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Interesting Times

 FreeMediaOnline.org & Free Media Online Blog  The Federalist Commentary, October 16, 2008, San Francisco — “May you live in interesting times.” No one knows with certainty if this proverb is a famous Chinese curse or not.  However, one can certainly accept the fact that these times are indeed interesting…meaning troubled…in many spheres including economics and international broadcasting.  While the fine points…

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BBC Keeps Radio Broadcasts to Russia

 FreeMediaOnline.org and Free Media Online Blog October 8, 2008, San Francisco — Unlike the Voice of America (VOA), which had eliminated radio broadcasts to Russia shortly before the Russian invasion of Georgia, the BBC has decided to continue producing Russian-language radio programs while also expanding its Internet and video production. FreeMediaOnline.org has obtained the details of the new British broadcasting strategy for Russia, which was announced by…

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Winning Democracy Through New Media Contests

 FreeMediaOnline.org and Free Media Online Blog Commentary by Ted Lipien, October 7, 2008, San Francisco — U.S. public diplomacy is in crisis, as is U.S. international broadcasting. Officials in charge of both, including James K. Glassman, the current Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, put their hope in the Internet, other new media platforms, and heavy marketing to help…

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Hard-Pressed Moscow Opposition Leaders Ask U.S. Not to Cut Russian-Language Broadcasts

 Window on Eurasia, Vienna, October 4 –- Three leading figures of the Russian opposition are calling on Washington to reverse its decision to reduce Radio Liberty’s Russian-language broadcasts next year, lest Russian citizens, at a time when Moscow has established “practically complete control” over domestic radio and television lose a vital source of “objective information.” State Department, the foreign affairs…

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U.S. Public Diplomacy Head Gives Incomplete and Misleading Answers about Elimination of U.S. Broadcasts to Russia, Georgia, and India

 FreeMediaOnline.org & Free Media Online Blog Commentary by Ted Lipien, October 4, 2008, San Francisco — James Glassman, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, gave incomplete and misleading answers when asked Friday whether the elimination of vernacular broadcasts to Georgia, Russia, and India is going to hurt his “war of ideas” effort. Speaking in Washington at a National Press Club…

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FreeMediaOnline.org Joins Call for End of Impunity in Russia on Anniversary of Politkovskaya Killing

FreeMediaOnline.org and Free Media Online Blog October 3, 2008, San Francisco — As journalists, their organisations, and human rights and press freedom groups are preparing to commemorate the second anniversary of the killing of investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, the International Federation of Journalists urged Friday all its affiliates worldwide to join the call for renewed efforts to end impunity in Russia. Link In response…

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Broadcasting Board of Governors Tried to Hire John Cochran for a Public Relations Job While Cutting Voice of America Radio to Russia

 FreeMediaOnline.org & Free Media Online Blog September 30, 2008, San Francisco — Sources say that the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) tried to recruit John Cochran of NBC, then ABC News, as their high profile public relations guru. According to earlier reports, the BBG also tried to recruit Paula Zahn, who turned them down. The yearly cost of such a position is well over $100,000. The same bipartisan Board, which…

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Kremlin Can’t Pursue War Against Internet Without Hackers, Expert Says, But This Is No Consolation for Voice of America

 FreeMediaOnline.org & Free Media Online Blog Commentary by Ted Lipien, September 29, 2008, San Francisco — The Broadcasting Board of Governors’ decision to prevent the Voice of America from being a broadcaster in Russia has destroyed VOA’s ability to have any significant impact on the Kremlin and the Russian public opinion. With its radio broadcasts silenced by the BBG just 12 days before the…

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Restoring Effectiveness of U.S. Public Diplomacy and International Broadcasting

 FreeMediaOnline.org & Free Media Online Blog  The Federalist Commentary, September 25, 2008, San Francisco — Free Media Online Blog welcomes a new guest contributor who provides a unique perspective on U.S. international broadcasting and public diplomacy. The first article from The Federalist deals with the legislation introduced Tuesday by Senator Sam Brownback (R-KA) that would establish the National Center for Strategic Communications, an…

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Senator Brownback Introduced Legislation That Would Abolish the Broadcasting Board of Governors

U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KA) introduced legislation that would establish the National Center for Strategic Communications, an agency similar to the now defunct U.S. Information Agency. Brownback’s proposal would abolish the existing Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy at the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). Their functions would be transferred to the new National Center for Strategic Communications…

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Voice of America Director’s Position Seen As Too Weak to Defend VOA Russian Radio

 FreeMediaOnline.org & Free Media Online Blog  Commentary by Ted Lipien, September 24, 2008, San Francisco — On Monday, September 22, 2008, VOA Director, Dan Austin, in the company of VOA Chief of Staff, Barbara Brady, VOA Associate Director of Language Programming, John Lennon, and VOA Senior Project Officer, Will Marsh, met with the VOA Ukrainian, Serbian, Hindi, and Portuguese-to-Africa services.  Austin announced that the…

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U.S. Board Blocks Use of AM Frequency in Moscow for Voice of America Russian Broadcasts

 FreeMediaOnline.org & Free Media Online Blog  September 24, 2008, San Francisco — A U.S. broadcaster is denied access to a radio frequency in the Russian capital. The censor in this case is not the Kremlin, as one might expect, but the U.S. government agency which manages U.S. taxpayer-funded international broadcasts. The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is preventing the Voice of America (VOA) from using…

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Broadcasting Board of Governors Staff Still Works Hard to Make Voice of America Radio Unavailable in Russia and Ukraine but VOA is Fighting Back

 FreeMediaOnline.org & Free Media Online Blog Commentary by Ted Lipien, September 22, 2008, San Francisco — The Broadcasting Board of Governors staff led by the BBG executive director Jeff Trimble touts its new program delivery strategy for the Voice of America in Russia as a “New Media” solution using the Internet. Their hidden objective, however, has been to eliminate VOA Russian radio not only from the still available…

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Broadcasting Board of Governors Shows Bipartisan Unity in Jamming Voice of America Radio in Russia

 FreeMediaOnline.org & Free Media Online Blog September 19, 2008, San Francisco — Both Republicans and Democrats on the Broadcasting Board of Governors showed remarkable bipartisanship in destroying Voice of America  Russian-language radio in late July, shortly before Russia attacked Georgia. BBG executive director Jeffrey Trimble then advised VOA to pursue Internet-only strategy in Russia. But this former Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty manager did not have the same…

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Wrong Time to Give Up Voice of America Broadcasts to India

THIS POST CAN BE REPUBLISHED with attribution to FreeMediaOnline.org.  FreeMediaOnline.org & Free Media Online Blog September 16, 2006, San Francisco — In a show of bipartisanship, two powerful members of Congress sent a letter to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) demanding that the BBG reverse its decision to terminate Voice of America (VOA) radio programs in Hindi to India. The BBG is…

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