"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
Radio broadcasts can be transmitted to local audiences, or across national boundaries, and behind enemy lines. Political boundaries or tactical situations may hinder radio broadcasts, but they are not complete barriers. Since radio can reach mass target audiences quickly, it is useful for all types of psychological operations. Where radio stations are not common and receivers rare or nonexistent, receivers may be airdropped or otherwise distributed to key communicators, public installations, and selected individuals. Public listener systems may also be set up.
Speed. Radio programs can be quickly prepared for broadcast. This is important when attempting to capitalize on targets of opportunity.
Wide coverage. Radio programs can reach members of large and varied audiences simultaneously.
Ease of perception. It requires little or no effort to visualize the radio message. Illiteracy does not prevent the listener from forming his individual image as he listens.
Versatility. Radio is easily adaptable to drama, music, news, and other types of programs.
Emotional power. A skilled radio announcer can exert tremendous influence on the listener simply with pitch, resonance, inflection, or timing.
Availability of receivers. Where availability or ownership of receivers is common, listening to radio is a habit. Ownership of receivers has increased greatly with the invention of transistors.
Enemy restrictions. The target group may be subjected to severe censorship, thereby reducing the effectiveness of radio broadcasts. Some countries have only single channel radios with the frequency set to the government-owned station. In some areas central receivers are connected to household receivers to control listening.
Jamming. Jamming may prevent the target group from receiving radio broadcasts.
Technical. Signal may be made inaudible or distorted by fading or static due to unfavorable atmospheric conditions.
Lack of receivers. In certain areas, so few receivers are available that radio may not be an effective medium.
Fleeting impressions. Oral media do not have the permanency of written media.
Messages may be quickly forgotten or distorted.
Radio programming consists of planning the schedule, content, and production of programs during a stated period. Words, music, and sound effects are put together in various ways to produce the different kinds of programs. Some of the major types of radio programs are:
- Straight news reports (without commentary).
- Musical (popular, folk, classical).
- Speeches, talks, discussions.
- Special events; i.e., on-the-spot coverage of an election or the arrival of an important visitor, etc.
- Variety, a combination including music, skits, comedy, vaudeville, etc.
Regularity. Regularity is an essential element of programming. The radio programmer must create habitual program patterns in order to build a regular audience. Content, style, and format should follow an established pattern.
Repetition. Repetition is necessary for oral learning; therefore, key themes, phrases, or slogans should be repeated.
Suitability. The radio program must suit the taste and needs of the audience. Program style and format should follow the patterns to which the audience is accustomed.
Exploitation of censorship. Discussion or presentation of banned books, plays, music, and political topics is readily received by the audience. The same is true for news withheld by censors. In breaking censorship, the psychological operator must be certain that the reason for censoring the items was political and not moral.
Voice. Having announcers with attractive voice features is essential to successful radio operations.
The emotional tone conveyed by the voice may influence the listener more than the logic of arguments.
Announcers whose accents are similar to those of unpopular groups should not be used.
Female voices are used to exploit nostalgia, sex frustration, or to attract female audiences. However, in some parts of the world, due to the status of women, female voices are resented.
Programs are classified according to content, intent, and origin:
Content. The most common and useful radio program classification is by content. News reporting, commentaries, announcements, educational or informative documentaries, music, interviews, discussions, religious programs, drama, and women's programs are the most common examples.
Intent. Classification by "intent" is useful in planning to obtain a desired response with a particular broadcast(s). Programs are produced to induce such emotional reactions as confidence, hope, fear, nostalgia, frustration, etc.
Origin. Classification by "origin" pertains to the source of the message; i.e., official, unofficial, authoritative, high military command, political party, etc.