The US government is planning to spend $50 million on propaganda for Pakistani audiences. They are calling it a new “communications strategy” and will involve the following:
- Supporting media organisations that are favourable to the americans
- The setting up of a “media monitoring group” that will put its own spin on any negative news about the US.
This $50 million dollar budget is part of a new proposed spending plan for 2010. I guess its all part of an effort to win “hearts and minds”. Who knew that so much cold hard cash would be involved ;)?
The media manipulation efforts of the US embassy haven’t been very subtle so far. For a long time now the US propaganda channel Voice of America has been airing on geo TV. In addition, the wining and dining of journalists by the US embassy has not gone unnoticed.
What the US fails to realise is that manipulating the mainstream media will only get you so far in Pakistan. Unlike americans, we Pakistanis don’t believe everything that we see and hear in the media. We often give more weight to conspiracy theories that are passed around by the rumour mill :).