BBG Media Highlights - April 17, 2013
About Our Broadcasters

Russia Watch: Russia searches for 'foreign agents' at home, disguises its information war abroad- The Sofia Globe, April 17, 2013

In the information sphere, Russia officials forced Radio Free Europe off the air in Russia last November. Now, police are pressuring provincial librarians to close their American Corners - sections dealing with U.S. books and periodicals. In this environment, it is interesting to look at Russia's overseas television broadcasting arm - RT. Serving up a steady diet of attacks on the United States, on the West, and on democracy, RT takes pains to disguise from viewers the ultimate source of 100 percent of its financing: the Kremlin. The Kremlin launched Russia Today in 2005. For three years, the channel languished as a little watched vehicle for promoting tourism and trade with Russia.

Citations of BBG Broadcasters

Tibetan woman dies from self-immolation in China - Kyodo News Service, April 17, 2013

U.S.-based Radio Free Asia quoted a Tibetan living in India, Tsangyang Gyatso, as saying that Chugtso committed the act "in protest against China's repressive policies in Tibet." Local officials arrived at her home where the body was kept and forced the family to cremate her remains at night, while thousands of residents in the area were present in a show of solidarity, RFA reported.

Also cited by China Digital Times 


US asks China to engage in dialogue with Dalai Lama- Hindustan Times, April 16, 2013

The question of human rights was raised by US secretary of state John Kerry in his meeting with the Chinese leadership during his just concluded trip to China, he said. Meanwhile, Radio Free Asia said Chinese security forces have detained 21 Tibetans following clashes with police over the forced demolition of recently rebuilt homes in an earthquake-hit region of northwest China's Qinghai province. At least six Tibetans and four policemen were injured in the clashes today after a protest by over 100 area residents angered by the demolition of Tibetan homes in the town of Kyegudo in the Yulshul (in Chinese, Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, a local source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told RFA's Tibetan Service.

Also cited BY NDTV   


Radio Free Asia: Refugees fear fighting, forced labor in Burma's Shan State- BurmaNet News, April 16, 2013

More than 400 ethnic refugees in Burma's northern Shan state are reluctant to leave the temporary camp where they have stayed for nearly two weeks for fear of clashes between rebels and government troops that broke out in late March, a relief worker said Friday. The refugees also fear that they would be forced to work for government soldiers or the ethnic Shan militia. Sai Kham Late, director of the refugee camp in Tangyan township's Lwese village told RFA's Burmese Service that 432 people from eight villages were staying at the camp to avoid what is believed to be the first major clashes since the government signed a ceasefire agreement in January 2012 with Shan State Army North (SSA-N). The refugees had fled their homes after the Burmese military ordered the SSA-N out of the west bank of the Salween River near the construction of a Chinese-backed megadam project, leading to intensified fighting.


After Boston bombing, swift help, comfort, and a resolve to keep running- Christian Science Monitor, April 16, 2013

As world leaders denounced the attack and offered condolences, Pope Francis said he prayed that all Bostonians "will be united in a resolve not to be overcome by evil, but to combat evil with good," Voice of America reported Tuesday. Thousands of people in Boston offered to open their homes to any runners without a place to stay. They added their names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and short messages to a Google spreadsheet, letting people know what they had to offer. A woman staying at a hotel for work offered to share her colleague's room to make hers available. "It's not super fancy, but there's a clean king-sized bed and a hot shower," she wrote. "Happy to help anyone who needs a place to stay for the night."


Social Media in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict- Transitions Online, April 17, 2013

"The reason why the KGB wants you to join Facebook is because it allows them to, first of all, learn more about you from afar," Evgeny Morozov, author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom, told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) in a 2011 interview , arguing that the Internet is just as important a tool for governments to engage in mass surveillance and political repression as well as for nationalists to spread extremist propaganda. "They don't have to [...] interrogate you, and obviously you disclose quite a bit. It allows them to identify certain social graphs and social connections between activists."


Powerful quake hits southeastern Iran-  The Journal of Turkish Weekly, April 16, 2013

Iranian and U.S. authorities say a powerful earthquake has struck Iran near the Pakistani border, with reports of scores dead as rescuers mobilized and authorities began to assess the damage.The Iran Seismological Center said the quake had a magnitude of 7.5, while the U.S. Geological Survey put its strength at 7.8. The epicenter was reported to be 86 kilometers southeast of Khash, a city of more than 50,000 people in Iran's southeastern Sistan a Baluchistan Province, which abuts Pakistan. "People are scared," one resident told RFE/RL's Radio Farda within an hour or so of the quake. "They have left their homes because the tremors were very powerful. People are still staying outside their homes." Tremors were felt througout the Persian Gulf region and South Asia, including in the Indian capital, Delhi, causing people to rush out into the streets.

Of Interest

Chinese journalists banned from quoting foreign media - Telegraph, April 17, 2013

A directive from China's media regulator - the General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television - said the move was intended to "strengthen management" and stop the "spread of harmful information." "Without authorisation, no news media organisation is allowed to use news information products provided by foreign media or foreign websites," read the regulator's notice, which was first reported on Tuesday by the China Press and Publishing Journal.


Newspaper: 2 Nigeria journalists face charges for story on plans to disrupt opposition - AP, April 16, 2013

Prosecutors filed criminal charges Tuesday against two journalists at a Nigerian newspaper over a story they published on alleged plans by the nation's presidency to disrupt opposition parties. The charges are a sign of growing government pressure on the media.


'The Guardian' Calls for Citizen Journalists Via App - Mashable, April 16, 2013

Vanishing are the days when readers' contributions to the papers they read are limited to the 'letters to the editor' section. The latest publication to open its arms to reader contributions - in the form of videos, photos and stories - is The Guardian, which launched Tuesday a program called "Guardian Witness."

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).