The National Side And The Media Front

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The national side and the media front

The national side, unlike the Republican side, immediately unifies its forces on the media front. He achieves like this, despite his shortage of propaganda dissemination resources at the beginning of the war, when most stations and newspapers have remained in the Republican side, great efficacy. The army and the clergy were partly responsible for a conscientious unification of information and propaganda.

The Church covers the minority of dissemination resources by providing its entire organization at the service of Franco’s propaganda, providing ideological content and providing the necessary justification for their action.

"The main difference, with respect to Republican Spain, is that in national Spain the unidirectional direction of propaganda made a much more intense implication possible".

The insurgents were from the beginning aware of the importance that the radio medium would have, whose bases were already settled in Spain. From the beginning the radio has a great role in the coup d’etat. Its strategy is very effective and must be recognized, regardless of ideology, the value of measures.

“On July 18, the Army used Radio Tenerife with a speech in which they proclaim the state of war. Same broadcast that is reproduced from Radio Las Palmas (EAJ-50), Radio Tetuán or Radio Ceuta. In addition, this proclamation Radio Sevilla (EAJ-5) is attached to this proclamation, which since the beginning of the lifting is taken by military power."

Citizens thus discover that insurrection is not exclusive from the peninsular exterior, although the republican authorities ensure that these first emissions in Seville are in Ceuta Radio Control.

According to different sources, Franco himself performs a radio intervention on July 18, 1936 Tetuán. It is believed that he has not yet marched to Tetuán, so he cannot have done his intervention there. What is certain is that in his speech he would go to ‘to those who feel the holy love of Spain’ and ask his support in the rebellion. He also refers "to chaos, anarchy, Marxism, separatism and foreign or foreign agents", aspects that are subsequently repeated in national propaganda.

Another intervention that took place on that July 18 is that of Queipo de Llano, a recurring character later on the nationalist radio and whose propaganda through periodic broadcasts will be extended on February 1, 1938.

This media difference is solved, in part, thanks to the Portuguese aid, which is later joined by the German and Italian.

Although in that first blow the majority of great stations remain in Republican territory, the insurgents had as a priority the control of the radio station of each space that they conquered, so as they advance in the Spanish territory “they join to them Pamplona Radio (EAJ-6, which would quickly become Pamplona Radio), Radio Valladolid (since August), Radio Castilla (EAJ-27, Burgos), Unión Radio San Sebastián (EAJ-8) and Radio Oviedo. All of them were local radios with a limited power."

From the radios in their possession they gave updates of those territories in which their uprising triumphed and convened the state of war. From the beginning they carry out an intervention in the national waves to inform the nation of the situation.

But, despite their great efforts, they fail to rise with power in Unión Radio Madrid, which makes the station a point of maximum interest, for its national importance. This is the station used by the Republican Government for its own propaganda.

A week later, the National Defense Board is established, in which in the seventh, eighth and ninth articles censorship are established, the media seized and take control over radios:

  • “Seventh article. Two specimens of any printed or document for advertising will be submitted to the previous censorship.
  • Eighth article. They declare themselves seized, and at my disposal, all vehicles and media of any kind.
  • Ninth article.-It is prohibited, up to new order, the operation of all radio-private stations of short or extracorta wave, considering the offenders as rebels, for the purposes of the Military Justice Code."


Censorship is used as another element of propaganda, with special insistence on the censorship of enemy retransmissions, prohibiting their listening and dissemination.

In 1937 he was fully aware of the importance of propaganda carried out so far. On January 14, the State Delegation for Press and Propaganda (Depp), managed by the General Secretariat of the Head of State is created. In 1938 the National Press and Propaganda Delegation became under control of the Ministry of Interior, with Ramón Serrano Suñer.

The radio office was given to Emilio Díaz Ferrer. One of the first acts of the delegation was the creation of National Radio of Spain in Salamanca, inaugurated on the 19th by Franco. “This is possible thanks to the aforementioned technical help from Italy and Germany. The station is based on the Italian entity per le audizione radiofoniche (EIAR) of Italy and the Rundfunk Reichs Gesellschaft (RRG, Radiodice Company of the Reich) of Germany. The station was a 10 kW Lorenz., German."" National Radio of Spain becomes the largest source of regime propaganda. Through it, citizens listen to parts of war and the chronicles, about which the rest of the media, such as the press, later wrote their reports. When the Commander of Engineers Arias Paz took over the Press and Propaganda Delegation, in April 1937, he appointed director of the station to Jacinto Miquelarena who continued in front of it despite the successive reorganizations of the propaganda services Francoists. In addition to National Radio and Unión Radio Sevilla, a network of stations dependent on F was brewing on the Francoist side.AND.T and J.EITHER.N.S."

The nationals had listening service that, against the censorship to which they submitted to their population in the Republican emissions, collected all the information issued by the enemy stations.

Queipo de Llano among others used in their emissions that information to launch attacks and intimidate, thanks to the references to the situation on the other side, to the enemy population that followed their emissions.

As already mentioned, one of the most propaganda events on the National Radio during the Civil War, together with the creation of RNE, are the emissions made by Queipo de Llano in Unión Radio Sevilla since July 18, 1936 to the February 1, 1938.

This can be considered one of the first radio stars in Spain, followed by numerous listeners despite its vulgar language and macabre messages. From the first to the last broadcast, he celebrated a program every day, being heard on both sides.

The "Viceroy of Andalusia" was appointed, with mandates such as "persecuting the reds as beasts, until everyone disappears". "He said the first thing that was going through his head", simply telling a previous scheme. His speech was not rhetorical, enjoying intimidation:

"For each order to fall, I will kill ten extremists at least," Queipo shouted from the broadcaster microphones, "and the leaders who flee, do not believe that they will fight with it: I will get them out of under the earth if It is necessary, and if they are dead I will make them kill ".

He used an ordinary and rude tone, black humor, gross vocabulary and threatening words, frequently inciting murder and rape, with visceral hatred of the enemy: “Our brave legionaries and regular have taught the cowards of the reds what it means to be a man. And, incidentally, also to women. After all, these communists and anarchists deserve it, haven’t they been playing free love? Now at least they will know what really men and not maricas militiamen. They will not get rid no matter how much they struggle and kick. ”.

His emissions finally stop at the request of the Francoist side himself, who finds obstacles in his company to gain international acceptance, especially France and England, in which Queipo de Llano has reached newspapers.

War parts are systematized, disseminated by Fernando Fernández, aimed at encouraging combatants and demotivating the adversary. In 1938 Antonio Tovar began directing the Radio Section and since February 13 he will be the head of RNE. He tries to unify the small stations of the national side. Also during his direction the emissions of Queipo de Llano end.

The last part of the war is broadcast by RNE from Salamanca, by Fernando Fernández. The last part of the war takes place on April 1, 1939 and is signed by General Francisco Franco himself. It officially ends the Spanish Civil War.

“Today, captive and disarmed the Red Army, their latest military objectives have reached the national troops. The war is over.

Generalissimo Franco

Burgos, April 1, 1939."

Before the end of the war on the rebel side they are already aware that the victory will be yours. For this reason, stop focusing all your strength on radio propaganda and emits other scriptized formats, such as theater.

In addition, censorship is collected in the Official Gazette of the State of the Order of October 6, 1939 (BOE of 7). Signed by Serrano Suñer and executed by Antonio Tovar, under the threat of a new confrontation, World War II. No program can be issued (including entertainment formats such as musical chains) without prior censorship. 

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