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Radio Sawa revolves refers to means in which the American message can be delivered to the Arab world. Indeed, following the attacks on the 11th of September and the increased waves of terrorism and anti-Americanism in the Middle East (or rather in the Greater Middle East region, including here Iran or Egypt), an efficient propaganda medium was essential for the United States.
Such a propaganda mean would have provided an alternative for the Arabic networks, radio or TV stations, specialized in delivering anti-American messages and used by terrorist networks or mad leaders. So, in many ways, the problem was (and still is) closely related to finding media ways in which the terrorist influence on the local population could be met and counterbalanced. In other words, the issue was to provide an alternative and another side of the story.
Justification for Problem Definition
As we have seen from the case study, Radio Sawa came in the beginning as an alternative to Voice of America. If we relate to the problem stipulated here above, we will get a clearer picture why Radio Sawa was needed. Indeed, Voice of America lacked to essential things: a large target audience and availability. The first issue was obvious, because, in general, Voice of America, with its rich contents of news, addressed only citizens aged over 30 or at least over 25. However, as we have seen, around 35% of Arab population in the Middle East is aged under 30, so we should assume that it was less likely for this customer segment to follow through on Voice of America. On the other hand, teenagers would have no interest in the station whatsoever, becoming easier for them to be inoculated with local propaganda.
In terms of availability, Voice of America broadcast from the Island of Rhodes, was badly received and only in some parts of the Middle East. It is a fact that it is much harder to deliver your message if your audience is so restrictive. While Radio Sawa solved both these issues, solving the problem previously stipulated also involved several other key issues.
I should mention here, for example, the product mix in Sawa's case. At this time, the proportion is 85% music and 15% news and facts. This product mix has the disadvantage that, while it covers a larger audience and includes much of the young people, it uses only 15% of its time for the actual purpose it was created, which is propagandistic, as I have mentioned. We may go further and stipulate that Radio Sawa is only partially following through on its mission.
Another issue is that the young population, while listening to Radio Sawa because of the music, is not really receiving the message delivered. As we have seen, impartially, one of the young teens says that he has nothing against America and the Americans, he simply doesn't like the way they think. This would mean that the young Arabs will "take the U.S. sound and discard the U.S. agenda," as one of the officials has pointed out.
So, while having one clear problem or objective, delivering the message, there are several issues that come along with it, including the product mix that the radio is using, the target audience involved and finding ways in which Sawa will not be perceived as an inoculating agent.
3. Alternative courses of action
There are several options that come to mind as we go along. First of all, we may consider a certain diversification of the programs offered. Are we to believe that the young Arab teenagers have a sole interest in American culture and that is music? Even if this may be the simplest way to capture an audience, there is definitely more to the American way. In this sense, diversifying the programs so as to present other aspects of American culture will make it easier for the American ideas to reach the young Arabs. So, an alternative solution would be to reduce the 85% for the American music and add programs on movies, Hollywood stars, food, anything that can complete the picture.
Another solution needs to address the actual news that is presented, both in terms of format and in terms of content. From the case study, we may be entitled to believe that the reticence with which the…[continue]
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