Social Science Diliman, Vol 6, No 2 (2010)

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Coping with War: KGST 'Radio' and Other Media Strategies of Civilian Internees in the Philippines in World War II

Elizabeth L. Enriquez

Abstract


Abstract
    The experience of the almost 4,000 internees, mostly American, at the Santo Tomas Internment Camp (University of Santo Tomas campus) shows how the media may help tide people through even the most difficult conditions. Thrown into confinement during the Second World War from January 1942 to February 1945, the internees built a community that struggled to sustain itself through self-government and the management of everyday necessities such as food, health and sanitation and other resources, as well as the performance of normal activities like educating the young and organizing recreational activities. Communication among the internees, the need for which was heightened by the conditions of war and the uncertainty brought about by incarceration, was aided by camp newspapers until paper became scarce in mid-1942. A makeshift radio station soon replaced the newspaper, which the internees fondly called KGST. While not a broadcast station in the technical sense of the word, it served the important function of keeping morale high until the internees were freed towards the end of the war.

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