"Eyes Only. This is a Streaming Freedom video bulletin. It cannot be traced, cannot be stopped, and it is the only free voice left in this city.
Attention tropers! Calling all willing and able-bodied rebels and sympathizers
everywhere! The Empire
has swept upon us in a flash, supplanting our administrators, monitoring our discussions, and flooding our on-site ads with propaganda! YKTTW is no longer safe! All formerly reliable channels have been domineered! The Quisling
controls all stations, papers, and broadcasts
Do not worry however, tropers! We of La Résistance
and our team of intrepid reporters
have teamed up to bring you
the news, as it happens, the way
it happens! We bring you the truth!
For as long as this war continues, we will continue to report the scandalous truth
behind the Alien Invasion
's acts all across this Vichy Earth
. We are... The Voice Of The Resistance!
Tune into this article every night at 8 PM for the latest updates on the war. You can also inquire at your local Greasy Spoon
for a free copy of our newsletter. Ask for Beverly—the password is "swordfish"
Compare and contrast the state-controlled Propaganda Machine
, to which this trope is often a direct reaction, but some examples
will blur the lines between the two.
Anime and Manga
- The Captain Harlock movie Arcadia of My Youth has an example with the "Voice of Free Arcadia". She's first introduced simply broadcasting messages of hope to the beaten and bloodied Earthlings, but soon shows her steel by broadcasting a message meant to inspire Harlock to rebel against both Earth's conquerors and the Vichy Earthlings by putting his home behind him.
- Non-radio example: In an Elseworld story in which an ancestor of Kal-El helped the British defeat the American Revolution, the Daily Planet is the only newspaper that dares tell the truth about the British.
- Elseworlds, nothing. In Final Crisis, after Darkseid takes over television, radio and the internet, the Daily Planet relocates to the Fortress of Solitude and become the only free news source on the planet.
- IDW's Transformers comics feature Blaster, whose main job in the war is not battle but being The Voice.
- In The Man With No Name, the Big Bad tries to enlist Mal to be this for his resistance since he's a war hero and can rally the masses. Judging by the coffee he threw in the faces of his reciters (not to mention all of the absolute CRAP the villain had put the crew through thus far), Mal said no.
- In Fallout: Equestria, DJ Pon-3 acts as this as a reference to Three-Dog in Fallout 3.
- Despite the fact that most major cities have been vaporized, TV news is still being broadcast in Independence Day.
- The cult classic They Live! features a pirate TV broadcast warning about the alien conspiracy that is marginalizing the human race.
- John Connor in Terminator Salvation. His broadcasts contain his message of hope, along with useful advice about fighting the machines. He is doing that against his superiors' wishes, though.
- "Radio Free America" in Red Dawn (1984).
- I Am Legend had the protagonist making regular daily broadcasts to anyone else who might have escaped the zombie plague.
- Potterwatch in the final Harry Potter novel, with ex-Large Ham Announcer Lee Jordan at the mic. Requires a wand and an ever-changing password to tune in.
- And when the Daily Prophet and other newspapers get taken over, the Quibbler turns from a crazy Conspiracy Theorist magazine to the only reliable print media outlet (at least until Luna gets taken hostage and Xenophilius becomes willing to collaborate to get her back).
- In the third book of the The Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, this is what Katniss becomes.
- In Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, the lunar newspaper regularly printed columns by Adam Selene and "Simon Jester." This was easy to manage because the newspaper was printed by a computer—who was secretly a member of La Résistance.
- The trope is also subverted by the messages the Lunar Colony sends to Earth. One set is standard propaganda designed to make the Lunar Colony look strong, and also to thumb their noses at Earth. At the same time, the colonists also send phony "clandestine" messages from people supposedly loyal to Earth, telling them a very different (and equally) false story that the Lunar Colony is weak and chaotic. The idea behind the second set of messages is to give the people of Earth a false sense of security.
- China Miéville's Perdido Street Station has the city being run by an oppressive government, but there's an underground newspaper named "the Runagate Rampant." Of course, this being a Crapsack World, things don't work out so well for them.
- In World War Z, the resistance radio 'Radio Free Earth' was actually an international effort to broadcast information to survivors around the world. It's "resistance" because zombies cover most of the planet. The transmissions were broadcast from a ship at sea, with a full crew of operators in relative safety. The translators and broadcast operators have hectic, but important jobs, sending the information to as many regions in as many languages as possible. The operators in reception get to spend every possible moment gathering information by listening in to government and civilian transmissions from around the world as the zombies take over. By the time the book takes place, every one of the operators has already killed themselves.
- In Lloyd Alexander's Westmark trilogy, Keller publishes one of the few newspapers that dares to criticize Cabbarus.
- In the early chapters of the Stephen King novel The Stand, information about the spread of the virus is being controlled by the military. Several non-official information sources spring up, including a lawyer who prints and hand delivers a newspaper, a television news crew that takes back control of the broadcast in a coup, and a talk radio host who encourages callers to talk about the virus. All are violently silenced. In the later chapters, the 'good' survivors use ham radios to broadcast their location and direction of travel, to allow the survivors to converge.
- In the Dread Empire's Fall books, the Resistance publishes a newspaper through the enemy-controlled computer systems.
- Dr. Tsion Ben-Judah in the main Left Behind book series was this for the Tribulation Force, so much that those who became true believers in Christ during the Tribulation were pejoratively called "Judah-ites". Buck Williams follows close behind with his online publication The Truth, which disseminates the information that the Global Community-controlled press doesn't want the general public to know about Nicolae Carpathia.
- In Babylon 5, "The Voice of the Resistance" was broadcast from the Babylon 5 station by Susan Ivanova when Earth was under the control of President Clark. Sheridan mentions getting the name from the French Resistance.
- There was one in Dark Angel: Logan, a/k/a "Eyes Only".
- V: The Series used to begin each episode with a faux bulletin from "Freedom Network" in New York, until they dropped the idea in mid-run. There's also a brief glimpse of what they hope will be their final broadcast, following the truce in the final episode.
- Radio Free Roscoe takes the idea and drops it into a High School setting, with a group of students running a pirate radio station to speak out against the oppressive administration.
- A purportedly secret radio station which nonetheless has a call-in number. More than enough for the FCC to come down on them like a hammer, except RFR takes place in Canada. So maybe as long as they keep their CanCon quotas, the CRTC won't care.
- In 'Allo 'Allo!, Michelle of the Resistance gets the plan to broadcast from a secret radio transmitter hidden in a hearse. Unfortunately, the batteries they stole didn't allow them to transmit very far which was probably a good thing for Rene who had to drive the hearse under the nose of the Germans.
- One episode of NCIS: Los Angeles featured a masked man who acted as the Voice of the Libyan Resistance via webcasts. He ends up murdered by the Libyan government, who then has another person don the mask and use the broadcasts to try to lure all the resistance groups to a summit where they can be ambushed.
- Jim Kyle of BBC's dystopian "1990" wrote as blatant truths as he could about the evil government and the Public Control Department through the paper he officially worked for during the first season, then during the second season (after various bureaucratic roadblocks stopped him from writing anything of any truth officially) writes for underground resistance papers and news articles he got smuggled to other countries to arouse international sympathy.
- Skye functions as this in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. At first.
- The resistance got one up and running in Half-Life 2: Episode One, but only after they commandeered the defeated Combine's propaganda system.
- There is a Voice of the Resistance in some two levels of Command & Conquer: Renegade, in a town occupied by Nod forces.
- The IRIS Network newsletter/news program in Beyond Good & Evil.
- The Voice of Free Mars and the Dystopian Sno-Men serve this purpose in Starsiege.
- In Shin Megami Tensei II, the hero's designated bodyguard took over the Mesian TV broadcasts to reveal the truth about some of the horrific things they had done. Naturally the Mesians tried to shut him up.
- Three-Dog at Galaxy News Radio in Fallout 3. He starts out as the voice supporting the Brotherhood of Steel, but later on he becomes the voice of the Resistance once the Enclave moves in.
- Professor K at Jet Set Radio in Jet Grind Radio and Jet Set Radio Future.
- Ace Combat 6's Emmerian Independence Radio. At one point, Ghost Eye admonishes you for listening to it during a battle.
- Similar broadcasts are referred to in AC04, but the enemy eventually jams them or something.
- Freedom Fighters has a mission where you invade the Soviet Armed Forces Network studios to set up a Freedom Phantom TV station.
- inFAMOUS has news broadcasts both from the regular media and pirated broadcasts from "The Voice of Survival." The latter has a more genuine interest in helping the citizens, though he continually denounces Cole as a terrorist. Turns out he was doing that on orders from the First Sons, and they kill him anyway.
- Michael Liberty in the Starcraft Expanded Universe.
- Susan Bradley is the spiritual (and military) leader of the Bora in Tachyon: The Fringe. Some of the Bora mission briefings include her calling out to any willing pilot to aid the Bora in their fight against the Mega Corp. GalSpan. She also commands an elite squadron of Space Fighters known as "Susan's Lance" and has scored numerous victories against GalSpan holdings.
- Mech Warrior 4: Vengance has broadcasts by a person literally going by the handle "The Voice of the Resistance," which play in between missions and inform the populace about what has transpired, attempting to keep up morale in the face of Steiner oppression.
- The Voice of Freedom network fulfills this function in Homefront.
- The Kids' Grid in Pokémon Colosseum serves this purpose in the Under, quietly resisting Cipher until Wes kicks said gang to the curb.
- The BBC served this purpose for occupied Europe during World War II, even to the extent that it was used to give secret messages to the French Resistance—which is the Trope Namer.
- They would begin their news broadcasts with, "This is London calling." Thus the song by The Clash.
- A tradition that was carried into the Eurovision Song Contest of all things. The various capital cities don't tend to say it so much these days, but the UK still does.
- Radio Free Europe, which was founded in 1949 by the National Committee for a Free Europe.
- And of course the ever present effort of zinesters and Samizdat writers and copiers, anywhere there is something worth saying that someone with power doesn't want said. The photocopier and Internet have been great boons to this effort.
- This is so bad that, during the height of the Soviet Union, a general wrote a paper to the government on how having only forty photocopiers (with only half of them working) was causing a severe paperwork back-up within the military. The government's reply basically was that it was a means of publication, and one that could potentially be used by counter-revolutionaries.
- Rendered hilarious by the fact that the more tech-saavy counter-revolutionaries had collected the parts to build their own photocopier.
- The same could be said for the Iskra and the Pravda under Tsarist rule in the Russian Empire. These news papers were the voice of the workers resistance.
- Special mention goes to the US government's role in the Polish resistance and the Solidarity movement. Did they send them weapons to fight a guerilla war like so many other times? Nope. The CIA, with the assistance of the Catholic Church and American trade unions such as the AFL-CIO, sent photocopiers, along with money and advice on how to more effectively be the Voice of the Resistance.
- Al-Manar, multimedia organization run by Hezbollah of Lebanon. YMMV, of course.
- Wikileaks/Julian Assange and Anonymous could be considered this, but YMMV. Considerably.
- As of 21st century, social networking sites seems to have taken this role. Facebook and Twitter are instrumental for Arab Spring. And the Indignados. And the Occupy movement. It's Super Effective, largely because of the relative ease of communication provided by the Internet. Though that said, it's very easy to exaggerate its impact as governments all over the world have caught on.
- Even the Taliban have Twitter accounts. Which the USA try to block. The USA isn't alone in this regard, China and Iran are also trying to block internet, albeit to a far greater extent.
- To its logical extent: when Israeli raided Gaza in 2012, Hamas and the Israeli army engaged in a war of words in Twitter while their respective troops engaged in a war of firearms on the ground.
- The Voice of America radio broadcasts served this purpose during the Cold War.
- Some DJs on British pirate radio stations liked to think of themselves as this, on account of The BBC having a monopoly on broadcast media until the 1960s. Given that the BBC's gravest abuse of said monopoly was having very little quality music programming aimed at the 18-34 demographic, this was not terribly convincing... until the government of the day started sending boatloads of heavies to smash up their equipment note while serving cease-and-desist notices on radio-ships and WWII anti-aircraft forts broadcasting from outside British territorial waters, which they may or may not have been legally entitled to do. Eventually the BBC relented and started Radio 1 specifically for rock and pop music, hiring a bunch of ex-pirate DJs in the process, and legalised commercial radio followed soon after.
- It wasn't just Britain - several north European countries had were targeted by pirate radio ships, as were Israel and even New Zealand. A couple of attempts were made off the USA, both rapidly silenced. Offshore piracy wasn't just in the 60s either - it began with Denmark's Radio Mercur in 1958, and didn't end until Radio Caroline made its last pirate broadcast in 1990 before going legit. Offshore broadcasting is now illegal just about everywhere, and countries have brought in even stiffer penalties for anyone who tries it. There are still one or two stations, however, that broadcast from ships legally in an attempt to recapture the spirit of the pirates.
- One pirate that almost literally regarded itself as this was Radio North Sea International, which in early 1970 was actually jammed by the British Government over fears that it might try to influence the upcoming election. This naturally guaranteed that despite the jamming the station would try to influence the election by promoting the Opposition party.
- And on the internet today there are many stations that don't pay royalties (some of which have broadcast transmitters as well), and play music they claim can't be found on corporate-owned stations.
- During the Liberation War of 1971, where Bangladesh won their freedom from Pakistan, the Swadhin Bangla Betar or Free Bangla Radio acted as this to the freedom fighters fighting the war on the ground. The station was based in Kolkata, India and staffed with Bangladeshi radio personnel, journalists and artists who had escaped the Pakistani Army to India. The station broadcasted news, patriotic songs and plays and kept up the morale of the soldiers of the ground with constant reminders of what they were fighting for and how well they were doing. Later on, the staff of the station and the artists who had taken part in their programmes were desginated Swabdosoinik or Sound Warriors (which sounds much cooler in Bangla...) in recognition of their dedication and their contribution to the War.
- A more recent and way less clear-cut example was the closure of Greece's national broadcaster, ERT, through an executive order (which are meant to be issued only in cases of imminent natural disasters or wars, that allows the executive branch of the government to ignore the elected parliament), accidentally turning it to the Television of Resistance -both about the network itself, but also to other groups of people. The corporation is dissolved, and all 2500 of staff are fired. About an hour before midnight on the 11th of June 2013 major transmission points went off-air after riot police seized most transmission sites. The following day, the studios of one of the three ERT channels were also occupied (namely ET 1). The programme of the other two channels, NET and ERT 3, as well as most public radio stations remained on air, often with the help of other, small local radio and TV stations lending ERT's staff their frequencies (which faced jamming and penalties by the government for doing so) and through webstreaming. The (ex-)staff, being for all intents and purposes fired, used their new-found editorial freedom to explain how government meddling ruined the once successful public broadcaster to benefit private interests (June 2013 was the month were the digital TV broadcasting licenses were going to be auctioned, and private channels really didn't want ERT getting one on their own, rather wanted them to be their private consortium's client). They also invited disenfranchised groups of people to the studios and aired a lot of crowdsourced documentaries that indie creators offered to (ex-)ERT, curiously, all related to subjects that traditional media avoids (racism, corruption in the government and so on). The newscasters played this trope straight when they redubbed ERT (Elliniki Radiofonia Tileorasi: Greek Radio Television) to Eleftheri Radiofonia Tileorasi (Free Radio Television), initialised the same in Greek. Their broadcast still goes on as of the moment for writing (August 2013), although severely weakened because of more government meddling, and also, people who decided that bringing bread back home might be more urgent than defending a concept and protesting an unlawful dismissal (you can't really fault them, seeing the unemployment rates and poverty in Greece). The role of public broadcaster was hastily replaced by the government (after public outcry) with an entity with no legal standing and public domain movies on loop.
- Part of Russia Today's MO is to present itself as this for the West. The irony of it being effectively run by an increasingly autocratic and authoritarian regime, not to mention is unafraid to exploit far-right and far-left crankery isn't lost to anyone.