Tag: Broadcasting Board of Governors

International Broadcasting, Public Diplomacy

Partial Victory Declared in Fight Over Censorship at Voice of America

Protest Rally Against Censorship at the Voice of America by the Broadcasting Board of GovernorsFreeMediaOnline.org Logo. FreeMediaOnline.org Truckee, CA, USA, July 28, 2011 –Press freedom advocates and Ethiopian Americans are declaring a partial victory in their fight with the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a U.S. government agency, over the censorship of the Voice of America radio programs to Ethiopia. They credit massive protests and a demonstration held Monday in front of the BBG and VOA headquarters in Washington, DC with getting a senior Voice of America official to tell the journalists working for the Horn of Africa VOA Service “to continue their work without any restrictions or self-censorship,” the Ethiopian American news website Addis Voice reported.

Link to the demonstration video 1

Link to the demonstration video 2

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International Broadcasting, Public Diplomacy

Censorship at the Voice of America: Broadcasting Board of Governors Sided with Ethiopian Regime Against VOA Journalist

Protest Rally Against Censorship at the Voice of America by the Broadcasting Board of GovernorsFreeMediaOnline.org Logo. FreeMediaOnline.org San Francisco, CA, USA, July 24, 2011 — Leaders of the Ethiopian American community joined by free media advocates are planning a protest rally on Monday, July 25, in front of the Voice of America (VOA) building in Washington, DC amid charges of censorship of VOA news programs to Ethiopia by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). According to Voice of America broadcasters who spoke on the condition that their names not be revealed because they fear reprisals, the BBG has tried to silence VOA journalist David Arnold who encouraged reporting that upset BBG members as well as officials of the Ethiopian regime. VOA journalists have complained of their reports being removed by the management from VOA websites and of being prevented from covering important political events. In a situation reminiscent of Soviet and East European communist media controls, a high-level manager reportedly forbade VOA Africa Division journalists to take written notes during a staff meeting in which complaints about censorship were raised. The BBG is a presidentially-appointed bipartisan group which runs VOA and other government-funded U.S. international broadcasters and is supposed to promote freedom of expression and anti-censorship efforts around the world, but has been accused of negotiating with repressive regimes, terminating VOA radio and TV programs to countries that restrict media freedom, including Russia and China, and firing VOA journalists who specialize in human rights reporting. BBG and VOA managers have been putting pressure on broadcasters to limit political reporting in favor of human-interest stories as a way of persuading various regimes to allow placement of such reports on local stations and websites. Numerous government surveys have rated the BBG as one of the worst-managed federal agencies. Independent journalists fighting censorship abroad have accused the BBG of being confused about its mission.

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International Broadcasting

Don’t silence Voice of America radio to China — Ted Lipien in The Washington Times

FreeMediaOnline.org Truckee, CA, USA, April 1, 2011– The Washington Times has published an op-ed by Free Media Online president Ted Lipien urging Congress to stop the Broadcasting Board of Governors from silencing the Voice of America radio to China. A Chinese free labor union leader like Poland’s Lech Walesa could be declared expendable by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which…

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International Broadcasting, Poland, Public Diplomacy

Don’t silence Voice of America radio to China — Free Media Online president’s op-ed in The Washington Times

FreeMediaOnline.org Truckee, CA, USA, April 1, 2011– The Washington Times has published an op-ed by Free Media Online president Ted Lipien urging Congress to stop the Broadcasting Board of Governors from silencing the Voice of America radio to China. A Chinese free labor union leader like Poland’s Lech Walesa could be declared expendable by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which…

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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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Iran, VOA

VOA Website Hacked by Iranian Islamists

The BBG-managed Voice of America (VOA) websites were hacked on February 21, 2011, apparently by the “Iranian Cyber Army,” as reported by PiratesWeek and Kim Andrew Elliott, a Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) employee who publishes his own private international broadcasting website, In 2009, VOA websites were out of comission for at least two full days during President Obama’s official…

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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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International Broadcasting, Public Diplomacy

Who is the leader of the Free World? – Reagan, Bush, Obama – lessons in public diplomacy in response to anti-democracy crackdown in Belarus

En ce moment, il n’y a plus de pilote dans l’avion. [At the moment, there is no longer a pilot on the plane.] — A European comment on President Obama as a leader of the Free World.

TedLipien.com TedLipien.com, Truckee, California, USA, January 03, 2011 — Who is the leader of the Free World when democracy is under threat?

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International Broadcasting, Poland, Public Diplomacy

Who is the leader of the Free World? – Reagan, Bush, Obama – lessons in public diplomacy in response to anti-democracy crackdown in Belarus

En ce moment, il n’y a plus de pilote dans l’avion. [At the moment, there is no longer a pilot on the plane.] — A European comment on President Obama as a leader of the Free World. TedLipien.com, Truckee, California, USA, January 03, 2011 — Who is the leader of the Free World when democracy is under threat? For a…

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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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