The Cold War led to increased international broadcasting, most of which contained either news, sport, music or propaganda disguised as news; as Communist and anti-Communist states attempted to influence each other's domestic population.
The Voice of America, the BBC World Service, the (then covertly) CIA-backed Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Havana Cuba international, Radio Moscow and Radio Peking all jostled for the attention and political loyalty of the global public.
Many like Albania, the USA, Egypt and N. Korea wanted promote their ideology. An example being, a propaganda program on Radio Moscow from the 1960s to the 1980s was “What is Communism?”.
Israel's overseas service, Kol Yisrael, served both to present the Israeli point of view to the world and to serve the Jewish diaspora, particularly behind the Iron Curtain.
S. Africa's Radio RSA set out to promote the image of South Africa internationally and reduce criticism of apartheid.
In the case of some major broadcasters such as the BBC World Service, Voice of America and Radio Australia, there is also an educational outreach.
During the Cold War the American Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty were founded to broadcast uncencord news from "behind the Iron Curtain" that was otherwise being censored and promote dissent and occasionally, to disseminate disinformation. Currently the US still operates similar services aimed at Cuba and the People's Republic of China. Many western overseas broadcasts like those of Radio Franc International, The BBC World Service and the Voice of America have more news broadcasts, particularly aimed at informing listeners in general about to countries that are experiencing repression or civil unrest and informing the people in repressive and unstable nations about news about the outside world and/or news not censored by a politbeaux.
Often a station has an official mandate to keep expatriates in touch with the home country and broadcast domestic programs on their international shortwave frequencies.
Some include teaching a foreign language, such as Radio Exterior de España's Spanish class, Un idioma sin fronteras, or the Voice of America's broadcasts in Special English.
Ironically, the acutely paranoid and isolationist nation of Albania under the dictator Enver Hoxha, decided to become one of the most prolific international broadcasters during the later stages of the Cold War, with Radio Tirana being one of the top 5 international broadcasters in terms of hours of radio programming produced. It was largely aimed at both the Albanian diaspora and promoting Albania's eccentric variant of communism in neighboring nations.
In the then geo-political context, a new Radio Romania mast, M. Gorky, was built in 1936 in Tiraspol, allowed a greater coverage of the territory of Moldova. The Romanian state broadcaster then started in 1937 to build up propaganda services under the name of Radio Bessarabia, to counter supposed Soviet 'propaganda' in the region. As a result Romania was one of the fist targets of Soviet suspicion until the communists took over after World War 2.
Raadio vabadus Eesti- ja Liivimaal operates at low levels out of southern Finland between 1947 and 1948.
W. Germany (the FRG) resumed regular shortwave broadcasts using Deutsche Welle on May 3, 1953. RDW's Julich transmitter site began operation in 1956, with 11 100-kW Telefunken transmitters and the later Wertachtal opened in 1972 and began operating with 4 500-kW transmitters.
Meanwhile, East Germany's Nauen site began transmitting Radio DDR, which later Radio Berlin International, on October 15, 1959. In 1963, a local radio station favoring the city of Moscow and the Moscow Oblast was also launched.
In addition to the growth of international services from the superpower states and their major European allies, a similar in the rest of Europe and in the Middle East. Egypt's President Gamal Nasser, built Egyptian transmitters across friendly parts of the Arab world to spread the message of Arab nationalism and Egypt's point of view to the world.
The USA began jamming Radio Havana Cuba international from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s.
S. Africa's Radio RSA started services in 1966 to promote the image of South Africa internationally and reduce criticism of apartheid. It continued in 1992, when government reformed it and renamed it Channel Africa.
From the early 1970s, satellites generating frequency swinging carrier signals were used to even better at interfering with rival nation's broadcasts. Nevertheless, the oppressed people continued (or attempted) to listen to Western broadcasts. The Soviets stopped jamming foreign broadcasts, excluding Radio Free Europe, from 1963 to 1968 and from 1973 to 1980. The jamming ended in 1988, except for Radio Free Europe was, which had to wait until the August of 1991.
The radio organisation of the USSR began to shut down as private services were introduced in the 1980's which lead to the USSR's stations being relaunched and content refocused.
By 1989, there were 15 RDW transmitters in W. Germany, 4 of which relayed the Voice of America.
During Iraqi missile strikes on Israel during the 1991 Gulf War, Kol Israel relayed its domestic service on its shortwave service so as to give the world an insight in to their domestic siuation.