BBG Media Highlights - April 30, 2013
About Our Broadcasters

As Afghans search for loved ones, hope comes over the airwaves- Stars and Stripes, April 30, 2013

With the jobless rate in Afghanistan around 35 percent, and much higher in some rural areas, a steady stream of Afghans traveled to Iran and Pakistan for work, many losing touch with their families along the way. Kidnapping for ransom is also rife, and even when families pay, they often get back a body. The radio show, produced by Radio Free Europe, is broadcast around the country and receives calls from members of all of Afghanistan's ethnic groups. Nazar says the universal pain experienced by listeners can also build national solidarity in a country still dealing with ethnic tension. "Almost every single Afghan family is affected," Nazar said


About 2,655 students to participate in WSU commencement- WSU News, April 29, 2013

About 2,655 students - a record number - are expected to participate in Washington State University Pullman commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 4, in Beasley Coliseum. WSU President Elson S. Floyd will confer degrees at all the ceremonies, which are free to the public; tickets are not required. Ceremonies will be videostreamed for live viewing online at The videostream will be archived for viewing after the fact at the same Web address. Speakers will be: David Ensor, journalist and director of Voice of America, 8 a.m., College of Business, Edward R. Murrow College of Communication and College of Education. Ensor joined VOA after an extensive career in journalism and communication that included serving as director of communications and public diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. VOA produces about 1,500 hours of news and programming each week for an estimated global audience of 123 million people, "to promote freedom and democracy and to enhance understanding through multimedia communication about America and the world."


LIPIEN: Hushing America's message in terrorism's redoubt- Washington Times, April 29, 2013

This critical national security operation needs both more scrutiny and more resources to counter anti-American and jihadist propaganda. U.S. international broadcasting is too important to be ignored by the administration and Congress as enemies of the United States increase their penetration of global media.


The Beatles In The USSR- Huffington Post, April 29, 2013

Stalin and Brezhnev and all the others buried in the Kremlin walls could never have imagined this night. They were men whose mission was to turn culture into politics, and create Soviet culture. "The Party couldn't give the kids anything," said Art Troitsky. "There was nothing that reminded me of my dreams." Official culture meant men with bad haircuts belting out patriotic anthems at beefy matrons in cardigans, dancing bears, and massed choirs of soldiers. It had been in the mid-1960s that the music first reached the Beatles generation, gathered now in Red Square. By stealth, by way of gossip and whispers, through the illicit late-night broadcasts on Radio Luxembourg, the BBC, and Voice of America, the kids tuned in. "Bitles," they whispered. "Yeah, yeah, yeah." As a generation of Soviet kids dared to sing along, they gave up on "building Socialism" and abandoned the beliefs of their parents. "The Cold War was won by the West," says Troitsky, "not by nuclear missiles, but by the Beatles."


Tibet's Man on Fire- National Geographic, April 26, 2013

Jashi died in Ram Manotar Lohia Hospital, 43 hours after he had been admitted. No one ever survives with 98 percent burns. Even his friends, who had been hopeful early on because his face was familiar, lost hope when his head swelled beyond all recognition. In the months since his death-and a massive outpouring of support and grief at his memorial service in Dharamsala-a monk who had recently escaped from Jashi's home area relayed information on how the death was received there. The Voice of America and Radio Free Asia had broadcasted the news of Jashi's demise, he says, so it was known right away. That night, many neighbors paid their respects to Jashi's family. The monks of the monastery were forbidden to do so but conducted their own private prayer service the following evening. When Chinese authorities heard about the service, they called the abbot in for questioning.

Citations of BBG Broadcasters

Why China's sale of gunships to Myanmar rebels is aimed at peace, not war- Quartz, April 30, 2013

Myanmar has 10 armed ethnic groups, and China's nightmare is that conflict could spill over across its borders. Fierce fighting between the Kachin Independence Army and the Myanmar army has already crossed into China and threatened a giant pipeline project between the two nations. China is keen to stop a similar situation develop in Shan State. Jane's analyst Anthony Davis told Voice of America that "the Chinese are not stoking fires in northern Burma.  By reinforcing the Wa they are reinforcing a military deterrent.  If you like, they are reinforcing peace and stability which has existed for the last 20 years in a manner that's been favourable to China." China's balancing act is made even more complicated by the titanic shifts taking place in Myanmar. The country has emerged from a long period of isolation and engaged with the United States and other western nations, pulling away from the Chinese orbit.


Gunmen Attack Former IG Of Police's House, Kill 5- Channels TV, April 29, 2013

The Acting Governor of Jigawa state, Ahmed Gumel, said Sunday's attack on Ringim Town was the work of armed robbers, not insurgents. Mr Gumel who is also the deputy to Sule Lamido, the state governor, also confirmed that five persons were killed during the attack. In an interview with the Hausa Service of the Voice of America, VOA, Mr Gumel said, "The attackers shot sporadically into the air to scare away the people after which they set off an explosive device beneath an armoured car parked in front of the residence of the former Police IG, Hafiz Ringim. They also shot two policemen guarding the house and two other civilians," said. He added that the attackers then went on to vandalise a branch of Unity Bank.


Echoes of the last massacre in East Turkestan- World Bulletin, April 30, 2013

After the spokesperson of the so-called Autonomous Regional government confirmed the massacre, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Cung Ying made a statement in Pekin in which he claimed that the incident arose due to "Islamist terrorists" seeking to establish a separate state in the area, but he avoided giving details about the event. A resident of the region who reached U.S. broadcaster Radio Free Asia reported that the incidents arose when three people connected to paramilitary forces called 'Social Workers' and the local government tried to forcefully remove the veil of a female member of the household while searching the house. The massacre occurred when the dispute between the members of the household and the militia turned into a confrontation, and the troops tied to the Chinese occupation forces fired rounds at the home and later set it on fire.


From the foreign-language press


The number of cell phone users is increasing rapidly in North Korea- Zum News (South Korean media), April 29, 2013 

Cell phone users are increasing up to 2 million in North Korea. Mr. Martyn Williams who runs the North Korea Tech told RFA Korean he got confirmation of this information from Orascom in Egypt.

Of Interest

Iraq Revokes Licenses of Al Jazeera and 9 Other TV Channels- New York Times, April 28, 2013

Iraq's government on Sunday revoked the operating licenses of Al Jazeera and nine other television channels, saying that they were inciting sectarian conflict. All but one of the channels are aligned with Sunni financial backers, and the move was widely perceived as a crackdown on dissent by the Shiite-led government that is facing an increasingly violent Sunni uprising. The decision will not banish the channels from the airwaves: as satellite channels based abroad, they are beyond the reach of the Iraqi government. But it prohibits the channels' journalists from reporting inside Iraq.


Chinese Dreams: Freedom, Democracy And Clean Air- NPR, April 29, 2013

"What is your Chinese dream?" With Chinese leaders and the state-run media now talking about the notion of the Chinese dream, we posed this question on our NPR Weibo account. In China, Weibo is the equivalent of Twitter. Within several hours, we received more than 100 replies.


Center Will Offer New Tools for Measuring the Impact of Media Beyond Numbers - New York Times, April 28, 2013

What is the difference? If your question is like that one, more practical than philosophical, the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism may soon have an answer. With $3.25 million in initial financing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the college's Norman Lear Center is about to create what it is calling a "global hub" for those who would measure the actual impact of media - journalistic, cinematic, social and otherwise.

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).