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VOA launches Digital Frontiers web project

FreeMediaOnline.org Logo. FreeMediaOnline.org & Free Media Online Blog, May 06, 2010, San Francisco — Dr. Kim Andrew Elliott reported the launch of a new Voice of America digital freedom web page. Dr. Elliott is an employee the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which manages VOA. He edits his own international media news website, Kim Andrew Elliott on International Broadcasting, which he claims is not connected with the BBG.

On its lauch day, Voice of America Digital Frontiers has posted a link to FreeMediaOnline.org report Voice of America Russian Service LiveJournal Website Under Porn Attack with the following comment: “just in time for Digital Frontiers to launch? Yipes!”

FreeMediaOnline.org has been critical of the BBG’s decisions to terminate VOA radio and TV services and to steer funding to private Internet contractors who have made VOA websites more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Voice of America Russian Service radio broadcasts were silenced by the BBG just 12 days before the Russian military attack on Georgia in August 2008.

At the time, BBG officials claimed that VOA Russian Service will be able to reach a vast Internet audience in Russia. But the number of visitors to VOA Russian Service website has been in low thousands and its total audience reach in Russia has dramatically declined since the BBG’s decision to stop most VOA Russian-language radio and TV broadcasts.

The BBG and VOA executives ignored warnings that their Internet-only strategy undermines the potential impact of US-funded international broadcasting as a tool in defense of freedom of expression in countries like Russia and exposes the Voice of America to crippling cyber attacks. VOA’s main websites were successfully hacked and out of commission for at least two days during President Obama’s first official visit to Moscow. BBG executives were also responsible for the decision to place the VOA Russian Service Blog on the LiveJournal platform

News item from Kim Andrew Elliott on International Broadcasting website:

Digital Frontiers is a new VOA web section, with video introduction by VOA director Dan Austin, that deals with things digital, cyber, virtual, mobile, etc., including the censorship and efforts to overcome the censorship of digital content. The hard launch is today, 6 May, but as of this typing there still is no link to the site from the voanews.com home page. The short URL is www.voanews.com/digitalfrontiers.

VOA press release, 5 May 2010: “VOA Director Danforth Austin says, ‘We hope to make Digital Frontiers a global resource for those interested in online freedom and to expand this online project into broadcasts, seminars and other outreach.’ ‘Wherever you live, you have something to teach the world,’ Austin says, and ‘with ‘Digital Frontiers’ we’ll tell your story, and share it with the world.’”

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