Aware of the major role BBC played in the European wars and imperialism, most states established external broadcast propaganda stations. Similarly, the imperial Anglo American powers used the media to dictate events in countries whose leaders they wanted to change. Television and Radio Marti, for example, were set up by USA to destabilise Cuba.
Meanwhile, in Hollywood, following the defeat of the USA in Vietnam, America demanded that any depiction of American military must meet the approval of the Pentagon and film scripts were scrutinised to promote the view of the army. Here at home, Radio Tanzania, maintained the propaganda pressure on Idi Amin. Satellite television became a threat to all nations and jamming devices were scrambled to limit the number of people who could access them.
In most of the world, satellite television remained a preserve of the rich and as long as the majority of people had analogue television they could only get their news from their own governments.
Thus, satellite penetration remains difficult for Anglo American propagandists. Indeed the loss of most government popularity in urban areas is directly related to access to foreign news propaganda.
And in came Football Made in Britain and the World Cup, which attracted the rural poor and court the attention of western governments who soon realised that they could wrestle the populations of the Third World from their own governments and create a New World Communication Order. If only they could do away with analogue signals that had democratised communication and entice the governments with digital satellite communication.
The Anglo-American empire could not only make billions by forcing ordinary people to buy decoders and new TV sets, but also make more money from governments hoodwinked into digital migration.
The digital migration is part of the USA’s covet star wars programme. Indeed since 1963 when the Communication Satellite Corporation (COMSAT) was formed, 11 countries signed agreement to form a single global satellite network, the International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation (INTELSAT) based in Washington DC. More powerful satellite was later added to carry government and diplomatic traffic but more specifically intelligence gathering.
In the digital age, most computers will be linked to project embroidery, a global network that includes NASA’s own computer network PATHWAY, which is used to collect, filter and analyse all forms of data transmission.
Any international communication travelling through the United States and Europe is intercepted by NASA. In the digital boxes, there will be tracking devices with GPRS connected to US harvest computers that will enable the New World Order to obtain details of every citizen’s location, viewing habits record any conversation.
With satellite technologies, laser facilitated listening devices, rifle mikes, thermal imaging satellites, aircraft based monitors, aural signals which are only heard by targeted individuals, visual interference, holographs, and haze brain wave monitoring will all be possible in our digital colonial age.
In Uganda, the Government gave the media free reign to invest, to expand as long as they follow the law, pay licences and set up or share infrastructure.
There was nobody who came and said: “Hey, you TV station, you have a poor signal, let’s invest a fortune so that you can be at an analogue standard with the rest of the world”.
Uganda is a country that does not have a national railway network. There is no passenger train, nobody said: “I saw a high speed train in Japan, we need, as a country, to have passenger trains so that we are not left behind?” We do not have a national airline to fly our flag. Our attempt to have an East African Airline, Air Alliance, ended in a decimal failure.
Meanwhile, we are going to spend $72m to migrate to digital television. Will this save the lives of patients in hospitals.
If private investors want to go digital let them go; just give licences for digital television broadcasting. There is no agreement that can force a citizen to give up what they have, what they have bought with their own money for such decision will be challenged in courts of law and governments had no right to sign such an agreement. Telecoms and fm radios use digital equipment; it is not government that is paying.
The heart of the matter is that somebody has already identified $72m and this must have been a motivation for signing. They have even worked out who is going to supply the equipment.
They are even telling everybody that other countries have migrated already. Not a single country in Africa has done digital migration.
Kenya has not. The country cannot find money for this migration. Nor has South Africa, which welcomes the migration but has no money for it. Nigeria is the same, no money; Ghana is shouting welcome but it too lacks the resources.
The most important questions that are not being asked are; What will happen to national control of media messages? How will the Government address its citizens and give its own version of events in a world dominated by the major media players? Although the digital channels will be many, they will be controlled by a few individuals. Our government wants to kill itself by what we call “the Chavez Factor”.
In 2003, Hugo Chavez was overthrown by an oil Cartel backed by the United States. His supporters moved to the presidential palace and the coup plotter fled taking the dollars from the safe. His supporters could not tell the country what was going on because the private media companies did not allow any pro Chavez broadcast. American intervention also prevented American satellite television from giving a correct version.
One day the President will ask: “Where is the audience? Where are my people? Where is the population? Then the advisers will look at him and say: “Your Excellency, don’t you know they have all migrated; they now belong to the New World Order and their communication comes from Washington. Your Excellency we paid, $72m for the privileged migration”.
(Opinion, New Vision, Uganda)
*Opinions expressed on this page are those of the authors