Russia

International Broadcasting, Russia

Sound of Hope Plans to Increase Shortwave Radio to China while Voice of America Retreats

TedLipien.com TedLipien.com, Truckee, CA, March 1, 2011 — In this series of analyses for Free Media Online (FreeMediaOnline.org) — U.S. International Broadcasting in Crisis— Ted Lipien, former Voice of America acting associate director, examines recent Broadcasting Board of Governors’ decisions, with a focus on the latest controversial plan to completely eliminate Voice of America on-the-air radio broadcasts to China.

FreeMediaOnline.org Logo. FreeMediaOnline.org Part Two — Special Report: Sound of Hope Plans to Increase Shortwave Radio to China while Voice of America Retreats — Read Part One: No Apology for Failure

While officials of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) tell members of Congress that shortwave radio in China is dead and announce plans to terminate all Voice of America shortwave broadcasts to China in Cantonese and Mandarin, California-based Sound of Hope Radio (SOH) has announced plans to expand its shortwave programs targeting Mainland China, The Epoch Times newspaper reported. Sound of Hope Bucks the Trend and Expands Broadcasts to China | Read The Epoch Times article in Chinese.

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International Broadcasting, Russia

No More Voice of America Radio to China and No Apology from BBG Officials for Allowing Iranian Cyber Attack on Voice of America

TedLipien.com TedLipien.com, Truckee, CA, February 28, 2011 — In this series of analyses for Free Media Online (FreeMediaOnline.org) — U.S. International Broadcasting in Crisis — Ted Lipien, former Voice of America acting associate director, examines recent Broadcasting Board of Governors’ decisions, with the focus on the latest controversial plan to completely eliminate Voice of America on-the-air radio broadcasts to China.

FreeMediaOnline.org Logo. FreeMediaOnline.org Part One — No Apology for Failure

Like everyone else in the free media advocacy community, I was appalled by the Iranian Cyber Army’s attack last week on VOA websites. The staging of the attack did not come as a surprise. The Iranian Islamists, security services of China and Russia, and other enemies of free media around the world are engaging in cyber attacks and harass independent media all the time. The appalling thing about the Monday attack was not that it was launched but that it was allowed to succeed and lasted several hours.

Instead of the VOA website, site visitors saw an Iranian flag, a gun, and an anti-American message, as captured in the image above. Even more appalling was the cavalier attitude with which officials of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a U.S. federal agency which manages the Voice of America, responded to the attack. It was a typical cover-my-behind reaction and an attempt to minimize its significance and impact around the world. Just imagine if CNN, ABC, or Fox News went completely silent for several hours or even days. If BBG officials have their way, this is what will happen in China to the Voice of America. It had already happened to VOA in Russia for at least two days in 2009. There was no apology from the BBG to the American people on whose behalf the Voice of America distributes news and communicates with the rest of the world.

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International Broadcasting, Poland, Public Diplomacy, Russia

U.S. Embassies in Central and Eastern Europe Ignore 100 Anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s Birthday

TedLipien.com TedLipien.com, Truckee, CA, February 08, 2011 — One would think that the centennial of Ronald Reagan’s birthday could be a perfect public diplomacy theme for all U.S. embassies in Central and Eastern Europe — a great opportunity for embassy-sponsored events to strengthen ties with America among diverse nations that owe their current independence and freedom in large part to President Reagan’s vision combined with his steadfastness in standing up to the “Evil Empire.” And yet, both highly-trained and highly-paid U.S. diplomats working in the countries of the former Soviet Block by and large completely ignored the anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birthday. Only two diplomatic post out of more than a dozen in the region sponsored a public event designed to remind older and younger generations of East Europeans of Ronald Reagan’s contribution to freeing them from Soviet domination.

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Russia, VOA

BBC to End Radio Broadcasts in Russian

Русская служба Би-би-си существенно сократит количество радиопрограмм The Russian Service of the BBC, which provides news and information to Russian-speaking audiences not only in Russia but also in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Ukraine and the Baltic States, will end its on-air radio broadcasts as part of a budget cutting move. The BBC announcement was made shortly after the violent suppression…

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Poland, Public Diplomacy, Russia

Subversive U.S. Public Diplomacy Theme – Ronald Reagan

TedLipien.com TedLipien.com, Truckee, CA, January 03, 2011 — The following is not a State Department cable. It was not written by The Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale and not leaked by Wiki Leaks:

TOTALLY TOP SECRET

PARA 5 & 6 ATT. U.S. EMBASSY WARSAW

SUBJECT: Ronald Reagan As A Subversive Model for U.S. Public Diplomacy in Former Soviet Block Countries

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International Broadcasting, Public Diplomacy, Russia

Voice of America continues one-sided coverage of U.S.-Russian relations

TedLipien.com TedLipien.com, Truckee, California, December 28, 2010 — I wrote earlier about unbalanced coverage by the Voice of America English Service of the START treaty debate in the U.S. Senate.

Here is another stunning example of a completely one-sided report by VOA on U.S.-Russian relations. There is not a single sentence in this report about Congressional or any other U.S. domestic or international criticism of President Obama’s approach to managing relations with the Kremlin.

In my entire career with VOA spanning more than two decades, I’ve never seen such government PR being presented as thought-provoking, objective and balanced news and information. Not a word about critical comments by Senator John McCain, Senator George Voinovich, Senator Jim DeMint, or Senator Mitch McConnell.

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Russia, VOA

VOA continues one-sided coverage of U.S.-Russian relations

I wrote earlier about unbalanced coverage by the Voice of America English Service of the START treaty debate in the U.S. Senate. Here is another stunning example of a completely one-sided report by VOA on U.S.-Russian relations. There is not a single sentence in this report about Congressional or any other U.S. domestic or international criticism of President Obama’s approach…

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International Broadcasting, Public Diplomacy, Russia

Why U.S. Public Diplomacy No Longer Works and Can It Be Fixed?

Update: America.gov restored my comment.
TedLipien.com TedLipien.com, Truckee, California, December 27, 2010 — On the day the U.S. Senate voted to approve the new arms reduction treaty with Russia, I found an article on the State Depatment’s website, America.gov, which gave a long list of the START treaty’s benefits lauded by the Obama administration but failed to note any of the objections from some key Republican lawmakers and other critics. I posted a short comment that a website devoted to public diplomacy, with a name that implies that it represents the views of the entire American government and the American public, should try to present a more balanced perspective and mention some of the difficulties in getting the U.S.-Russian agreement approved by the Senate.

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International Broadcasting, Public Diplomacy, Russia

Misleading foreign audiences – America.gov or America.STATE – U.S. Senate Ratifies New START Treaty

Update: America.gov restored my comment.

TedLipien.com TedLipien.com, Truckee, California, December 22, 2010 — I found a factually correct but at the same time completely one-sided report for foreign audiences on America.gov – a State Department website – which claims to have some journalistic objectivity. I posted my comment to the story, which was promptly removed. I recreate it here from memory:

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International Broadcasting, Public Diplomacy, Russia

Voice of America English programs go the way of Voice of Russia, says former VOA journalist

FreeMediaOnline.org Logo. FreeMediaOnline.org Truckee, CA, USA, December 19, 2010 — In their eagerness to promote the Obama Administration policies to overseas audiences, the Voice of America (VOA) English Service reporters and editors have been toeing the White House line on the proposed START arms reductions treaty with Russia and failing to report in a balanced way on the substantial Republican opposition to the treaty, as they are required to do by U.S. law which governs their journalistic work.

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Public Diplomacy, Russia

Putin’s signal to Congress on START – We don’t kill traitors in America

TedLipien.com TedLipien.com, Truckee, CA, December 17, 2010 — The START treaty must be very good for Russia if Prime Minister Putin felt it necessary to disavow a reported statement given earlier to the media by an unitentified Kremlin official who suggested that an assassin or assassins may have been dispatched to the U.S. to kill a former Russian spy suspected of betraying a group of sleeper Russian agents. The earlier story, although not reported widely by mainstream U.S.media, was not good public relations and public diplomacy since it implied the Kremlin’s intention to violate U.S. laws on American soil. He may have been advised to issue a denial to help win the approval for the START treaty in the U.S. Senate.

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Poland, Public Diplomacy, Russia

Leaked U.S. Embassy Warsaw Cables – Obama to the Poles: Have some Patriot missiles that don’t work to protect you from Russia

Obama to the Poles: Have some Patriot missiles that don’t work to protect you from Russia

 

Opinia.USOpinia.US Truckee, CA, December 6, 2010 — The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. has released and commented on a number of leaked U.S. cables dealing with Poland. There needs to be a much greater scrutiny of these cables by mainstream U.S. media and political pressure from Polonia voters to force President Obama to change his course on Poland.

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Poland, Public Diplomacy, Russia

Media Disinformation Influenced U.S. Diplomatic Report from Russia

Opinia.USOpinia.US Truckee, CA, December 5, 2010 — A newly disclosed secret cable to the State Department in Washington shows that American diplomats in Moscow sometimes fall for Russian media disinformation and pass it on without questioning while adding their own pro-Kremlin commentary. Most diplomatic cables from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, which have been released so far by WikiLeaks, seem, however, far more sceptical and critical of the Kremlin.

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Russia

Window on Eurasia: Russia’s Future Could Easily Be like China’s Past, Modernization Expert Says

Paul Goble

Staunton, December 1 – The Russian Federation is unlikely to be dismembered or partially absorbed by other countries, an expert on modernization says, but it could lose its economic sovereignty in much the same way that 19th century China did, a country that was not colonized but rather subject to unequal treaties in which foreigners had extraterritorial rights.

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