Soft War (2): Media War

Friday, July 1, 2011

Author: Hamid Ziaei Parvar

Publisher: Tehran International Studies & Research Institute (TISRI)
Date: September 2004
ISBN: 964-8680-13-2
Language: Persian
Pages: 303

Tehran International Studies & Research Institute is publishing a collection on soft war to provide scientific insight into various aspects of and trends in cyber and media threats as well as psychological operations. The first volume of this collection focused on cyberwar and the second volume has been dedicated to media threats.

This book has been compiled in four chapters on definitions and concepts of media war, means of media war, applications of media war, Iran and media war. It tries to answer questions about quality of media war, its applications, its users, its position in international politics, and finally, how to use its techniques to protect national interests of the country.

The first chapter focuses on concepts and definitions related to media war. The author maintains that media war is the most prominent aspect of “soft war” and “modern international wars.” It is the only form of war which continues unofficially even under apparently peaceful conditions. Every country tries to make the most of media in order to achieve its political goals. Publicists, international experts on propaganda, and media agents are the main soldiers of media war. In other words, this war calls for closer cooperation and coordination from the military as well as political, information, security, media and publicity sectors of a country. Propaganda and its application to media war, including elements and techniques of propaganda; media warriors, war and censorship; media diplomacy in the world; US media diplomacy; as well as media and the American Neocons are the most important topics discussed in the first chapter of the book.

The second chapter discusses major means of media warfare, which include radio, TV, websites, the press, international news agencies, satellites, and other mass communication media. It also expounds their situation and modes of use in media war. At the end of the chapter, new methods for dissemination of information and challenges facing modern electronic media such as enlightening combined with hegemony and globalization of the western culture; change in identities and mentalities; increasing inequality; and preparing grounds for new relations have been discussed.

The third chapter provides tangible examples of the applications of media war. At first, history of media in wars has been explained followed by the use of media war and applications of satellites in the first Persian Gulf War. Then a comparison has been made with media coverage during the second Persian Gulf War. Major topics highlighted include media war as part of the US war in Iraq in 2003; limitations and bans on war news; directives issued by the Pentagon and the White House in recent wars; weblogs and media war; media terrorism; and journalists project.

The final chapter has been subdivided into nine sections to cover media war against Iran and impart a more objective dimension to the research. At first, Persian language radio stations such as BBC, Voice of American (VOA), Radio Liberty (Radio Farada), and Deutsche Welle have been introduced as examples of media war against Iran. Then some Persian language satellite networks have been introduced and described as an important means of the US media war against Iran. Impact of modern electronic media on Iran and such issues as uncontrollable information, people with dual nationality, promotion of global (and western) culture in Iran, changing identity of the youth, increasing inequality and class divide, domination of the English language, lack of censorship, prevalence of individualism and isolationism as well as Iran’s capabilities in contrast the country’s media vulnerabilities are other topics discussed in this chapter.

About the Author

Ph.D. in Communications, University teacher in different Iranian universities , Expert on communications, journalism, information technology and cyber journalism, and Researcher in Tehran International Studies & Research Institute

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