David Hoffman's InterNews, a $35 million organization which has helped
support the development of 4,800 news outlets in 30 countries, has just
opened its 42nd radio station in Afghanistan, and over lunch, Hoffman had
an interesting story to tell. It was about the response from the Taliban
to this form of public diplomacy.
Shortly after the station started reporting local news, says Hoffman, it
received a phone call from a very polite member of the Taliban. "Could you
please take the little jingle off the air?" the caller asked. "I want to
listen to the news, but it starts with a jingle, and we're not allowed to
listen to music." The Taliban could burn us down, says Hoffman, but they
don't, because we provide an important function in Afghanistan.
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