BBG Media Highlights - July 16, 2013
About Our Broadcasters
US-Funded News Can Now Reach Americans - RIA Novosti, July 16, 2013
In the last two weeks, US government-funded news broadcaster Voice of America has received more than a dozen requests for news stories it has produced for foreign audiences to be made available to listeners in the United States, something that hadn't been allowed since a law known as the Smith-Mundt Act was passed by Congress in 1948.

Also mentioned by The Atlantic Wire, Examiner, techdirt.

Are Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya Models Anymore? - Rudaw, July 15, 2013
Last month, at a media training session for a number of Syrian local council press officers, I asked each of the participants to name the favorite television channels on their satellite receivers. The unanimous answer was, Al Jazeera. This reminded me of my early days of training journalists in Baghdad in late 2003. Back then, I  asked the same question to the trainees, and just like their Syrian counterparts, the unanimous answer was Al Jazeera and some said Al Arabiya. More recently, I put the question to a number of Baghdad trainees, and got the following replies: Al Sharqiya, Al Sumaria, Al Iraqia, Al Baghdadiya or Al Hurra Iraq. Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya did not come up at all.

Iraqi Media Network launches satellite TV network - Rapid TV New, July 15, 2013
Satellite TV is watched by about 70% of television viewers in Iraq, with MBC's Al Arabiya and Qatar's Al Jazeera among the most popular channels. Foreign broadcasters include Iran's Al Alam TV, which can be viewed in Baghdad without a satellite dish, as well as the BBC and US-backed Al Hurra TV.

14th Anniversary of Uprising of Iranian Students  - Payvand Iran News, July 15, 2013
It is known that at least 300 students, and possibly as many as 1400, were arrested. Many of the arrested students were given long prison terms. Ahmad Batebi, for example, was first sentenced to death, reportedly after the Economist published a picture on its cover that showed him holding the bloody shirt of a fellow student. His sentence was then reduced to 15 years. After nine years in jail, he was released for medical reasons. He left Iran secretly. He now works for the Persian program of Voice of America television, and is also active in human rights organizations.

Internet freedom called vital facet of global religious freedom - Baptist Perspective, July 15, 2013
The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) should do more to combat such restrictions, Duke told participants at the June 27 conference sponsored by the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable. BBG -- an independent federal agency that supervises all federally supported, non-military media in promotion of freedom -- funds Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia and other networks.

Obituaries: Maria Angela Raaf - Aspen Times, July 15, 2013
On October 20, 1945 Angela married James J. Raaf, at their alma mater, the University of Notre Dame. The newlyweds moved to South America where Jim had been working before the war. The next 30 years they lived in Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador, where their six daughters were born and raised. Even though they lived miles away from their homeland, they were able to stay connected with the United States by listening to the Voice of America broadcast on short wave radio and taking wonderful motorhome trips in the 50 states.

Citations of BBG Broadcasters
Did Russian Opposition Leader Alexey Navalny Just Endorse A Race Riot? - Forbes, July 15, 2013
This background is necessary to understand the race riot that occurred in the small town of Pugachev earlier this month. As Radio Free Liberty described the situation: "Tensions continue to smolder in the southern Russian town of Pugachyov, days after a demobilized paratrooper was stabbed to death by an ethnic Chechen teenager. Locals have demonstrated off and on since the stabbing on the night of July 6-7, loudly calling for ethnic Chechens who are not registered locally and who do not have permanent jobs to be evicted from the town..."

Anton Antonov-Ovseyenko, historian and survivor of Stalin's gulag, dies at 93 - Washington Post, July 13, 2013
Mr. Antonov-Ovseyenko remained committed to the remembrance of Stalin's crimes until the end of his life. At the age of 87, he attended a ceremony at Bukovo, a vast killing field outside Moscow where his father was murdered along with more than 20,000 other people. In 2010 he told a Radio Liberty interviewer that Russia should have removed the Lenin mausoleum as well as Stalin's tomb from Red Square long ago.

Fighters Sneak Into Congo Disguised as Women - Newser, July 15, 2013
Heavy fighting over the last two days in the Democratic Republic of Congo has claimed the lives of more than 100 anti-government rebels and about a dozen Congo soldiers, reports the Voice of America.

Burma-Bound Ammunition, Rocket Launchers Seized by Thai Police - Irrawaddy, July 16, 2013
Firearm ammunition and rocket launchers en route to Burma have been seized by Thai police in northwest Thailand, across the border from Burma's restive Shan State, Radio Free Asia reports. Police confiscated more than 100,000 rounds of rifle ammunition and four surface-to-air rocket launchers in a raid on a house in Mae Hong Son Province on Sunday, the news agency reported Monday.

Top U.S. diplomat meets with officials in Egypt - Celebrity Cafe, July 15, 2013
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns met with army chief and Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi and other members of the interim government on Monday. However, the Tamarod (rebel) movement, which led demonstrations against now-ousted president Mohamed Morsi, rebuffed an invitation to a roundtable discussion with Burns and U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson, reports the Washington Post. Burns (pictured above with the UAE foreign minister) met with multiple members of Egypt's interim government, including President Adli Mansour (below) and Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi, according to Voice of America.

Of Interest
Censoring the News Before It Happens - New York Review of Books, July 10, 2013
Every day in China, hundreds of messages are sent from government offices to website editors around the country that say things like, "Report on the new provincial budget tomorrow, but do not feature it on the front page, make no comparisons to earlier budgets, list no links, and say nothing that might raise questions"; "Downplay stories on Kim Jung-un's facelift"; and "Allow stories on Deputy Mayor Zhang's embezzlement but omit the comment boxes." Why, one might ask, do censors not play it safe and immediately block anything that comes anywhere near offending Beijing? Why the modulation and the fine-tuning?

N.S.A. Leaks Revive Push in Russia to Control Net - New York Times, July 14, 2013
Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, fled the United States saying he did not want to live in a surveillance state. But now the Russians are using his very presence here - on Friday Mr. Snowden said he intended to remain in Russia for some time while seeking asylum elsewhere - to push for tighter controls over the Internet.

Video Shows Cut-Off Communities How to Build Their Own Radios - Internews, July 15, 2013

To help people in humanitarian disasters who are facing a complete collapse of communications, Internews has produced a video on how to build a radio kit out of everyday household items. The first version of the ten-minute video is in Arabic; an English-language version is in the works, and other languages will follow. Intended for people who have no background in electronics or broadcasting, the do-it-yourself video explains how to create a mobile, two-way AM/FM radio that can transmit messages within a one-kilometer radius.

About Us

The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international broadcasting media, whose mission is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. BBG broadcasts reach an audience of 203 million in more than 100 countries and in 61 languages.  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).