This is the Programming section of
The Broadcast Archive
Barry Mishkind - The Eclectic Engineer
It would be a kindness if you'd just send a
short note to let me know who you are, and what your interests
Radio and the Cold War.
When the Second World War ended, the US and Russia - former
allies in the war to destroy Hitler and Nazism - were now adversaries. It became
of paramount interest to "advertise" their respective governmental
systems and to discredit the other. Radio was a natural medium, for it could
quickly and cheaply find its way into virtually any corner of the world.
In The History of International Broadcasting by James Wood, (published
in England, 1992), we find (on 105 and 106), "In the cold war... the
powerful radio transmitter became the major weapon of war and the real weapons
of war were kept on a leash. Thus, from 1946, the art of propaganda broadcasting
began to acquire a more overt status... [Although massive war debts had brought
it] to the point of bankruptcy, Great Britain was still broadcasting 850 hours
of propaganda per week in 45 different languages."
The author notes how during the Cold War, Russia would frequently jam the BBC
broadcasts so as to prevent them from reaching the Soviet-bloc countries of
eastern Europe. Also, by the late 1950s, there were 31 countries involved with
international broadcasting, many of which were sending a variety of programming
that might be construed as propaganda. In 1953, the USIA was formed and it took
over the running of the Voice of America service. VOA began putting up
transmitters at a number of foreign sites (in Okinawa, the Philippines, Greece,
Liberia, etc) to expand their power and make jamming the signal more difficult.
Thanks to Donna Halper for this citation.