Publication Date: March 2008
Publisher: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace
Author(s): A. Ross Johnson; R. Eugene Parta; Gregory Mitrovich; George P. Shultz
Research Area: Culture and religion; International relations; Media, telecommunications, and information; Politics
Keywords: Communication; Radio; Islamic world
Western broadcasts had a remarkable impact in the USSR and Eastern Europe during the cold war reaching both mass audiences and key elites. The effectiveness of these broadcasts was clearly attested to by the massive resources the communist regimes spent in trying to counter them.
Communicating with the World of Islam draws from the lessons learned in the cold war broadcasting experience to suggest the best ways of organizing U.S. efforts to communicate with Islamic people around the globe.
Drawn from discussions at the seminar "Communicating with the Islamic World," sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, this report examines the impact of the Voice of America, Radio Liberty, the BBC, Radio Free Europe, and other broadcasting tools had and suggests how the United States can use these instruments today to counter extremism effectively, promote democracy, and improve understanding of the United States in the Islamic world.
It details current broadcasting efforts into Islamic countries and the Muslim communities of Europe and explains each of the critical factors necessary to influence the world of Islam in a positive direction, such as stressing women's content programming, maintaining pressure on the rulers of Qatar over the content and programming of Al Jazeera, and keeping news content candid, tailored to local audiences, and unsparingly accurate.