At Voice of America, history repeats itself because of poor USAGM leadership, partisan bias and violations of VOA Charter. USAGM Watch Media Commentary According to the former Voice of America journalist and manager who led the VOA Polish Service during the peaceful Solidarity revolution against communism and Soviet Russia’s control of Poland, “The taxpayer-funded Voice of America is increasingly being…
BBG Watch Commentary Kristina Gorelik (Кристина Горелик), fired last September by American taxpayer-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) along with dozens of her colleagues, has received today the Moscow Helsinki Group prize for “journalistic activity aimed at promoting human rights values.” The prize was presented on the International Human Rights Day, December 10. At Radio Liberty, Gorelik specialized in human…
This report is republished from Free Media Online and BBG Watch. In a Digital Journal news commentary, Op-Ed: America’s radios dancing to Putin’s tune in Moscow, former Voice of America acting associate director and journalist Ted Lipien revealed that Voice of America and Radio Liberty, funded by US taxpayers to promote media freedom abroad, self-censor news on two stations in…
Republished from CUSIB.org. February 17, 2012 For Immediate Release Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting Opposes Broadcasting Board of Governors’ Budget Proposal for FY2013 The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) has issued the following statement after a careful review of the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ 161-page Budget Proposal for FY2013: “The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting is outraged by the…
In a Washington Times Op-Ed, a Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting member Ted Lipien warned about a pro-Putin bias in the Voice of America Russian programs. Lipien reported that a highly respected independent journalist in Russia hired by the Broadcasting Board of Governors to evaluate the VOA Russian website concluded last year that it has a pro-Kremlin bias and downplays…
This report was published first by CUSIB. In an article published in American Diplomacy, a quarterly electronic journal of commentary, analysis, and research on American foreign policy and its practice, the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) director Ted Lipien warns against diminished public stake in U.S. international broadcasting. Lipien, a former acting associate director of the Voice of America,…
TedLipien.com, Truckee, California, USA, May 01, 2011 — In a public diplomacy blunder likely to offend American Catholics, Polish-American voters and people in Poland, the Obama Administration failed to send a high-ranking American official to the beatification ceremonies for Pope John Paul II, which were held today at the Vatican. Many other religious and ethnic groups in America are also likely to be disturbed by the failure of President Obama to attend the ceremony himself or to send a special delegation headed by Vice President Biden. The White House could have also dispatched Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or prominent members of the U.S. Congress from both political parties. The United States was represented at the ceremony only by Miguel Diaz, the ambassador to the Vatican. This is considered the lowest level of representation at an important event of this kind. King Albert and Queen Paola of Belgium led the list of royalty present and 16 heads of state and several prime ministers attended, including Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
Update: America.gov restored my comment.
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.
Update: America.gov restored my comment.
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: