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Old radio

FM radio as a weapon against extremist propaganda

Low-Tech Solution

July 2017, Number 08.03

“In today’s high-tech environment, social media and digital communications are ubiquitous in almost every sector of society, culture, business and government. Countering violent extremism (CVE) is no different; social media and digital reach enhance the strategic communications elements of CVE. However, the oldfashioned medium of radio maintains many advantages, especially in less developed regions. FM radio can play an important role in a multidimensional, coordinated approach that corresponds with a target audience and uses a combination of digital and analogue.

Radio in Somalia
Radio is on the rise in Somalia. It is far-reaching and technologically easy to start up. It has been used in the past to push narratives relating to the long-running conflict — including efforts both in favor of and, vexingly, in opposition to peace. Radio is a tool available to counterterrorism practitioners, particularly in Somalia where it is important to counter the narrative of the extremely violent dissident group al-Shabab (AS)...”

Excerpt from John Hutchings, “Low-Tech Solution,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 8, No. 3, 2017: 30-35.

John Hutchings is an expert in broadcast technology and countering violent extremism, with nearly a decade of experience in Somalia working with the United Nations, the African Union and the Somali government. He guided the setup of the U.N.-led Somali radio station, Radio Bar Kulan, in 2009. He is a former military surveillance and communications specialist and has spent over 20 years working with major U.S. and international media organizations in conflict and post-conflict environments. He is a graduate of the Marshall Center’s Program on Terrorism and Security Studies and the Countering Transnational Organized Crime program.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.