BBG Media Highlights - June 4, 2013
About Our Broadcasters

An Unusual Theater Revival in China: American Play About Press Freedom - New York Times, June 4, 2013
One night in December 2011 I found myself sitting in a freezing theater south of Tiananmen Square in the Chinese capital watching an American play about press freedoms and government control. The play, "Top Secret: Battle for the Pentagon Papers," portrayed in fictional terms the legal fight by The Washington Post to publish the Pentagon Papers over the vigorous objections of the Nixon administration. It was written by Geoffrey Cowan, a former dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California and former director of Voice of America

 

Mojtaba Vahedi: Iran's Revolution From the Inside Out - Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2013
Mr. Vahedi observes events in Iran from a frustratingly long distance, but he often appears on Persian-language media, such as the Voice of America's Persian service, denouncing Iran's clerical regime. He also derides his former allies in the Iranian establishment reform movement. The reformists, he says, cling to the notion that the past decade's massive increase in repression was the work of President Ahmadinejad. 

 

24 Years after June 4, party must loosen grip on China's court system - South China Morning Post, June 4, 2013
Many months later, when a superficial calm had settled on Beijing, the capital's Foreign Correspondents' Club invited me to give a talk assessing prospects for renewing China's progress towards the rule of law. When the Voice of America broadcast excerpts of the talk, it reportedly infuriated Premier Li Peng who, with Deng Xiaoping's approval, had presided over the June 4 slaughter. 

Citations of BBG Broadcasters

War in Syria Highlights Why U.S. Needs Fifth-Gen Fighters - Forbes, June 3, 2013
The S-300 family of air defense systems has been around for decades, with the latest versions sporting refinements designed to counter traditional Western tactics.  For example, an expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies told Radio Free Europe last week that he doubted electronic jamming could be used to defeat the S-300. 

 

Grain shortage halts UN food processing factories in N. Korea: report - Yonhap News Agency, June 4, 2013
World Food Programme spokeswoman Nanna Skau told Radio Free Asia (RFA) that operations at five of the international organization's 14 food factories in the North have been halted because of grain shortages. The production facilities make fortified biscuits mainly for children.

 

Raw Marials, Products Pilfered From Kaesong Complex - The Chosun Ilbo, June 4, 2013
Leftover pieces of fabric and textile off-cuts from South Korean garment factories in Kaesong were habitually sold to Chinese rag businesses that recycle them. Radio Free Asia reported from the Chinese border city of Dandong last Wednesday that a state-owned trading company was selling tons of scrap textile from the industrial park. 

 

'Poll on track'- Legalbrief Africa News, June 4, 2013
Swaziland's Elections and Boundaries Commission chair says he is confident this year's poll will be transparent and credible. Voice of America reports that he confirmed his commission will begin sending invitation letters to international poll observer groups to monitor the elections.

 

Massive Flooding in Central Europe Kills More Than Six, Destroys Homes - Headlines and Global News, June 3, 2013
Some say this is the worst flood that has hit Europe in decades.  According to Radio Free Europe, the last time Central Europe experienced such a catastrophe was more than a decade ago, when 17 people were killed in a 2002 flood that ravaged buildings, bringing damage costs to over 20 billion euros. 

 

Floods Hit Central Europe, Russia to Send Submarines South- Transitions Online, June 3, 2013
In Austria, a meteorological service reported that the equivalent of at least two months of rain has fallen in the last two days, and regions in eastern and southern Germany have been evacuated due to swollen rivers, according to the BBC. Many railway lines and roads are also closed in Switzerland due to flooding, Radio Free Europe reports. 

 

Police deport activist, break up Uighur-Magyar youth meeting- Politics.hu, June 4, 2013
World Uighur Congress (WUC) vice-president Ümit Hamit was detained by Hungarian police on suspicion of terrorism and expelled from Hungary last Thursday. In addition, police and disaster response authorities prevented the meeting of the WUC and young Hungarians from four countries, arranged by the World Federation of Hungarians (MVSZ). Hamit, a German citizen, told Radio Free Asia on Monday that China could be behind the incident. 

 

In the foreign-language press:

 

Media disqualify sending Cuban doctors to Brazil: an achievement of the revolution become strategic economic value- Tercera Informacion, June 4, 2013
TV Marti reported this notice: "The Federal Council of Medicine of Brazil condemned in a release the possible arrival of 6,000 Cuban doctors whose technical and ethical quality had been questioned." This agency repeated- in dozens of media outlets around the world- the same attacks of corporatist court made against Cuban professionals the medical schools of countries like Honduras, Venezuela, and Bolivia. 

Of Interest

 Egypt: Court convicts nonprofit workers - AP, June 4, 2013
An Egyptian court on Tuesday convicted 43 nonprofit workers, including at least 16 Americans, of illegally using foreign funds to foment unrest in the country, sentencing them to up to five years in jail. [...] The verdict read out by judge Makram Awad also ordered the closure and seizure of the offices and assets in Egypt belonging to U.S. nonprofit groups for which many of the defendants worked. These are the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, Freedom House and a center for training journalists.

 

China newspaper's "Dishonest Americans" series spurs backlash - CBS, June 3, 2013
In China, there's backlash over a new feature in a newspaper that slams Americans, but the insults are backfiring. The complaints are familiar: a disgruntled flyer annoyed at an airline, or a New Jersey resident ripped-off by a locksmith. But the articles appeared in the online addition of "The People's Daily," a Chinese newspaper considered the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party. The column's title was called "The Dishonest American Series," originally, a sub-headline explained: "We want to unveil some incidents ... to provide a more objective picture of what the U.S. and Americans are really like."

 

Reforming the Democracy Bureaucracy - Foreign Policy, June 3, 2013
U.S. democracy assistance is in desperate need of reform. From its modest beginnings in the Reagan administration, the idea that outsiders can encourage democratic change overseas has grown into a $3 billion industry encompassing a vast array of programs. But the endeavor has evolved into a giant mess. Scholars and practitioners have argued convincingly that the "democracy bureaucracy" remains uncoordinated, is often counterproductive, contains redundancies, and is "characterized by scant strategic thinking and a cumbersome management system."

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).