Date of this Version
In Media and Sovereignty, I described a variety of elements that, together, compose a foreign policy of media space. In this article, I focus on one of the instruments of such a policy, namely international broadcasting. Until the events of September 11, 2001 and the war in Afghanistan, there was precious little public attention to the place of international broadcasting in the armament of external influence. Scholarly treatment of international broadcasting has recently lagged. But international broadcasting encapsulates many of the conflicts and difficulties that are central to understanding the need that one society may feel to shape the information space of another. We shall see the struggle to harmonize goals of "objectivity" with the need to act as an effective instrument of propaganda, the potential split between advancing national policy and acting as a credible journalistic enterprise and the tension between promotion of favorable regimes and the nourishment of dissent. International broadcasters have a range of styles, and additional styles are now emerging. Among these are the power purposefully to alter the mix of voices in target societies, to affect the composition of their markets for loyalties, to destabilize, to help mold opinions among their public and otherwise to assert "soft power" for the purposes of achieving the national ends of the transmitting state.
Date Posted: 28 April 2008