Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, governments’ and private companies’ moves to limit or ban Russian state media have rapidly spread from the European Union, to the United States, South Africa, Australia and elsewhere.
The cascade of developments harkens back to the World War II period, when governments regarded German propaganda as a weapon of war and used tools such as short wave radio to reach citizens behind enemy lines to penetrate the Axis power’s internal information environment. (The BBC, as if to underscore this point, announced Thursday it would resurrect the use of shortwave radio to broadcast news into Ukraine and parts of Russia).
In order to put these new developments in historical context, we hear from two experts on the role of information and media in war:
Heidi Tworek, a Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor of History and Public Policy at the University of British Columbia and author of News from Germany: The Competition to Control World Communications, 1900–1945, a book that details how the Nazis used news and information to advance their agenda; and
Emerson Brooking, Resident Senior fellow at the Digital Forensic Research Lab of the Atlantic Council and author of LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media, which considers how social media is changing the nature of war and conflict.