BBG Media Highlights - July 22, 2013
About Our Broadcasters
Taxpayer money at work: US-funded foreign broadcasts finally available in the US - NBC News, July 20, 2013
News consumers in the U.S. can now hear and watch reports from one of the largest broadcasting groups in the world - after decades of their taxpayer dollars funding them. The change is due to a law, which went into effect on July 2, that authorizes an independent network of U.S. government-supported broadcasters called the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to transmit their programs - which include Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting - to U.S. households.

Also covered by On The Media in a three part series: Voice of America, American Propaganda Allowed Stateside, How Threatening Was Domestic Propaganda

As Zimbabwe vote nears, state media drown out others - CPJ, July 19, 2013
By far the most critical voices are stations located beyond Zimbabwe's borders. SW Radio Africa bills itself as the "independent voice of Zimbabwe," but is located in the United Kingdom, while Studio 7 is a division of the Voice of America. Both stations broadcast on short wave and depend on listeners having access to short-wave receivers, which are expensive and not easily available. Efforts to distribute free solar-powered short-wave radios were crushed by Zimbabwean authorities earlier this year.

Thinking in Russian but singing in English - Russia Beyond the Headlines, July 19, 2013
Sometime in the late 1960's shockwaves from a western rock-music revolution hit Soviet's iron curtain and sneaked in through it's holes and cracks. By this time Soviet censorship in mass culture was weakened by many western radio stations such as Radio Luxembourg, BBC, Voice of America broadcasting hits from the western charts which could be heard all over the Soviet Union.

Back from Exile, Cambodia's Opposition Leader Brings Thousands onto the Streets - Time, July 19, 2013
As with all elections, the Fourth Estate has a huge roll to play in Cambodia this month, and, through nepotism or intimidation, virtually all media back the CPP. Earlier this month, Hun Sen banned foreign media broadcasts in the country, but made a swift U-turn amid an international uproar. Voice of America and Radio Free Asia are the only Khmer-language media that carry opposition views. Even Sam Rainsy's return is receiving minimal coverage in Khmer language press, according to Thornton.

The "Fixers" Behind International Journalism - The Kojo Nnamdi Show, July 18, 2013
Also in studio with us is Omar Fekeiki. He is a former Washington Post correspondent. He's currently an assignment editor at Radio Sawa. Omar, thank you for joining us.
Citations of BBG Broadcasters
Syrian Army Bombs Northern Rebel Town, Killing 5 - AP, July 20, 2013
PYD spokesman Nawaf Khalil told the U.S.-funded Radio Sawa that Kurds plan to set up an administration in the predominantly Kurdish region to run its affairs. "Is it possible for an area twice the size of Lebanon to remain for the next 10 years without an interim administration and without special constitutions for the Kurds?" Khalil asked in remarks broadcast Saturday. "We need a process that makes us administer the region in a better way."

Radical Myanmar Buddhist monk unhurt in bomb blast - Reuters, July 22, 2013
Sources close to Wirathu could not be immediately reached for comment. However, the monk told Radio Free Asia's Burmese service that he had previously received a sound recording containing a threat to his life, which he believed was the voice of a Muslim cleric. The bomb, he said, was intended to silence him. "I've no idea who exactly carried out this explosion. But it must have been done by those who usually carry out terrorist acts," he told Radio Free Asia.
Also cited by The Telegraph, South China Morning Post, and other publications.

Cheers for Navalny in Court and Online - New York Times, July 19, 2013
Video of the opposition activist Aleksei Navalny's release from court in Kirov, Russia on Friday, subtitleed by Radio Svoboda, a Russian-language news site financed by the United States.

Zambian politician says media clamp is 'shredding democracy' - The Guardian, July 22, 2013
Chimba, a former Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation broadcaster who now works for Voice of America, quotes Kakoma, as saying there was more media freedom during the 27 years of Kenneth Kaunda's one-party rule.

Witnesses Withdraw from ICC Case Against Kenyan President - Foreign Policy, July 19, 2013
Is this how the International Criminal Court's case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will end? Via Voice of America: "Two witnesses in the International Criminal Court case against Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta have withdrawn their testimony, with at least one saying he would be in danger if he testified, according to a court document published on Thursday...."

Sam Rainsy fights to challenge Hun Sen in Cambodian elections - South China Morning Post (via AFP), July 21, 2013
In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Sam Rainsy warned that demonstrations might break out if he is not allowed to stand. "If I can't participate, after the elections all the Cambodian people will protest and the whole international community will condemn the result and regard this as a sham election," Sam Rainsy was quoted as saying.

China shuts down civil society think-tank, detains anti-graft activists - Tibetan Review, July 21, 2013
In a renewed crackdown on civil society and human rights activists, China recently detained a leading anti-corruption activist and also shut down a prominent non-government think-tank in a sudden raid. "Dozens of municipal civil affairs bureau officials and police searched the offices of transition Institute on Social Economic Research in Beijing, confiscating its publications and issuing it with an abolition order," Radio Free Asia (RFA, Washington) Jul 19 quoted the institute's director Guo Yusan as saying in an interview.

Kim Jong-un's Sister 'Given Key Party Post' - The Chosun Ilbo, July 22, 2013
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's younger sister Yeo-jong has been appointed head of ceremonies in the Workers Party, Radio Free Asia reported Friday citing an unnamed source.

Kim Jong-un's younger sister reportedly managing events in North Korea - The Hankyoreh, July 22, 2013
"We heard that Kim Yo-jong was taking a direct role in the events for Kim Jong Un after the death of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il from several figures who took part in the first event," a North Korean source was quoted as saying in a July 18 report by Radio Free Asia.

Ndongala reported in failing health in Congolese prison - UPI, July 20, 2013
Patrizia Ndongala, wife of DRC opposition leader Diomi Ndongala, said her husband is running high fevers and vomiting and needs to be transferred to a hospital for treatment, Voice of America reported Saturday. 
Of Interest
A Scrappy Afghan Radio Station Faces a Shaky Future After U.S. Troops Leave - The Atlantic, July 19, 2013
Today, the Panjshir Valley is quiet. Once the heart of Afghan resistance against both Soviet invasion and the Taliban takeover, the valley now stands in peaceful contradiction to its war-torn surroundings. Whereas Kabul, only a short drive to the south, remains plagued by terror, the Panjshir offers only relics as reminders of its history of violence. Russian tanks lay, trackless and rusting, on the sides of the Valley's prodigious mountains. A monument to Ahmad Shah Massoud, the military leader who famously preserved the valley as Afghanistan's lone bastion from Taliban control, towers over the Panjshir river in quiet solitude. Even the airwaves, once littered with military communications in languages ranging from Russian to Dari to Pashto, have gone nearly silent. But there is one exception. In a province without a single newspaper, magazine or television station, Radio Khorasan's faint but consistent signal at 89.3 FM represents the sole media connection between the people of the Panjshir and the state of crisis that plagues their countrymen.

Hong Kong reporter quits in controversy over Alibaba founder's remarks - Reuters, July 21, 2013
A Hong Kong journalist has quit in a controversy over disputed remarks that Jack Ma, founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, is reported to have made in support of Beijing's violent crackdown on Tiananmen Square protesters in 1989. The controversy comes ahead of the anticipated listing of Alibaba, expected to value the firm at $60-$100 billion, which in turn has put a critical spotlight on Ma, the wider Chinese Internet industry and its approach to freedom of speech.

How Google Glass Will Change the Future of Broadcast Journalism - PBS MediaShift, July 18, 2013
News gathering is a difficult job and if you're a working journalist, you already understand the difficulties involved in getting a scoop, particularly if said scoop is controversial, classified, dangerous or in the middle of a desert. With these types of stories, it's crucial to embed yourself. But, if you're a broadcast journalist, you often have to attempt that lugging huge equipment or a full production team. Not exactly stealth. Which is why people like myself are beginning to use Google Glass - the first hands-free, cloud-based wearable technology - to experiment in the media and broadcast journalism landscape. 
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).