Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor and noted political cartoonist, Carlos Latuff, who shares his radio log art of a recent Voice of Korea broadcast.
Carlos’ goal is to vividly illustrate the broadcaster’s message in his own unique artistic style and is not a reflection of his own beliefs or those of the SWLing Post. His objective is for his artwork to add historical context and put a visual with the news, reporting, and/or–as is often the case–propaganda:
Part of Voice of Korea’s news bulletin, broadcasted in English from Kujang, DPRK, and listened in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Shortwave frequency of 12015 kHz.
Press statement of Kim Yo Jong, Deputy Department Director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea stating, among other things, that “they (South Korea govt) are the ‘faithful dog’ and stooge of the United States” and “a stray dog gnawing at a bone given by the United States.”
Radio played a key role in the propaganda campaigns of Nazi Germany. The most notorious personality in this radio war was William Joyce, or ‘Lord Haw-Haw’ – who came to be known as the English voice of Nazi Germany. But he wasn’t alone in this effort.
Professor Jo Fox of Durham University discovers the lost transcripts of Radio Caledonia, a ‘secret station’ designed to disseminate defeatist propaganda to the people of Scotland and sow seeds of dissent among its listeners. Set up by the German Propaganda Ministry in 1940, the presenter was Scottish national Donald Grant.
Jo Fox examines the Nazis’ attempts to appeal to Scottish nationalist feeling through these broadcasts and asks why, unlike Joyce, Donald Grant was spared execution.
Aspidistra and the Broadcast Group of the Diplomatic Wireless Service including the wartime transmission of black propaganda.
The History of the Broadcast Group of the Diplomatic Wireless Service. The event starts at 19:00 BST on 8th September 2021
This is the story of Broadcast Group of the Diplomatic Wireless Service (DWS) which had its origins in the Political Warfare Executive (PWE) at the beginning of WW2. In 1972 it was amalgamated into the administrative structure of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and was renamed Communications Engineering Department (CED). The latter had two groups, Broadcast Group which was responsible for transmitters carrying many of the BBC’s World and Vernacular services, and Communications group which provided radio communications to embassies for diplomatic traffic. In 1986 CED’s Broadcast Group was taken over by the BBC.
In this illustrated talk we will learn first about the transmission of black propaganda and associated activities during WWII. Also such activities as trying to interfere with enemy rocket guidance systems. Then about the various Medium-Wave and Short-Wave transmitting stations of Broadcast Group with transmitter stations at Crowborough, Orfordness, Cyprus and the island of Masirah, a part of Oman. Transmitters ranged from 1?kW carrier power to 600 kW. Several of these were designed and manufactured in house. There will be many pictures and descriptions of the equipment and aerials used at these stations. Also covered will be an introduction to the progress of amplitude modulation techniques which enabled transmitters to become more compact.
So, what is Aspidistra? Please register to hear the story of Aspidistra and the Broadcast Group of the DWS with the engineering used to build and operate these stations.
About the Speaker
Roger Castle-Smith FIET
Mr Roger Castle-Smith FIET. Roger first became interested in radio when he joined the signals section of his school’s Combined Cadet force. This led to him gaining an amateur’s radio license at the age of 15, callsign G3IOT. Then on to the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, where he started an amateur station for the academy. Graduated into Royal Signals. Achieved a BSc(Eng) degree as an external degree from the University of London whilst at the Royal Military College of Science. Many of his army postings were of a technical nature. On retirement at the age of 37 he was made a MBE. Joined the Diplomatic Wireless Service then worked his way up to becoming Head of Broadcast Group in 1979 leading to Chief Engineer and Head of Communications Engineering Department (CED) in 1981. During his service a CBE followed his MBE. Retired age 66.
How sex, jazz and ‘fake news’ were used to undermine the Nazis in World War Two. In 1941, the UK created a top secret propaganda department, the Political Warfare Executive to wage psychological warfare on the German war machine. It was responsible for spreading rumours, generating fake news, leaflet drops and creating fake clandestine German radio stations to spread misinformation and erode enemy morale. We hear archive recordings of those involved and speak to professor Jo Fox of the Institute of Historical Research about the secret history of British “black propaganda”.
The NK News has published an article about North Korea’s “Third Network”: the infamous cable network radio installed in many homes and that, some report, cannot be turned off.
This article tries to separate fact from fiction and turns to SWLing Post friend, Mark Fahey, among other North Korea experts:
The North Korean radio you can never turn off: fact or fiction?
Rumors have persisted for years, but how true they are remains up for debate
Eric Lafforgue discovered the radio in September 2011, on the wall of a farmhouse north of Hamhung.
Although small and austere, with just a speaker and a turquoise dial for volume control, the device stood out for two reasons: firstly, it looked cemented to the wall and secondly, his guide told him that “people cannot turn off the system.”
The French photographer would later post an image of the device on Flickr, where it remains one of the few pieces of photographic evidence of a uniquely North Korean twist on public address systems typical to the region.
Instead of issuing intermittent earthquake and tsunami warnings, however, this network is alleged to broadcast regime propaganda into citizen’s homes day and night without respite.
In some ways, the existence of this type of radio would be in keeping with what we know about the North Korean media landscape.
All television, radio and internet content is strictly censored by the state and suffused with propaganda glorifying the exploits of the state and its economic successes.
And a walk down the streets of any North Korean city will inevitably bring you into contact with a wide variety of posters exhorting greater personal sacrifice for the regime, praising its achievements or damning its enemies.
These are vivid displays often accompanied by motivational music and state announcements pumped daily into streets through public loudspeakers.
Even so, while these manifestations of North Korean propaganda are well-known to even casual observers of the country, visual evidence for the radio system described by Lafforgue remains scant.
In all his own trips to the DPRK, Mark Fahey has never seen any such device in person, and not for any lack of trying.
“I’ve been looking in every single room, in every single building I’ve been in,” Fahey, an expert on North Korean propaganda, tells NK News.
Others have been luckier. During filming for the documentary “A State of Mind” in 2004, footage was captured of a device similar to Lafforgue’s on the wall of a Pyongyang apartment.
“State radio is piped to every kitchen in the block,” a voiceover explains. “Listeners can turn the volume down, but not off.”[…]
However, I’ve got quite a number of books in my to-be-read stack at the moment, so Hear My Voice lay in wait on my bookshelf until this past Sunday, when I decided to read the first chapter––just to get a taste of it.
Although I had a very busy day in store––working on a home renovation and making several trips into town––nevertheless I struggled to pull it from the stack, and having rapidly consumed the first chapters, had a hard time putting the book down. By the day’s end, I found I had read the entire book.
While those who know me know I’m a bit of a WWII history buff, I only knew that Hitler’s seizure of the Czech Sudetenland was but a hint of what was to come. The history I’d read previously had provided a bit of insight into this crucial lead-up to the war, but not as Vaughan’s book does: in what feels like a first hand account, through the eyes of an interpreter and broadcaster. I was hooked.
Hear My Voice clearly indicates how transformative the medium of radio was in this era, and how deliberate and insidious Nazi propaganda became in the Sudetenland years before Czechoslovakia ever took notice.
All in all, it’s a great read. I think you’ll find Hear My Voiceas intriguing as I did.