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Chapter 8. Evaluate the Message > Three Keys to Evaluating the Message

Three Keys to Evaluating the Message

Ask questions.

Analyze the evidence.

Don’t jump to conclusions.

Listening Lab: Evaluating the Message

You listen constantly to advertising on radio and television, and the Internet provides a barrage of information, some of it reliable, some questionable. How often do you stop to evaluate the slant or bias of advertisers who want you to buy their services or try their products? How often do you ask if the information is reasonable and logical? Do you ask yourself what they are not telling you? Following is a description of Adolph Hitler, as it may have been written by his press agent. Read the description as if you were listening to it, taking note of the press agent’s built-in bias. Then answer the questions that follow.

“Our leader had an unhappy childhood and little formal education. His father bitterly opposed his ambition to become an artist. Through self-education, he became the author of a book that became a national bestseller. Obstacles do not discourage him. When others say, ‘It’s impossible,’ he hurdles each barrier as it comes. He has built an active youth movement of selected young people. He is known throughout the world for his dynamic speeches. His closest associates say of him, ‘He accomplishes incredible deeds out of the passion of his will in order to create the kind of government he believes in.’”

  1. How would you evaluate Hitler if you had not heard of him before you read this description? ______________________________


  2. Are any character flaws suggested in the description? __________________________________________________

  3. What methods does the press agent use to create a positive impression of Hitler? _________________________


  4. How can this exercise help you evaluate information more carefully?




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