The B.B.C. reformatted its program to appeal to more Americans, who comprised a large part of the English audience, in preparation for D-Day. Americans were used to a particular format, and in an effort to increase the English's rapport with them, they reformatted their broadcasts to be more American-like. Their primary audience--their own countrymen and women--didn't respond well, and its questionable how much an improved rapport with the Americans really helped the scenario. (Appealing to the American soldiers was a fine tactic, however the soldiers' minds were more occupied by the Pearl Harbor attack, so a familiar radio show, no matter how comfortable, wasn't going to change their perspective.)
This is another example of what WWII taught us about public relations: people don't change very quickly. When they're forced to change, most often do they go through the motions as a means to an end, but generally speaking, the majority of people's habits, drives and behaviors change very gradually. The Germans who became Nazis may seem to dispute this, but keep in mind the German working class was festering against the Jews for years before Hitler's rise to power. Historically speaking, the only way to get people to change quickly is to attack what they hold of value. Hence, Pearl Harbor made the then-isolationist America get more involved internationally, with radio-shows simply lubricating the wheels. If the English propaganda machine (B.B.C.) were more effective, it would've somehow linked the Nazis to the Japanese military, while simultaneously redoubling English pride in what its comfortable with. That way, they would've had an ally, and possibly preserved the crumbling B.B.C., because it would've been perceived as more relevant to the common (although fickle and unfocused) listeners.
Now for the responsibility of the common listener. Orwell's observation that fuels the slow-change argument points out that, "people are vaguely aware that they don't like the B.B.C. programmes, that along with some good stuff a lot of muck is broadcast, that the talks are mostly ballyhoo, and that no subject of important ever gets the honesty of discussion that is would get in even the most reactionary newspaper. But they make no effort to find out, either in general or particular terms, why the programmes are bad, or whether foreign programmes are any better, or what is or is not technically possible on air." (p. 527) He's saying that the English paid such little mind to the programmes in the first place that they simply reacted impulsively to their own desires. They didn't even know what they thought, they just knew what they felt, which helps no one clarify, understand, or resolves issues. "Not one of them was in a position to stand up and tell the House how much we spend every year in broadcasting to the U.S.A., and how many listeners this secures us--facts which they could quite easily have found out." (p. 527) If the listeners were more intelligent, they could've prevented the B.B.C's downfall through critiquing the waste of time and money on appealing to America sentiments.
The English's ignorance--although Orwell agreed with their conclusion that the reformatting wasn't as effective as they preconceived--prevented the B.B.C. from being critiqued on significant issues, pressing issues that the voice of the common man could've critiqued. Instead, the masses couldn't find their words, the broadcasting remained sloppy and unfocused (it contained everything from comedy bits to organ-play to speeches) and ultimately crumbled. All in all, the B.B.C. wasn't effective because it was focused too much on the short game (D-Day strength), rather than on long game, which tells us that people can't change that quickly when they've grown so comfortable to something, and that if we want to affect and effect others, we should probably look at how they
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