British colonial film and radio broadcasting initiatives are described as a foundational context for shaping the Malayan Emergency (1948–60). The development and deployment of counterinsurgency techniques become a means by which to wage war against what came to be identified as the Communist insurgency, previously trained and allied with Anglo‐American forces against the Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945. Key British figures associated with propaganda tactics during World War II, such as Hugh Carelton Greene, were instrumental in developing a new array of techniques for postwar propaganda. This article considers the extent to which film and radio programming were elemental to managing popular aspirations for independence just as economic and political authority became increasingly consolidated within the terms of Anglo‐American economic and political interests. It considers how film and media programs contributed to the construction of the “Communist terrorist” by reference to several radio segments and films that were produced during this period. A significant part of the Malayan Emergency was associated with a large‐scale population resettlement program known as the Briggs Plan. It was conceived as an effective population‐centric strategy of political control that relied upon a biopolitics of security that became integral to Cold War political objectives. It is within the terms of a Cold War media complex that this discussion addresses the context for “radio‐cinema governmentality.”

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