Black PR (Russian journalism)

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Thu Jun 28 01:26:53 UTC 2001

In a message dated 06/18/2001 9:39:10 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
Bapopik at AOL.COM writes:

> the "black PR" practice of placing paid articles in newspapers and
> known as _zakazukha_ in Russian, is a multimillion-dollar industry
> nearly every publication in the country.

(as best as I can figure out, _zakazukha_ is a noun-forming suffix _ukha_
added to _zakazat'_ meaning "to order"  as in "what have you ordered for
dessert?" or "to reserve" as in "call the railroad station and reserve a
ticket for me".)

the adjective "black" with the meaning of "deliberately hiding the source"
may date back to the World War II expression "black propaganda".  From the
OED2, "falsified or unacknowledgeable propaganda, esp. that disseminated
among the enemy, purporting to come from the enemy's own sources".  The OED2
gives the earliest citation as 1962 "The 'black' propaganda of 'Lord
Haw-Haw'" and a more cogent 1965 quote "Neither of these bodies had the job
doing 'black' or unacknwoledgeable propaganda in neutral countries or for
that matter anywhere else.".  I'd be willing to bet that a search of World
War II documents from the OSS, SOE, PWE, or OWI would turn up a pre-1945

      - Jim Landau

P.S. to Mark Mandel---according to one source (unfortunately no longer in my
library) the OSS's specialist in black propaganda was Professor Paul Myron
Anthony Linebarger, who ran the supposedly German radio station
"Soldatensender Calais" for the OSS.  However, another source says that
Linebarger was in China at the time.  You are probably familiar with
Linebarger, but under his pen-name.

Amazon dot com lists _Psycological Warfare_ by Linebarger: Hardcover (June
Ayer Co Pub; ISBN: 040504755X, price $27.95, not currently in stock.

P. P. S. Thomas Powers _The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the
CIA_ (New York: Pocket Books, 1979, ISBN 0-671-83654-4) page 100 says:

"the arts of propaganda...ranged, in the systems elaborated by a Johns
Hopkins University professor named Paul Linebarger, from white to black.
[footnote 3]  White propaganda is simply an open, candid charge against an
opponent.  Black propaganda conceals its origins"

Footnote 3 reads inter alia "There is a good description of Linebarger in
Joseph B. Smith, _Portrait of a Cold Warrior_ (1976). pp. 86-99 and _passim_"

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