BBG Media Highlights - April 10, 2013
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Catfish inspectors among $25 billion cuts in Obama's budget- CNN Money, April 9, 2013

Republicans, in particular, are interested in cutting waste, because they say it's key to buffering the $85 billion automatic, across-the-board budget cuts that kicked in on March 1. The House Oversight Committee is holding a hearing Tuesday on the new GAO report. In recent years, the House has passed several bills that drastically slashes all kinds of spending. However, those bills have gone nowhere, because the Senate hasn't taken them up. It's hard for Washington to cut waste, because every program has its own fan club. In 2011, for instance, Obama suggested scrapping Voice of America's radio broadcast in China, because studies showed few people were listening. But House Republicans wanted to send the program an additional $14 million to keep it on air.

 

Mulhaupt Resigns From BBG Board- Radio World, March 9, 2013

Another seat is about to be vacated on the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Member Dennis Mulhaupt has sent a resignation letter to the White House. A release described Mulhaupt as serving as alternate presiding governor, chair of the BBG Governance Committee and chair of the board of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. This means the board now has four empty seats. Dana Perino resigned in January; Embers Wimbush resigned last May; and former Chairman Walter Isaacson resigned early in 2012. Mulhaupt had been appointed to the board on July 2, 2010 to fill out an expiring term. When that term ended on August 13, 2011 he continued to serve and would until officially replaced by a new governor. Previous to the board he had had a career in finance, education administration and nonprofit, including serving as executive vice president for KCET(FM) in Los Angeles.

 

GAO warns on government duplication, overlap- Atlanta Journal Constitution, April 9, 2013

In yet another warning to Congress about waste from duplicative, fragmented and overlapping federal government programs, the Government Accountability Office gave lawmakers even more examples of where money could be saved with some changes to how Uncle Sam operates [...]The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) offers 69 different language services. GAO found 23 instances of overlap involving 43 of these services, accounting for $149 million, or nearly 20 percent, of the BBG's FY 2011 annual appropriations.

 

Publisher Alexander Tomsky: Margaret Thatcher had an avid interest in East European affairs- Radio Praha, April 9, 2013

Maybe she felt that the Cold War was coming to an end and eventually she found Mr. Gorbachov somewhat receptive to her ideas in a strange way. She used to come to Keston College where I worked and wanted to read books in English by those people (dissidents) and she read a considerable amount of literature coming from Central and Eastern Europe. In fact she made a resolution to read one book every month by the banned writers of Eastern Europe." You met her in person. In what capacity did you meet her? "I met her through one of her advisors George Urban, who later became head of Radio Free Europe. He was a member of Keston College where I worked so I met her at Keston College when she came - I think she came twice there - and then through George I met her privately as well."

Citations of BBG Broadcasters

Ten Questions for the New BRICS Bank- Foreign Policy, April 9, 2013

Is the BRICS Development Bank a done deal? Not necessarily. The joint statement from the BRICS leaders announcing that they "have agreed to establish the New Development Bank" sounded pretty definite, but then there seemed to be some hedging going on too. President of South Africa Jacob Zuma struck a cautious note, saying only that "...we have decided to enter formal negotiations" on the BRICS bank, while Russian officials muttered about the devil being in the details. Newspaper headlines reflected the ambiguity, with the Financial Times declaring "BRICS agree to create development bank [sic]," while on the same day, Voice of America led with the more cautious "BRICS Summit Ends Without Development Bank Deal." Obviously, there's still a lot of work to do and a lot can happen.

 

KMT supporters in mainland harassed by security: alliance- The China Post, April 10, 2013

Several members of mainland China's Pan-Blue Alliance in eastern Zhejiang province confirmed that they were blocked and interrogated recently by security agents when they paid homage to the tombs of the ancestors of Chiang Kai-shek, a former leader of the Kuomintang (KMT) and president of the Republic of China based in Taipei. In an interview with Voice of America (VOA), Wei Zenling, said on Monday that he and four other members of the alliance were obstructed by Chinese security agents ahead of a planned visit to Fenghua in Zhejiang's Xikou township, the birthplace of Chiang. Wei said they were warned in advance of possible consequences over the trip during the traditional Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day, when Chinese pay homage to ancestors.

 

969 'behind sectarian violence'- The Nation, April 10, 2013

A movement that uses 969 as a symbol of Buddhism and is described as Myanmar's "neo-Nazi group" is under the microscope for its role in spreading anti-Muslim sentiment in the country. The government - under pressure to prove it is taking an even-handed approach to prevent more violence - has begun moving against the group. A member of the Rakhine Youth Association, Ye Min Oo, was one of dozens detained in the wake of the anti-Muslim violence that left more than 40 dead in three days last month in the town of Meikhtila. He was charged at a Yangon court last Thursday with inciting violence. On March 27 in Bago - another area hit by anti-Muslim violence - Aung Myat Thu, a member of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), was also arrested, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported. RFA quoted another Rakhine Youth Association member, Pho Tharr, as saying that the authorities had questioned him about possible links between Ye Min Oo and Mandalay-based Buddhist monk U Wirathu, a leader of 969 known for his anti-Muslim views.

Also cited by Asia News Network  

 

Continuing Unrest In Tibetan Areas Of China - Analysis- Eurasia Review, April 9, 2013

To my knowledge, India does not have a treaty on mutual legal assistance with China. We are not bound to take cognisance of Chinese allegations and request for legal assistance. India should not become an unwitting party to Chinese attempts to intimidate freedom-loving Tibetans. In the meanwhile, the Chinese authorities are reported to have circulated in the Tibetan areas a list of "Unlawful" activities by Tibetans which would result in police action against them. According to Radio Free Asia, activities made punishable include fund-raising "in the name of social welfare," urging protection of the environment or the Tibetan language, and conducting prayer rituals or other religious ceremonies if these carry "overtones" of support for Tibetan independence.

 

Amnesty: Boko Haram gives FG conditions- Nigerian Tribune, April 10, 2013

A leader of the Boko Haram sect, Muhammad Marwan, has said that if the Federal Government would not blackmail or deceive them as was done in the past, they will be  ready to avail themselves for dialogue as was initiated by the Northern Elders Forum. Marwan spoke  in an interview with the Hausa Service of the Voice of America (VOA) monitored in Kaduna on Tuesday, adding that  he was speaking on behalf of members of Jamatul Ahlus Sunnati lil Daawati wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram, on the call by Northern Elders Forum for amnesty for the sect members.

 

From the foreign-language press

 

Dempsey to Alhurra: the Diplomatic Solution is the Best Option in Syria and the Egyptian Military Protects Democracy-  Almatraqa (Egyptian news and information website) April 9, 2013

In an interview with Alhurra, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, said "I believe that the Egyptian military has been a stabilizing influence inside of Egypt. So it wouldn't make sense to me today to suggest that we should withdraw support from them, because they have been the ones protecting this democratic process." On the situation in Syria, Dempsey stated that "the number of different forces, the external actors, the use of very heavy weaponry and the presence of chemical weapons adds to the level of complexity. (It is) not just our goal, but I think the goal of our regional partners, would be that some sort of political settlement would occur. It's not clear to me that the application of military power would lead to a political settlement that would be in the Syrian people's best interest or our best interest."

 

Mainland cops encouraged to draw weapons: report- CDN (Taiwan Central Daily News) April 9th, 2013

Radio Free Asia reported that according to the document of Bao'an Songgang in Shenzhen police station, "police can be rewarded up to 100,000 yuan for shooting criminals. The content of the document received many questioning and discussions from the mainland people. Some people worry that loosening the police use of firearms could lead to the misuse of firearms and the pursuit of national stability would be aggravated by the police and the public conflicts.

Of Interest

To connect with the under-30 crowd, NPR tries face time- Current, April 9, 2013

Count NPR among the media outlets looking to cultivate a new generation of fans at South by Southwest Interactive, the annual conference in Austin, Texas, where legacy media and corporate brands compete for mindshare among digital thought leaders from Generations X and Y. NPR chose SXSWi to publicly unveil Generation Listen, a marketing initiative that aims to mobilize listeners in their 20s and 30s looking to not only consume but engage with their media of choice. The concept is the brainchild of Danielle Deabler, director of media relations, who recognized that NPR's tactics for engaging this audience had to stretch beyond the programs and web content that it produces. To attract younger listeners, Deabler said, NPR had "to get these young people in front of the personalities, in front of the content, in front of the journalists and programming and discussions that they hear every day on NPR." She spent two years shopping her idea to NPR stakeholders and colleagues beginning in 2011.

 

Tumblr abruptly closes down its Storyboard project, lays off entire editorial team- Paid Content, April 10, 2013

A year ago, Tumblr launched an ambitious attempt to curate content from within the blog network - a unit known as Storyboard, with its own editorial staff who highlighted and aggregated posts from popular Tumblrs. Although the company seemed to have high hopes for the project, founder and CEO David Karp announced late Tuesday night on the official Tumblr blog that Storyboard has been shut down and the staff of the unit have been let go. In his post, Karp (who will be joining us at our paidContent Live conference on April 17) said that the idea behind the project was to create an editorial team of "experienced journalists and editors assigned to cover Tumblr as a living, breathing community" and to "tell the stories of Tumblr creators in a truly thoughtful way."

 

Getting personal: A Dutch online news platform wants you to subscribe to individual journalists- Nieman Journalism Lab, April 8, 2013

"It's my own little shop, that's what I like about it. You decide what goes in - like having your own newspaper." Arnold Karskens has his own channel on Dutch news startup De Nieuwe Pers (The New Press). For €1.79 a month, readers can subscribe to him and read his war reporting and investigations into war criminals. Don't care about war crimes? Maybe some of the other journalist-driven channels - on subjects from games to France, from the science of sex to environmental sustainability, from Germany to the euro crisis - would be of interest. De Nieuwe Pers recently launched in the Netherlands as an online platform for freelance journalists. Users pay €4.49 a month for access to all content on its app or website. But what stands out is the possibility to subscribe to individual reporters, for €1.79 a month.

 

Protection of Broadcasting Organisations, Another Treaty Brewing At WIPO- Intellectual Property Watch, April 9, 2013

The protection of broadcasting organisations will be discussed at the World Intellectual Property Organization this week as delegates are expected to work on a text that could become an international treaty. An Informal Session and Special Session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) will take place from 10-12 April, and will focus on the protection of broadcasting organization. Country delegates will work from a document approved at the 24th session of the SCCR, when this issue was discussed from 16-25 July 2012. The "working document [pdf] for a treaty on the protection of broadcasting organizations" includes 16 articles, and it is expected that only some of those articles will be discussed during the three days of the special session. Most articles contain several alternative and footnotes include proposed language by countries.

About Us
The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency, supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international broadcasting, whose mission is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. BBG broadcasts reach an audience of 175 million in 100 countries. BBG broadcasting organizations include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti).