The United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM) that supervises the international diffusion of information financed by taxpayers has just made public the results of an audit to the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) – that is Radio TV Martí.
The audit, - carried out last February as a response to a last year program that presumably contained anti-Semitic comments on multimillionaire humanitarian, George Soros, and that triggered disciplinary measures against nine journalists -, confirms what everybody knows for a long time now: "the broadcasts from the United States toward Cuba are filled with bad journalism and ineffective propaganda", an elegant way to name the lie and manipulation.
It’s not the first time this radio station has been the target of critics for its professional malpractices.
The new audit, though, despite attaining a similar professional assessment, is confident on the survival of the Office of Cuban Broadcasting (OCB) if the aforementioned radio station continues to do certain changes in its broadcasts.
The recommendations highlighted in the report Embarking on Reform of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, of the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), propose to achieve a new editorial approach and a clear format of production, to reach Cubans in the Island in a more neutral way.
To this end, assure panelists, instead of using a an open form of opposition and hostility toward the entirety of the Cuban Revolution in all its social, political, cultural and economic features, it’s necessary to keep in mind that primordial rule of successful political messages and of modern marketing that says, to influence people, generally, the first thing to do should be to establish an empathy.
“You should demonstrate that you understand their situation, that you sympathize with them that you appreciate both the good things and bad things in their lives and the problems they cope with."
In that way, once Cubans are entertained with controversial issues, in neutral formats of television and radio, they will be able to absorb the news in a respectful way – assure auditors.
As in the Island 40% of the population was born after the fall of the Soviet Union, the "programs of unilateral interviews with combative hosts" that focus their content in complaints about the time of the Cold War, should be substituted by more current topics.
"In Cuba, there are many interesting things to show, and many ways of reaching the youths with current material, without speaking about the régime and the events of years ago. The news could be focused on events and current tendencies, to enrich both the message and the content."
USAGM auditors also recommend that debate programs where experts participate should keep an unbiased critic, which would allow the introduction of divergent, fresher and more current points of views, capable of capturing and influencing a greater public.
As it clarifies the report Embarking on Reform of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting: There is nothing new or revolutionary in these recommendations. They are the focus used by the Voice of America and other services of the United States Agency for Global Media. It’s the focus that worked to tear down the iron curtain in the former Soviet Union and moderate China in the days of Mao. It’s the same focus used to moderate the Muslim extremists in the Middle East and Africa."
The proposal suggests that the lacks and deficiencies of the Cuban régime, and the difficulties of life in Cuba should not dominate the news, but to this purpose it’s not necessary to exclude all other topics, just as it happens nowadays where a constant and monotonous discussion prevails on Cuba.
Treating Cuban matters, with Cold War fashion way as in the old radio stations of Miami, won't get the OCB mission to its fulfillment and, on the opinion of the authors of the report, an effort should be made, that: " will require a substantial reduction of the time and space dedicated to Cuban matters and a categorical change in the way in which Cuba is treated."
The recommendations also include, developing new categories of content, in multiple and new formats that attract the current population of Cuba, especially the youths.
The "implacable anti-Cuban defense" should seek as alternative other "types of news covering and even a promotion journalism that could be more effective, for example, to tell positive stories on you or the United States".
"These tools then would allow the OCB to elaborate a strategy that intentional and methodically seek to "promote freedom and democracy offering to the people of Cuba an objective programming of news and information ".
Any resemblance of the "new" strategy designed by Radio TV Martí with the editorial policy practice by some websites, presumably independent, that today are plentiful in internet, is not at all pure coincidence.
Don’t be alarmed if tomorrow, the radio station whose name dirties for 34 years the memory of the apostle of Cuban independence is sold, according to the principles of the old marketing of lies, as a "revolutionary means of communication and in favor of Socialism."