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lin's death. The Soviet regime has been slowly yielding to the demands of modern industrial society for a freer interplay of economic forces and individual initiative; these pressures for economic reform point toward corresponding relaxation in the political sphere.
A radio broadcaster therefore can play a role in influencing political change (1) by regarding international radio as a source for stimulating information and ideas rather than an instrument of mass persuasion or manipulation; (2) by continual analysis and reassessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the Soviet system and regime policy; (3) by continual study of the attitudes and aspirations of the vast complex of Soviet listeners (the younger generation, rank-and-file Party members, the technical and creative intelligentsia, et al); (4) by formulating broadcasting objectives which conform to the aspirations of the audience for faster political, economic, and social reform; and (5) by presenting his material in an effective manner which appeals to the basic patriotism of his listeners and their own best human instincts and self-interest.
THE ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL RADIO
International radio is a source of information and ideas, rather than an instrument of mass persuasion. There are some 26 million radio sets in the USSR capable of receiving short-wave broadcasts. (In 1971 the estimate was 30 million.) They are in the hands of individuals who exercise some freedom of choice in what programs they listen to and who are not captive to the local networks of loudspeakers which the regime saturates with its official line. The omissions, distortions, and dreary political fare of Radio Moscow very often encourage Soviet listeners to seek foreign stations in preference, but listeners will not continue to search for other stations which do not satisfy their wish for stimulating information and ideas.
Radio broadcasts in themselves are unlikely to result in overt political action by Soviet citizens against a regime which has kept itself in power by a tightly controlled party and police apparatus for almost 50 years, nor should this be intended. Appeals for direct action would, in all probability, disappoint the broadcaster by their lack of success. Whether supporters of the regime or its committed opponents, Soviet listeners would rsent calls from abroad (that would) expose them to regime retaliation or punishment, and [furthermore they would) tend to discount all other ideas and information broadcast by the same station as, in their minds, similarly irresponsible.
Thus, any suspicion in a listener's mind that a station is trying to manipulate him for its own purposes would be ruinous to the station's credibility, and credibility is the sine qua non of audience impact.
The broadcaster must therefore accept the more modest—and more challenging-role of trying to stimulate independent thinking on the part of the individual members of his audience. Listening to broadcasts from abroad is now easier and no longer as dangerous to Soviet listeners as it was in the past. There is more competition for the listener's ear from both other international broadcasters and from Soviet media which offer television and entertainment. The broadcaster must therefore assume that listeners are becoming more discriminating and expect to hear more interesting programs than ever before.
In addressing the Soviet audience as a whole, one must bear in mind that it is basically patriotic, young, and therefore future-oriented, and made up of varying interest groups. Broadcasts can be directed at, but cannot be limited to, specific categories of listeners; anyone with a receiver might hear them, and thus nobody should be unnecessarily or carelessly excluded and thereby, perhaps, offended.
At the same time, a broadcaster who wishes to influence political change in the USSR must select program material on the basis of its appeal, either directly or indirectly, to those groups of listeners who have political potential: the younger generation, rank-and-file members of the Communist Party; certain occupational groups, some of primary, some of secondary potential; and the various nationality groups of the USSR.
Appealing to politically influential listeners is a challenge, because many of them have a vested interest, active or latent, in the present system; they may simply not be interested in fundamental change, they may fear it. The basically patriotic majority frequently identify their own interests with those of the regime and tend to react defensively to criticism of that regime. Therefore they must be appealed to on the basis of their own patriotism and self-interest and be persuaded that many of the regime's policies are not in the best interests of either their country or themselves. Many, if not most, of them are already well aware of the shortcomings of Soviet society and are trying to improve their situation. The broadcaster's greatest challenge today is to follow these trends in listener attitudes, understand them, and then help his Soviet listeners by supplying them with new and pertinent information and ideas with which to work for faster and more lasting improvement.
In formulating and implementing his objectives, the broadcaster will necessarily exercise some value judgments of his own. His program must be directed toward a definite goal and it must indicate some sense of mission, if there is to be a direction and purpose about his work. But the broadcaster cannot impose his own values on his listeners; his values must coincide with those of his listeners, if he is to influence political change inside the target area.
The aspirations of Soviet citizens are in the direction of freedom and democratic political institutions which represent the best interests of the majority of citizens and peoples of the USSR; therefore, this should be the goal of the broadcaster. It follows that his mission should be to encourage and help his listeners to work toward replacing the present oligarchical political system with one which is representative of and responsive to the will and aspirations of the entire population of the USSR; (and) to provide his listeners with information and ideas which will enable them to work more effectively for change in their own interest.
Broadcasting objectives which would fulfill this mission would encourage (1) practical, democratic political alternatives to present Soviet practice; (2) social and economic reform in the interests of the population of the USSR; and (3) cultural diversity and freedom of exchange of information and travel for Soviet citizens. Another objective would be to correct omissions and distortions of official Soviet media and try to undermine Communist ideology, not by arguing with it in its own terms but from the point of view of showing that it is irrelevant and a bar to serving the real needs of the people.
In the writing of scripts it is necessary to concentrate on specific themes which encourage political, economic, and social reform and freedom of information and travel. On the eve of a CPSU Congress or Central Committee plenun the broadcaster should show the need for true innerparty democracy instead of "democratic centralism,” (and) for hastening the course of de-Stalinization by opening party and state archives to facilitate writing the full history of the 1930s, etc. When it became apparent that the writers, Sinyavsky and Daniel, were to be tried, broadcasters used this occasion to carry foreign press reaction and comment in defense of the two as artists and patriots. . . . It is not often that individual broadcasts themselves can be measured for their direct audience impact; occasionally, however, as with the coverage of the Sinyavsky-Daniel trial, the heated rebuttals by official Soviet media indicate their effectiveness.
PRESENTATION OF BROADCAST MATERIAL
The soundest objectives based on the best possible analysis of the Soviet internal situation become academic if the presentation of individual scripts is not effective. If the attitudes of listeners toward their own situation and toward the broadcaster are disregarded, if scripts are not tailored directly to the attitudes and aspirations of a particular audience, there is little hope of any effect, to say nothing of influencing political change.
In addition to sound radio production and journalistic techniques to capture the listener's attention, to entertain and stimulate by effective argumentation, and to present a convincing case; a special dimension is required for the Soviet listener. Despite widespread discontent and the numerous tensions in Soviet society, the bulk of the evidence indicates that typical Soviet listeners are deeply, if not fiercely, patriotic. Indeed, the sacrifices and repressions of recent decades followed now by the realization that the USSR lags far behind other industrialized countries in its standard of living seems to spur Soviet citizens to greater efforts. While often very critical of the Communist regime and its policies, they are also quick to defend the USSR against foreign critics.
The question of the tone of broadcasts thus becomes of paramount importance for anyone trying to influence political change inside the USSR. All criticism of Soviet reality must be clearly in the interests of Soviet citizens. It must encourage constructive change and not simply denounce the negative aspects of Soviet life. The temptation to quote internal criticism in the official Soviet press at length to the Soviet audience should be resisted—because the listener has already read it or heard it and because the regime uses this criticism as a device to build up support for its own purposes. Instead the broadcaster should help the Soviet citizen to read his own press critically and in his own interest, asking whether official explanations are the correct ones, suggesting other more basic reasons, and supporting trends toward specific reforms which are being discussed inside the USSR and abroad. When warranted and the facts are convincingly presented, he can also suggest that limited, piece-meal reforms have only a limited effect and that more basic changes in the system are necessary to achieve lasting results.
At the same time the broadcaster must refrain from appearing to exploit positive internal developments for what may appear to be his own “anti-Soviet propaganda” purposes. Such treatment could be dangerous to those Soviet citizens who are working for constructive change and could hinder their efforts. Thus, when a Soviet writer produces a new work which challenges some aspects of the system, when an economist advocates decentralization of planning and controls, when a party member calls for more inner-party democracy, etc.; the radio commentator should not suggest that such developments are anti-regime acts, but rather treat them as attempts to help Soviet society, and as being motivated by more patriotism than is shown by the party bureaucrats who oppose such innovations.
By consistently taking this approach, the broadcaster avoids giving his internal Soviet critics grounds for accusations that he engages in “antiSoviet propaganda," and perhaps hindering the forces of constructive change already at work inside the USSR.
In conclusion, it should be emphasized that the individual broadcaster himself is the most important, and yet most intangible, element working to influence political change in the USSR by external communications. He must be an effective communicator possessing the technical skills of writing and speaking, but most important is his attitude toward his audience. He must be motivated not so much by hatred of Communism and the Soviet regime as by dedication to the cause of freedom for people who want it badly enough to work continually toward it. He must be committed to the possibility of fundamental change on a long term basis in Soviet society. He must be patient and not discouraged at the lack of visible progress; when setbacks occur he must not let himself or his listener become frustrated and apathetic but should encourage the search for yet new approaches. And he must develop the knack of vicariously sensing the opportunities which his listener can use, suggesting them to the listener without overtly telling him what to do or how to do it, and thereby helping the listener to help himself in his own interest.
The increasing opportunities for political change which have emerged in Soviet society in recent years offer encouraging prospects for the future.
By continually studying and refining his own assumptions about the role of radio communication per se, the actual political situation in the target area, and the complex of varied attitudes of his many listeners toward that situation and their own aspirations; by formulating objectives which coincide with the basic human instincts and self-interest of his Soviet listeners; and by presenting his material to the audience in a corresponding manner, the broadcaster can effectively hasten political change in the USSR by external communication.
Analysis of content, unlike source analysis, focuses upon the message. Beyond that generalization, however, content analysis is characterized by diversity in objective, method, and results.
Although content analysis is one of the oldest forms of propaganda evaluation, the advent of the computer to assist the human mind has made the use of previously impractical methodologies now eminently feasible. This is largely the result of the machine's ability to process, store, and retrieve massive amounts of information with great speed.
The lead-off article in this section discusses the use of computers in the coding and analysis of materials on the People's Republic of China. Both of the first two papers utilize quantitative content analysis. Although quantification has undeniable advantages for certain objectives,' the use of qualitative techniques is equally important and may be preferable in individual cases. The last three selections illustrate the varied uses of qualitative analysis of propaganda content.
NOTES 1. See Harold D. Lasswell, “Why Be Quantitative?" in Lasswell et al., Language of Politics (George W. Stewart, Publisher, Inc., 1949), pp. 40–52.