Tag: Ethiopia

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

Read more
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.

Read more