Trumpaganda' class at University of Illinois to examine President Trump's 'war on facts'

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 10/11/2018 Erin Kelly
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WASHINGTON – The University of Illinois is offering a new class on "Trumpaganda" that examines President Donald Trump's “war on facts, press and democracy."

The eight-week course, scheduled for the second half of the fall 2018 semester, will be taught by media professor Mira Sotirovic for both journalism and non-journalism students at the university's Urbana-Champaign campus.

The professor did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday, but she told the student newspaper, The Daily Illini, that the class will help students recognize the difference between Trump's propaganda and facts.

"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," she told the newspaper.

Trump is famous for blasting news stories he doesn't like as "fake news" and for condemning the press as the "enemy of the people." The White House during his presidency has engaged in what Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway has called "alternative facts."

Sotirovic, who has a doctoral degree in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is an expert in propaganda. She contributed a chapter to the 2018 book "Communication in the Age of Trump" by Arthur Hayes.

Trump, who uses Twitter as his primary form of communication with the public, complained on the social media platform Wednesday that most stories about him are "FAKE NEWS!"


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