BBG Media Highlights - July 24, 2013
About Our Broadcasters

When Your Phone Becomes Your Prayer Book - Huffington Post, July 23, 2013
Going social media follows the church's tradition of keeping up with the communications arts. No surprise here. In the mid-eighties, the Vatican announced people could receive the pope's Urbi et Orbi (To the city and to the world) apostolic blessing on Christmas and Easter via TV without standing in St. Peter's Square. Earlier in that century the church moved into the then-new medium, radio. Guglielmo Marconi considered the inventor of the new medium, launched Vatican Radio in 1931. The worldwide service now airs in 47 languages. Voice of America went on the air in 1942.

 

The Hard Side of Soft Power - The Diplomat, July 24, 2013
But there's no reason instruments we usually associate with soft power could not be used in hard power ways. For instance, had the U.S. threatened to disseminate its values to the Soviet population through mediums like Voice of America unless the Soviet Union agreed to an arms control proposal, or if it offered to end Voice of America broadcasts in Soviet states if the Soviet Union agreed to the proposal, the U.S. would have been using its values to exercise hard power.

 

FIDH's Demonstration in front of EU institutions while Belarus Foreign Affairs Minister Makey is received in Brussels - FIDH, July 23, 2013
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-CSI) and International Partners for Human Rights(IPHR) joined the protest. The event was covered by international and Belarusian media including Spanish news agency EFE, Radio Free Europe, Belgian news agency Belga , Radio Sweden, Belarusian news agency Belapan, and The Associated Press.

Citations of BBG Broadcasters

Vyachaslau Bortnik, Gay Belarusian Man, Weds U.S. Partner, Will Be Permitted To Stay - Huffington Post, July 23, 2013
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has an exclusive report on the marriage of Vyachaslau Bortnik, 39, a rights activist from the city of Homel, and Shawn Gaylord, 44, a U.S. lawyer and adviser for a gay advocacy organization. The couple married in a D.C. ceremony on July 11, according to the report.  

 

Egypt Seeks to Restore African Union Membership - Foreign Policy, July 23, 2013
Egyptian diplomats are fanning out in an effort to restore the country's membership in the African Union, which was suspended two days after the military pushed out the government of Mohamed Morsi. There are some signs that the 53-member organization is keen to have Egypt back in the fold as well. Voice of America's Marthe van der Wolf reports. 

 

The right to fast: Why is China barring Xinjiang Muslims from their Ramadan ritual? - Albawaba, July 24, 2013
In Xinjiang, officials "are extracting guarantees from parents, promising that their children won't fast on Ramadan," Dilxat Raxit, Sweden-based spokesman for the exiled World Uighur Congress, told Radio Free Asia. Raxit added that students are commonly forced to hand over computers and phones to the authorities for inspection.

 

Oromo: Prominent Academic And Former Diplomat Urges Change In Ethiopian Policy - Unrepresented Nations and People Organization, July 24, 2013
According to organisations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, however, Gerba was guilty of being Oromo and talking of the plight of his people. Shortly before his arrest, Gerba had described the challenges facing his community, telling Voice of America "Anyone who speaks the [Oromo] language and does not belong to the ruling party is a suspect and can be taken to prison any time." Gerba and other incarcerated Oromo (Oromo rights groups estimate there are around 20,000 Oromo political prisoners in Ethiopia) continue to spark protests in Ethiopia and across the global Oromo diaspora. 

 

Congolese to UN: Let our army advance against Rwanda's M23 - BayView, July 24, 2013
On Wednesday, July 17, Nick Long reported for the Voice of America that the Congolese army's recent successes at driving the M23 militia from their positions in eastern Congo have caused euphoria amongst Congolese, particularly in Goma, the capital city of North Kivu Province on Congo's border with Rwanda. 

 

New restrictions raise doubt on Dalai Lama relaxation policy in Tibet - Tibetan Review, July 24, 2013
A reported trial policy by China in Jun 2013 to allow Tibetans in a few pilot areas to venerate the Dalai Lama as a religious leader, including with displaying of his pictures and being no longer required to denigrate him, is reported to have come a cropper. In Qinghai, from whose Tsolho (Chinese: Hainan) Prefecture the relaxation was first reported, new restrictions are in force, said Radio Free Asia (RFA, Washington) Jul 22. The report cited Tibetan sources as saying that under new restrictions on displaying photos of the Dalai Lama, personal motor vehicles were being searched and those resisting the confiscation of photos were being beaten and detained.

 

Moldova Secretly Enacts Propaganda Law Similar To Russia's - Advocate, July 23, 2013
Angela Frolov, the head of GenderDoc-M said members of her organization had only learned of the new law after it was officially published a week later, according to Radio Free Europe. She said she believes that this law likely violates the Moldovan constitution, and international policy like the European Union's antidiscrimination laws. 

 

The Stream, July 23: Pakistan One of Most Water-Stressed Countries - Circle of Blue Water News, July 23, 2013
Pakistan is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world, with only a 30-day supply held in reserve, according to a report from the Asian Development Bank. Water shortages, in combination with already widespread energy shortages, could further destabilize the country, The Atlantic reported.  Surface and groundwater supplies in Inner Mongolia are drying up near a coal-to-liquids plant, according to a new report from Greenpeace, Voice of America reported. Groundwater levels have dropped nearly 100 meters (328 feet) since the plant began operating, the report says. 

 

How Far Would You Go to Keep a Promise to a Dying Friend? - Concord Patch, July 24, 2013
"Yes, I'm concerned about that," Hudner reportedly told Voice of America. "But I think there are enough people in the United States who are for the man [Jesse Brown] and for what he stands for and certainly wouldn't want to stay in the way to find him because many years ago I gave up the idea of being able to recover him. I felt by this time they surely would have found the wreckage."

Of Interest
Nonpartisan Fact-Checking Comes to South Africa - New York Times, July 23, 2013
There is a long history of courageous and sophisticated journalism in South Africa, tracing back to the struggle against apartheid and continuing in the early decades of multiracial democracy. But until now, there has been nothing like the kind of nonpartisan fact-checking initiatives that have become so prominent - and contentious - in the United States and Europe.

 

Al Jazeera runs up against Egypt's mistrust of Qatar - Quartz, July 23, 2013
Al Jazeera's recent fall from grace in Egypt can be seen as a case study in irony. The Qatari-owned television network was once considered a media darling as it played a cat-and-mouse game with Egypt's military dictatorship. Subjected to arrests and government raids, Al Jazeera managed to dodge censors and satellite blockades put in place by the military regime of then-president Hosni Mubarak to broadcast the fervor of the revolutionaries. For this feat, the network was seen by many as an integral player in helping Egypt get on the road to democracy.

 

Film-making as therapy - Economist, July 19, 2013

When Haifaa al-Mansour graduated from the American university in Cairo and returned home to Saudi Arabia to work, she was struck by how invisible she felt as a young woman. She turned to film-making as a kind of therapy. "It gave me a voice," she says. Almost two decades later, Ms al-Mansour has become the first Saudi Arabian woman to direct a feature film. "Wadjda" is the first film to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, a country where cinemas are banned.

 

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).