inauguaral broadcast of 'Radio Democracy' on 96.1 MHz FM.
The broadcast, which included a 50-minute speech by exiled
Haitain president Aristide, apparently was not widely heard by
the its target audience, primarily because most Haitains didn't
know about it. "Those that knew of the broadcast and tried to
tune tune in found that reception was very poor," according to
Reuters correspondent Andrew Downie. "The signal was faint and
was often drowned out by a nearby evangelical radio station
broadcasting in English, they said," according to Downie's
dispatch from the Haitain capital.
The first broadcast began at 6:30pm EDT Friday, included
10-minutes of Haitain music and that much-publicized (in the
U.S.) speech by exiled president Aristide. It was repeated
later that night. The broadcasts are apparently entirely in
The twice-a-night, hour-long broadcasts originate from studios
in Washington and are transmitted from two U.S. military
aircraft circling Haiti. At a State Department briefing on
Thursday, the day before the broadcasts began, the spokeman
declined to give out information as to what frequencies would
DOES ANYBODY KNOW if these broadcasts are 'live' or on tape?
If taped (we KNOW Ariside's speech was pre-recorded), are the
tapes being played-back from aboard the planes? If live, how
is the signal getting to the aircraft? What other frequency or
frequencies are being used for this U.S. military psychological
warfare operation? Surely the government must realize that
thye Haitian people, poorest in this hemisphere, barely able to
afford radios or batteries to power them, are not likely
listening to FM.
Meanwhile...also from my ABC News collegues in Haiti...local
Haitian stations were carrying the World Cup final match live
on Sunday afternoon!