Friday, October 06, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | Afghanistan | U.S. "Psych-ops Radio" Woos Taliban

It's not exactly a community radio station, but...

In this case radio broadcasting to the combattants on the other side.

It is called "Psych-ops" - psychological operations.

Thanks to friends at Cr-afghan@comunica.org, they forwarded Digital Broadcasters Vendor News a news story from the Christian Science Monitor how a US-sponsored radio station endears itself to Afghans by broadcasting the "truth" – along with a few good musical hits.

The aim of the Pashto language radio station is to help win support by publicizing the United States Army's local development projects. The programming is diverse: Daily progress reports on US-funded projects; the death tolls of insurgents and US soldiers alike; and a mix of popular music that brings in 40 tune request letters a day from local villages.

But the need for credibility with the radio audience has led to an unlikely departure for the military.

"I want the car bomb effect," says Lt. Col. Michael Howard, commander of the 3-71 Cavalry, describing his first rule for the radio. "As when a car bomb goes off in Iraq, and everyone knows about it, I want everyone in Nuristan to know that we really are building a road, a water pipeline."

Original story is at: http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1004/p06s02-wosc.html?s=hns

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