The Power of Local News and Information Warfare

I had the opportunity to travel across the globe in the past few weeks. With that travel I was exposed to different cultures, habits, religions and most importantly to the local news (one country local TV, Radio and News Papers).


So, what does that mean, being exposed to the local news?

1. Watching and listening to the local news gives you a different perspective. Particularly if you know different languages and you can read without translation or subtitles.

My personal work and life experience in human intelligence and information risk management always puts me on a path to seek more sources of information and I also love to engage locals in conversation.

2. Talking and socialising with people I know from earlier life who don’t censor themselves while talking that sometimes I think that well known Roman General Coriolanus (known from being a legend to being lifelong banished due his vocabulary) of course Coriolanus was firstly being sentenced to death, so he can consider himself lucky.

Those conversations are not targeted nor socially engineered, but more importantly the frank open conversation allows me to understand how the world thinks on a local level.

So, what are the topic of news I was accessing?

There were two major topics.

The first is inflation, recession and shortages of food. The second is the war in Ukraine. The latter is predominant everywhere in the news. It was interesting to see how many countries I visited are still broadcasting news and TV shows from Russia. War is the worst and most horrific human invention and I am saying this from experience.

I saw the war. I have been to war. I consumed war. What I didn’t know, what is the first casualty of the war. Did you ever hear the saying “The first casualty when war comes is truth”?!

It is an accurate expression and it has been said and stated by Hiram W Johnson, senator for California, to the US Senate in 1917.

You know that deception doesn’t work if there is no element of smoking screens?
No problem, will address this a little later in this article/podcast.

We are all witnessing how the world is moving and shifting like tectonic plates under our feet.

In the past two years human kind has witnessed a pandemic and all sorts of liberties being challenged. In the past few months we are witnessing the war in Ukraine.

Needless to say that in the moment of writing this article/podcast, we are having a new potential health issue, Monkeypox.

As someone who saw the war, witnessed war and being in combat, I learned that war is the worst event any human can witness and that those who suffer most are civilians. At least this is my experience and opinion.

As Clausewitz said, ‘War is nothing but a duel on an extensive scale… an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will,’ directed by political motives and morality.

The War in Ukraine demonstrated power and unity in the fight against the occupying force. We can also see how social media plays a key role in informing the public about real time combat activities as well as sharing the day to day life of those in combat zones.

Would you agree with me that people often mistake honesty with sincerity?

That is a correct statement, people do mistake those two. Very often.

Why I am saying that?

When it comes to information warfare, particularly in war, two opposing sides include all aspects of war from kinetic to non-kinetic, hybrid, asymmetric and of course information.

I witnessed that the countries I visited openly broadcasting news from both sides of the war in Ukraine, and in discussion with locals I concluded that they forming their own opinion about the war in Ukraine, because they are seeing both sources of information.

No one is trying to stop broadcasting, say in the UAE. In contrary, people listen to what they want, when they want and without making any enemies in this process.

This practice certainly was not taken into calculation by Western society. There are countries which are not only not stopping broadcasting, but as well they continue economical exchange and growth.

Information warfare escalated into a new dimension and new levels which includes all sorts of platforms and media to share news, however information warfare as I remember includes local news papers, conversation with locals and above all knowing what their priorities are.

And let me be to the point. Most of the world is choosing more local newspapers and radio stations for that reason. They are seeing that information warfare is vague and they don’t want to take part in it because they can sense it that their behaviour and mood will be measured and catalogued for future conflicts etc.

That’s why local news has more influence than planned information warfare a.k.a. “winning hearts and minds”.

Instead, conversation behind closed doors is more honest and powerful than the news we can see on social media. Social media is the most deceptive due heavily to applying smoking mirrors when it comes to informations.

As for smoking screens, there are several methods of smoking screens when it comes to deception, but one of the most important ones when it comes to information warfare is?

One of the most crucial elements for information warfare to be successful is deception.

Deception itself could never be enough to win the information war against your opponent, competitor.

By smoking screen and today that element related to information warfare is “pattern”.

Pattern is created to seduce consumers (readers) and creates belief that will information go the same way every day.

It plays on the psychology of anticipation.




This post was written by Mario Bekes