Media Highlights – August 22, 2012

About Our Broadcasters 

Freedom House Calls On Syrian Government To Release Captured Alhurra JournalistsFreedom House, August 22, 2012
Freedom House is deeply concerned for the safety of Alhurra journalists, Bashar Fahmi and Cuneyt Unal, who went missing yesterday while reporting from Aleppo, Syria and are thought to have been captured by Syrian authorities. Freedom House joins Alhurra and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) in calling for the immediate release of the two journalists.
Turkish cameraman missing in civil war torn AleppoTodays Zaman, August 21, 2012
Cüneyt Ünal, a cameraman working for the Virginia-based Al Hurra TV, and his Arab colleague Bashar Fahmi have not been contactable since they entered Syria on Monday morning. Capt. Ahmed Ghazali, a rebel fighter in the northern Syrian city of Azaz, said that the two journalists were captured by Syrian government forces in Aleppo in a YouTube video posted on Monday.
Coverage of missing Alhurra journalists Bashar Fahmi and Cuneyt Unal continues, including in the following publications: The IndependentReporters Without BordersThe AtlanticWall Street JournalNew York TimesHispanic BusinessVoice of Russia, and many more.
Ethiopian Leader’s Death Highlights Gap Between U.S. Interests and Ideals New York Times, August 21, 2012
No matter that Ethiopia receives more than $800 million in American aid annually. Mr. Meles even went as far as jamming the signal of Voice of America because he did not like its broadcasts. Human rights groups have been urging the United States to cut aid to Ethiopia for years. So now that he is gone, will the gap between American strategic and ideological goals narrow at all in this complex, pivotal country?

Media Citations of BBG Broadcasters

Meles Zenawi: 5 things to know about the Ethio­pian leader’s death and legacy Washington Post, August 21, 2012
“I think the threat about the instability that many are referring to is actually connected to the idea that he has been in charge of the country for so long and that he’s had an opportunity to make himself, or his personality, stand out to many of the goings on in the country,” Andrew Asamoah, a senior Horn of Africa researcher at the South Africa-based Institute of Security Studies, told Voice of America. “So [there’s] the fear that his sudden exit has the capacity of dislocating the arrangements of the quality of the country.”
Will Parliament impeach the Constitutional Tribunal? Mizzima News, August 22, 2012
The tribunal is made up of nine judges, most of whom are academics or legal experts, according to an article this week on the Radio Free Asia website. Three of the judges were selected by Thein Sein, three by Shwe Mann, and three by the speaker of the Upper House, Khin Aung Myint.
Kurds deny hand in Turkey car bombingChristian Science Monitor, August 21, 2012
The PYD commander in Syria’s Kurdish territory, Commander Hassan, told the Voice of America that the PYD is not seeking independence for the region, which also includes several non-Kurdish communities. “The demographics [population distribution] do not support independence here and we are not looking for independence,” Hassan explained. “All we want are our human rights and self-determination – not separation, just democratic autonomy.”
Ethiopia mourns Prime Minister Mele Zenawi’s deathNigerian Tribune, August 22, 2012
The Voice of America (VOA) reported that Meles Zenawi had not been seen in public since late June. The Ethiopian government dismissed speculations about the seriousness of his illness all this time. Most citizens in the capital would not speak publicly about the Prime Minister’s death, but said privately they hoped for a smooth transition of power.
Iranian Earthquake Victims Blame Their Own Government – Heritage Foundation, August 21, 2012
“Ahmadinejad!” said one Radio Farda listener. “Now that people have lost their lives in [East] Azerbaijan Province, was it really worth it for you to leave the country and walk on a red carpet in Saudi Arabia and talk about Bashar al-Assad?”

Of Interest

Impact and Future of American TechnologyC-SPAN, August 4, 2012
Officers of technology companies discussed the impact and future of American technology on the world, including social media censorship in other countries and the use of Twitter during the XXX Olympiad. Walter Isaacson moderated.
The Media Cold War Project Syndicate, August 21, 2012
An information war has erupted around the world. The battle lines are drawn between those governments that regard the free flow of information, and the ability to access it, as a matter of fundamental human rights, and those that regard official control of information as a fundamental sovereign prerogative. The contest is being waged institutionally in organizations like the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and daily in countries like Syria.
New ‘democracies’ failing if media aren’t freeCNN, August 22, 2012
How free are you to say what you think and what you believe? How free are you to hear the views of others, of those who challenge widely held beliefs or dare to criticize the powerful? Upon the answer to that question lies the essence and the soul of democracy.
Metrics, metrics everywhere: How do we measure the impact of journalism?Nieman Journalism Lab, August 17, 2012
If democracy would be poorer without journalism, then journalism must have some effect. Can we measure those effects in some way? While most news organizations already watch the numbers that translate into money (such as audience size and pageviews), the profession is just beginning to consider metrics for the real value of its work.

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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 187 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).

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