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Type of publication: Straipsnis / Article
Author(s): Iškauskaitė, Raimonda
Title: Žiniasklaidos vaidmuo Biafros kare
Other Title: Influence of mass media on the Biafra war
Is part of: Agora, 2012, nr. 1, p. 101-113
Date: 2012
Keywords: Propaganda;Manipuliacija;Masinės komunikacijos priemonės
Abstract: Straipsnyje analizuojama konkreti istorinė informacijos kampanijos situacija. Biafros karo metu egzistavusi intensyvi manipuliacija faktais iškreipė Europos šalių visuomenių supratimą apie karo eigą bei padarinius. Straipsnyje analizuojama informavimo apie konfliktą eiga ir mechanika, leidusi sukurti tokį karo vaizdinį, kad tarptautinė bendruomenė nepripažino Biafros kaip atskiros nepriklausomos valstybės ir tuo remdamasi atsisakė kištis į Nigerijos vidaus reikalus.
The Biafra war as an event offers a variety of angles from which it could be analysed, though this topic, apart from the dimensions of genocide or humanitarian crises, has never been much in the interest of scholars. On the one hand, it could be related to the lack of real facts as many figures and stories were fabricated during the war; on the other hand, as John K. Wa‘Njogu would say, any story from Africa is not interesting if it is not an exceptional and aberrational news level. However, there have been several partly related articles about mass communication, propaganda and public relations during the Biafra war, but most of them have been taking the Western point of view, at the same time misjudging the role of the Biafran leader Ojukwu and his input in forming the propaganda apparatus by using approved propaganda guidelines from the West and adapting it to local realities. According to Scot Macdonald, the Biafra war was a war of images fought in the court of public opinion, which was won by Biafra, though the war was lost in the military and political arena. Ojukwu fairly quickly recognized the importance of controlling information and the power of messages delivered via mass communication channels, while Nigerian officials had never fully grasped the importance of this coverage. Therefore, Ojukwu built a team from local and Western professional propagandists and PR specialists whose main task was to find a proper angle of propaganda that could help to win this asymmetric war. The first attempts to use political emancipation of the oppressed people, religious, pogrom and genocide angles had limited success, but the image of starving and dying children was a very new angle, which, with the help of mass communication, helped to deliver the message to a much broader public arena. However, the problem with this point of view, which was a novelty for the concept of propaganda, was that the tactic of shock carrying social (herewith hidden political) message reached just Western societies (who did a great job by re-interpreting the message to more recipients, raising funds and creating a modern humanitarian aid industry), but had never effected Western governments. This could be explained with reference to John K. Wa‘Njogu‘s premise that Western governments can only be affected by events in Africa if they have interests there.
Appears in Collections:Agora 2012, nr. 1

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