PROPAGANDA MEDIA

"Propaganda Media" is based upon "Psychological Operations Field Manual No.33-1" published in August 1979 by Department of the Army Headquarters in Washington DC; and "Psychological Operations (PSYOP) Media Subcourse PO-0816" by The Army Institute for Professional Development, published in 1983

Propaganda Media are categorized by methods of dissemination:
Face-to-face (interpersonal) communication: is the most effective means of transmitting a persuasive message. It is employed in rallies, rumor campaigns, group discussions, lectures, show-and-tell demonstrations, social organizations, social activities, entertainment, and individual person-to-person contact, all providing a participating experience for the individual or group to recall later.

Audiovisual media: such as television, electronic tape recordings, and sound motion pictures are the second most effective means of communication available to the psychological operator. Effectiveness is based on seeing and hearing the persuasive message. These media are an excellent means of transmitting persuasive messages and eliciting a high degree of recall.

Audio media (loudspeakers and radio): lend themselves to the transmission of brief, simple messages and to personalization by use of the human voice. They require little or no effort by the audience, and generally, they have more appeal than visual media. Also, the barrier of illiteracy may be more easily overcome with audio media than with visual media (printed material).

Visual media: can transmit long, complex material. Animated or still cartoons may be used to convey themes to illiterate and preliterate target audiences. Visual media generally have the least amount of popular appeal.

Themes: are reinforced and the target audience given broad coverage by using several media to deliver the same basic message. For example, radio and television can augment leaflets; face-to-face communication can support newspaper circulation.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF MEDIA
Acceptability and credibility. A complete target analysis will indicate how acceptable and credible a particular medium is to the target audience.

Availability. The availability of media, the mechanical capability of message production, and the capability to deliver the message, as well as the ability of the audience to receive and understand it are important.

The media selected must be suitable for the target. • CATALOGING Propaganda units should prepare catalogs of media material which applies to recurring themes and general audiences. • More credible. Feedback is immediate. ADVANTAGES • • Relationship. and delivered in sufficient volume to insure that the entire target is exposed to the message. however. one medium reinforcing the other. Audience selection. • . and specialty items available for psychological operations. The audience can be deliberately selected and the appeal directed and tailored for it. A professional journal might be the most suitable means of reaching a professional audience. The language selected. Assessment of impact. This requires analysis of intensity and timing of propaganda dissemination. The media selected should be mixed. motion picture films. The credibility of the PSYOP messages delivered by faceto-face (interpersonal) communication is increased when the communicator is known and respected. • Themes. Limited technical and logistical support are required. For example. • Limited support required. a medium requiring a long production or dissemination time would not be suitable for a message exploiting a target of opportunity. These catalogs should include printed material. For example.Timeliness. It employs an interpersonal relationship. is required to prevent counterproductive over saturation of the target audience. Production and dissemination lag for each medium must be considered. FACE-TO-FACE COMMUNICATION Face-to-face communication ranges from two or more individuals in informal conversation to planned persuasion among groups. The communicator can immediately assess the impact of his message and adjust his approach to obtain the desired response. It can be more credible than other methods because the target audience can evaluate the source. • Quantity. The theme to be conveyed will have a bearing on the selection of the best media to transmit the message. and level are also important factors. vocabulary. it would not be appropriate to use newspapers or other printed text to deliver a message to an illiterate audience. Care. loudspeaker and videotapes. • Suitability.

• Expeditious. It must be controlled. • TELEVISION Television. particularly in primitive areas. A possible limitation in enemy countries. It offers many advantages for propaganda operations. As the security situation improves and more areas are secure. It is appropriate for use in limited. In some instances. • Requires able communicators. Reinforcement by other media is necessary to eliminate this problem. Security considerations limit the conduct of face-to-face communications.Presentation. • Normally require indigenous personnel. It requires knowledgeable. • Limited by insecure areas. In places where television is not a common communication medium. By the time the message reaches the end of the group. • Range of voice limited. one person at a time. The range of the human voice and the need for visual contact limit this method to relatively small audiences. It has limited use in tactical combat since the psychological operator has little face-to-face communication with opposing forces until they are captured or defect. Frequent repetition and slight variations can be readily used to influence the audience. indigenous personnel are normally required. including video tape recording (VTR). The control factor is best illustrated by trying to pass an oral message. Use is limited in general war due to the inaccessibility of the target individual or group. it does not resemble the original message. • Close control necessary. and cold war and is particularly effective in FID (Foreign Internal Defense) and consolidation operations. Complex material can be presented in detail. • DISADVANTAGES Limited use in tactical situations. especially at the lowest levels where each communicator has the responsibility to interpret policy and objectives. it may be the most expeditious method of disseminating propaganda. . is one of the most effective media for persuasion. and its wide application in other fields contributes to its acceptance and use. throughout a group. is that television receivers may be set to allow reception on only one or two channels under government control. orally persuasive individuals who can convince the target audience that the program and policies are irresistible and inevitable. receivers may be distributed to public facilities and selected individuals. area coverage can be extended. For effective communications. however. general.

Each • . Stations are easily identified and make excellent targets. This gives the viewer a sense of involvement. Most television receivers require an outside source of electric power. sound. airborne transmitters. • Aural-visual. group listening/viewing centers may be available. Television appeals to two senses. Television sets are unevenly distributed throughout the world. Geography and atmospheric conditions affect the strength and range of the signal. Receivers are difficult to hide. The signal may. an audience need not be able to read. • The fact that receivers in the target area may not be compatible with the transmission equipment is another disadvantage. negating the link between income and access to television. ADVANTAGES Speed. In some developing nations. • Power. And like the motion picture. particularly in developing nations. or satellite relay to increase the transmission range. Television brings people in widely separate locations closer together by exposing them visually to the same ideas and concepts. be boosted with relay stations. • Reception. Airborne antenna relay domes extend the range of a central transmitter but at great expense. it places the viewer in two locations simultaneously. • DISADVANTAGES Range. • Vulnerability. however. it makes use of the sense of hearing to convey an idea. creating the illusion of participating in a distant event. each reinforcing the other. Like radio. adding the element of motion. Illiteracy is not a barrier. Like printed material. and motion. • Program requirements. The transmission of events can be instantaneous. special generators and a fuel supply may be needed. Many areas of the world lack this power. A substantial production staff and supporting equipment are required to produce daily programs. The association should be carefully determined for each target country. it makes use of the sense of sight. in effect. Television programs can reach large segments of the target audience rapidly. • Overcomes illiteracy. it combines sight. however.Television is an all encompassing-mass communication medium. The introduction of self-contained power packs partially eliminates this problem. Television is immediate. If broadcasts are to be made from areas lacking power facilities. • Unifies. Equipment and parts are fragile and extremely vulnerable to damage. Messages disseminated by television will normally be received only by those within an above-average income range and economic class in many areas of the world.

the US Army primarily uses 1. and live programming to sustain a program schedule. it can be done electronically as the material is being produced. requiring trained and skilled technicians and engineers. extending them to rural areas as equipment and power become available. or vehicles equipped with power generators and TV sets may be moved into and out of areas as required. erasing itself as it is run through the recorder. extreme distortions caused by two transmitters on the same wavelength. If it is necessary to provide receivers. • The tape can be reused a number of times. Maintenance. There is no time lag as with film which requires chemical processing. demanding specialized personnel with a wide range of scarce skills. an offshoot of television. With special • . is an excellent means of recording and projecting messages. Incompatibility of receivers. • Personnel. • Community viewing provides an opportunity to present TV programs which help the people identify with the sponsor (generally the established regime). it will not reach audiences in hostile areas unless a means is found to enter sets in these areas. one technique is to place them initially in urban centers. and censorship limit the use of TV broadcasts to hostile areas. Although most commercial tape is 5 centimeters (2 inches) wide. Although TV is excellent in friendly or neutral areas. • Audience accessibility. Television is a complicated communication medium. It can replay a scene from the camera immediately after it is recorded. The scenes from each size tape can be readily dubbed on to the other. • Video tape is virtually indestructible and can be used in almost any environment in which humans live. or it can be quickly erased on equipment made for that purpose and then reused.875-centimeter (3/4-inch) cassette tape. being processed electronically as it moves through the video tape recorder. • The tape can be placed on readily available video cassette players which feed directly into commercial television receivers. such people are difficult to find. jamming. Maintenance is highly technical. video tape. ADVANTAGES The results of the "take" can be seen immediately. The tape can be used in either portable or studio recording systems. if editing is necessary prior to release to the audience. • VIDEO TAPE Video tape.day's operation requires a large amount of film.

They are on the scene and show exactly what is happening or. Video tape can instantaneously project scenes in black and white or color. This type of film-ostensibly an objective presentation of a scene. • With the use of video tape. • Documentary. be selected with care. These films can be very effective in gaining attention for other propaganda. scenes may be recorded for a permanent record or for future use. as special equipment is also required to project filmed scenes on television screens. The requirement for special projection equipment is not unique. Entertainment films developed specifically for propaganda purposes can be very effective as the themes may be woven into the plot of the movie. Four general types of motion pictures are adaptable for psychological operations: Entertainment. place. • DISADVANTAGES The disadvantages of video tape are those inherent in the television medium. By careful. appropriate films may be selected from available sources. newsreels are still a major attraction. news events can be used as propaganda. video-taped scenes can be projected onto large motion picture viewing screens. • Training films. A number of US Government-produced films are available for use by the military psychological operator. These are standard commercial productions. with good editing. or a social or political problem-is a prime means of propagandizing a target audience. including animated cartoons. on open (public) or closed (limited audience) circuits. This is done by careful selection and sequencing of scenes and events. with natural or dubbed sound. • Newsreels. In the developing nations. They must.equipment. as many exploit particular situations and viewpoints in a biased manner. • ADVANTAGES . effects on the target audience must be carefully considered. condition of life. Since US Army PSYOP units are not able to produce motion pictures. Themes can be hidden in the presentation. however. • MOTION PICTURES Motion pictures combine many aspects of face-to-face communication and television by creating a visual and aural impact on the target audience. give that impression. skilled editing and arrangement of sequence.

and ease of presentation. • Relatively lengthy motion picture production time makes it difficult to capitalize on targets of opportunity. location.Themes and objectives may be dramatized to create realism. these can. especially among illiterate groups. • Motion pictures can be rerun. equipment. Thus. The tendency to identify with the actors aids in developing a high degree of audience involvement in the propaganda appeal. mass distribution. clothing. • Sight. sound. • Motion pictures gain attention. • The motion picture is a universal communications medium. or equipment capabilities. • • • Scenes can be rehearsed and perfected prior to filming. can be very effective. • Complicated events or complex ideas can be thoroughly explained. • . Newsreels that show events known to the target audience enhance the credibility of the entire PSYOP program. however. or dialogue. such as having a central character act the behavioral patterns desired. • Diverse language differences are a major problem. combining audiovisual features. • Viewing by target audiences may be restricted because of security considerations. DISADVANTAGES The production of high-quality motion pictures is extremely expensive and requires skilled technical production personnel. local regulations. • Films are rapidly outdated by events. • Most children and a high percentage of adults accept without question presumably factual information presented in films. and color reinforced by moving images elicit a high degree of interest and recall. The dramatic quality tends to cause the viewer to identify with the characters being portrayed. as illiteracy is not a barrier to understanding and use. skillful application of production and editing techniques. vehicles. be partially overcome by use of subtitles. • Projection equipment requires electric power which may not always be available. Cartoons and other special effects can be particularly effective.

Propaganda loudspeaker broadcasts are usually prerecorded to insure accuracy. In a civilian setting loudspeakers are used to communicate with assembled groups and in localized street broadcasting. fixed loudspeakers can broadcast messages considerable distances into enemy territory. mass produced. The operator can pinpoint his target. • Loudspeaker systems can be mounted in either fixed or rotarywing aircraft. Occasionally. This broadens the areas accessible for loudspeaker operations. powerful. Since both types of aircraft must operate at low altitudes for • . The loudspeaker can be used to undermine enemy morale. standard tapes are developed. ADVANTAGES • • Targets of opportunity can be exploited. Operators can be easily and readily trained. Persuasive messages can be transmitted to the target as the situation changes. Loudspeakers are the most responsive medium that can be used to support tactical operations. • Loudspeakers may be mounted on either wheeled or tracked vehicles. The target audience can be illiterate. PSYOP personnel can move to and operate anywhere a potential target audience is located. Unsophisticated loudspeaker messages can be developed on the spot and delivered live in fast-moving situations. Large. They effectively extend the range of face-to-face communications. • LOUDSPEAKERS Microphones and sound amplifying equipment transmit messages up to a distance of 800 meters. • • • • • • Loudspeakers can be an extension of face-to-face communication. and distributed from the theater or national level.Film is fragile and extremely susceptible to changes in temperature and other climatic conditions.

• • Messages may be forgotten and distorted with the passage of time. complete thought that will not be misunderstood. i. temperature. wind. generally indigenous to the operational area. Defectors may be used. In hilly or mountainous terrain. wind. Their messages. • DISADVANTAGES Range is limited by humidity. The team can then obtain essential operational information and coordinate security with the leader of the tactical unit. The announcer. concentrate artillery or other weapons on loudspeaker personnel and equipment. as prolonged broadcasting from a fixed position will draw indirect enemy fire. precipitation. Jungle and heavily vegetated areas absorb sound. The size of the target area..) affect reception of loudspeaker messages. must have idiomatic language fluency. must always be prerecorded and checked prior to being broadcast. For maximum results. echoes may interfere with clear reception. • The enemy can readily take countermeasures.the message to be understood on the ground. PLANNING AND COORDINATION Loudspeaker operations are conducted in coordination with and in support of tactical operations. so that each sentence constitutes a single. loudspeaker messages in support of tactical operations must have shock effect. Sound travels better at night in low temperature and humidity. vegetation. The message should be carefully prepared. Sounds projected over water or low-lying coastal plains travel great distances. however. and manmade structures. the character and loudness of competing sounds. the terrain. The announcer must have: . The loudspeaker team leader must advise the commander of the supported unit as to the support the team can give.e. and the problems of the enemy soldier. etc. topics of interest. The key sentence should be short and repeated for emphasis. A tactical broadcast should be no longer than a few seconds. terrain. and climatic conditions (humidity. They will know the current slang. the sophistication and intensity of the enemy air defense are prime considerations. Small portable loudspeaker systems may be backpacked by dismounted troops.

This briefing covers target location. The use of this system permits a language-qualified speaker in a central location to support widely dispersed ground elements. • The ability to adapt script and presentation to the changing situation.000-3. The most effective altitude for a hovering rotary-wing aircraft is between 900 and 1. • The US Air Force has primary responsibility for aerial loudspeaker operations from fixed-wing aircraft.200 meters (3. Broadcasting messages from aircraft is an effective way to reach an otherwise inaccessible audience. The presence and capabilities of enemy ground fire will determine whether to use these patterns or whether to use aerial loudspeakers at all. the length of the message. and speech habits of the audience.000 feet) AGL. The banking or orbiting course is effective at altitudes from 600 to 900 meters (2. total time required over the target.000 feet) above ground level (AGL).An intimate and detailed knowledge of the customs.000 and 4. • • • A vigorous. This allows a signal received by the aircraft from a ground radio transmitter to be rebroadcast to the target audience. folklore. and the number of repetitions desired. unemotional delivery. • An adapter system has been developed that permits the connection of the airborne loudspeaker system with the intercommunications and radio system of the aircraft. The device can be connected to a tape recorder to record the message for future use. • Rotary-wing aircraft use banks of speakers mounted either internally or externally on the aircraft. An understanding of the military situation and its implications. • The loudspeaker message should be no longer than 20 seconds so that the entire message is audible to the audience. current intelligence. Some general considerations are: The PSYOP unit is responsible for the pre-mission briefing of the air crew. • .

but they are not complete barriers. • Wide coverage. A skilled radio announcer can exert tremendous influence on the listener simply with pitch. Where availability or ownership of receivers is common. Political boundaries or tactical situations may hinder radio broadcasts. • DISADVANTAGES Enemy restrictions. or timing. This is important when attempting to capitalize on targets of opportunity. It requires little or no effort to visualize the radio message. • Ease of perception. ADVANTAGES Speed. Radio programs can reach members of large and varied audiences simultaneously. inflection. • Availability of receivers.RADIO Radio broadcasts can be transmitted to local audiences. Public listener systems may also be set up. • Versatility. music. • Emotional power. receivers may be airdropped or otherwise distributed to key communicators. Radio programs can be quickly prepared for broadcast. Radio is easily adaptable to drama. resonance. Illiteracy does not prevent the listener from forming his individual image as he listens. listening to radio is a habit. Ownership of receivers has increased greatly with the invention of transistors. Since radio can reach mass target audiences quickly. thereby reducing the effectiveness of radio broadcasts. Where radio stations are not common and receivers rare or nonexistent. The target group may be subjected to severe censorship. it is useful for all types of psychological operations. and selected individuals. news. and other types of programs. public installations. and behind enemy lines. or across national boundaries. Some countries have only single channel radios with • .

and sound effects are put together in various ways to produce the different kinds of programs. and production of programs during a stated period. skits. • PROGRAMMING Radio programming consists of planning the schedule. music. • • Religious. content. • Announcements. In some areas central receivers are connected to household receivers to control listening. • Lack of receivers. Variety. . Oral media do not have the permanency of written media. discussions.e.the frequency set to the government-owned station. Speeches.. a combination including music. Content. on-the-spot coverage of an election or the arrival of an important visitor. The radio programmer must create habitual program patterns in order to build a regular audience. Messages may be quickly forgotten or distorted. talks. comedy. and format should follow an established pattern. Special events. Words. • Technical. folk. Musical (popular. Sports. Drama. i. In certain areas. Interviews. PRINCIPLES Regularity. • Fleeting impressions. etc. Jamming. Regularity is an essential element of programming. Signal may be made inaudible or distorted by fading or static due to unfavorable atmospheric conditions. etc. vaudeville. Jamming may prevent the target group from receiving radio broadcasts . Some of the major types of radio programs are: • • • • • • • Straight news reports (without commentary). style. classical). so few receivers are available that radio may not be an effective medium.

commentaries. Voice. interviews. unofficial. educational or informative documentaries. Exploitation of censorship. fear. political party. News reporting. frustration. The emotional tone conveyed by the voice may influence the listener more than the logic of arguments. phrases. therefore. Suitability.Repetition. The radio program must suit the taste and needs of the audience. intent. plays. high military command. i. Program style and format should follow the patterns to which the audience is accustomed. authoritative. and origin: Content. Programs are produced to induce such emotional reactions as confidence. • . • CLASSIFICATION Programs are classified according to content. in some parts of the world. hope. official. Discussion or presentation of banned books. announcements. or to attract female audiences. • Announcers whose accents are similar to those of unpopular groups should not be used. sex frustration. music. Classification by "origin" pertains to the source of the message. Having announcers with attractive voice features is essential to successful radio operations. discussions. or slogans should be repeated. drama. music.e. due to the status of women. Classification by "intent" is useful in planning to obtain a desired response with a particular broadcast(s). religious programs. female voices are resented. etc.. The same is true for news withheld by censors. • Intent. and women's programs are the most common examples. nostalgia. • Female voices are used to exploit nostalgia. key themes. In breaking censorship. • Origin. The most common and useful radio program classification is by content. Repetition is necessary for oral learning. the psychological operator must be certain that the reason for censoring the items was political and not moral. etc. However. and political topics is readily received by the audience.

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