urged to deal with Latin America due to RT

24 urged to deal with Latin America due to RT

Senate was informed the success of Russian media requires modifications to propaganda technique

The success of RT within the Spanish-speaking world means Washington ought to spend extra sources on waging data warfare in Latin America, the influential assume tank Brookings Establishment has knowledgeable the US Senate.

“As a rustic with 40 million native Spanish audio system and whose nationwide safety pursuits are immediately affected by occasions within the area, the US can’t afford to cede the data house in Latin America to its geopolitical opponents,” Jessica Brandt, a coverage director at Brookings, informed the Senate International Relations committee final week.

Her testimony, since printed as a coverage paper, cites the widespread reputation of RT en Español on social media platforms as motive to induce extra funding for US Company for International Media (USAGM) operations.

In line with Brandt, within the first quarter of 2023, three of the 5 most retweeted “Russian state media” accounts had been in Spanish, and 5 of the ten fastest-growing accounts had been geared toward Spanish-language audiences. She stated RT en Español had “additionally confirmed able to constructing massive audiences” on YouTube, regardless of the platform’s world ban on Russian media.

The channel has extra followers on Fb than “every other Spanish-language worldwide broadcaster” and is extra well-liked on TikTok than Telemundo, Univision, BBC Mundo, and El Pais, Brandt identified. In the meantime, the Spanish-language Voice of America service has six instances fewer followers on Fb than China’s CGTN en Español.

Brandt lamented the neglect of Voice of America’s Spanish service, with no regional bureau in Latin America and the annual price range of simply over $10 million. She urged the US authorities to spend extra money on the operation, but additionally to make use of “public-private partnerships to create low-cost distribution and content-sharing agreements” that might channel supplies created by Spanish-speakers within the US by way of “native, trusted sources.”

Different choices embody utilizing AI to translate USAGM “or different high-quality content material” into a number of languages, and utilizing “native investigative journalists and civil-society leaders, together with rights defenders” to attraction to native audiences, “particularly in locations the place the US might not be inherently trusted.”

Brandt introduced these efforts as a part of a wider world data conflict between the US and its allies on one facet and Russia and China on the opposite, which she described as a “wrestle over programs and ideas.” 

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