Media Highlights – September 4, 2012

Media Highlights – September 4, 2012

About Our Broadcasters


Syria says no dialogue before it crushes rebelsAP, September 3, 2012

At least three journalists are missing in Syria and are believed to be held by the regime. Alhurra TV correspondent Bashar Fahmi, a Jordanian citizen of Palestinian origin, and his Turkish cameraman, Cuneyt Unal, are said to have been captured in the city of Aleppo after entering Syria last month. The third journalist, American Austin Tice, has reported on the conflict for The Washington Post, McClatchy Newspapers and other media outlets, is also reported missing in Syria.

Government forces reportedly holding three foreign journalists Reporters Without Borders, August 31, 2012

Reporters Without Borders is very worried about three foreign journalists – Turkish cameraman Cüneyt Ünal and Jordanian reporter Bashar Fahmi Al-Kadumi, who work for Al-Hurra TV and who went missing on 20 August, and US freelancer Austin Tice, who has been missing for almost three weeks.

Journalists demand release of colleaguesOman Daily Observer, September 1, 2012

More than 100 Turkish journalists yesterday staged a protest to demand the release of two Turkish reporters reportedly being held by the Syrian government. Gathering in front of the Syrian embassay in Ankara, protestors unfurled banners reading “Syria, give our colleagues back,” “Don’t kill journalists,” and “Journalist is not the target.” Turkish cameraman Cuneyt Unal and his colleague Bashar Fahmi, who both work for the Al Hurra network, have been missing in Syria for 11 days and are reportedly being held by government troops.

PDC Also Calls for the Immediate Release of Journalists Held in SyriaPublic Diplomacy Council, August 30, 2012

The Public Diplomacy Council joins the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) in calling for the immediate release of two journalists of the U.S.-funded Alhurra TV network in Arabic held for the past week in Syria. The Council endorses the BBG statement urging the Syrian government to ensure their safety.

Iran’s Media ProfileThe Channel, September 2012

New data gathered for the US agency Broadcasting Board of Governors show Iran to be a pretty wired place, with two-thirds of households having access to computers and 39% of Iranians surfing the Internet weekly.

Young adults up close The Egyptian Gazette, September 4, 2012

‘Rayheen ala Feen?’ (Where are we Going?) is the first real-life Egyptian programme, with Alhurra Television taking the unique step of documenting the lives of young adults. Alhurra looks at the future of our youth by focusing on Egyptians, both men and women, from very different social and economic backgrounds. The only things they have in common is that they are all in their twenties and live in Cairo.

Chinese Website Now Using Clint Eastwood’s Chair Speech to Teach EnglishThe Atlantic, August 31, 2012

These sorts of websites are prolific, and typically use BBC, NPR, or CNN recordings, Helen explained. U.S. government-sponsored soft power outlet Voice of America is a favorite of English-learners, she said, because the reporters tend to speak slowly.


Media Citations of BBG Broadcasters

In authoritarian North Korea, hints of reformWashington Post, September 3, 2012

Several media outlets that employ North Korean defectors, including Washington-based Radio Free Asia, have reported that Pyongyang is rolling out agricultural policy changes that mark a significant break from the state-controlled economy.

Trial for the driver accused in Oswaldo Paya’s death may be next weekMiami Herald, September 1, 2012

The day of the crash the Europeans also sent text messages to unidentified friends from their cell phones reporting that another car had rammed them and forced them off the road, Iglesias said in an interview with the U.S. government’s Radio/TV Marti in Miami.

88 Gen leaders unhappy over passport delays Myanmar Times, September 3, 2012

Another senior member, Ko Mya Aye, told Radio Free Asia on August 30 that only him and Min Ko Naing had received passports. “We [88 Generation leaders] were in jail and released together. Then we applied to get passports together. It’s not appropriate that only Min Ko Naing and I got passports and not the others. The government should give the passport equally … within 21 days,” he said.

Clinton stresses importance of South China SeaUPI, September 3, 2012

Separately, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei, while referring to the Clinton visit, said Monday that Beijing hoped the United States would promote peace and stability in the region by “not taking sides” in Chinese maritime disputes with neighboring states, the Voice of America reported.

Kyrgyz leader issues apologyUPI, August 31, 2012

Former President Askar Akayev told the Kyrgyz bureau of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty he was in part responsible for economic and political problems during his role as the country’s first president since independence from the Soviet Union.

China policy on Tibetan freedom of religion may face change as self-immolations continueWomen News Network, August 31, 2012

Jamyang Metok’s uncle also declined to answer questions “hanging up the phone immediately after being asked about his niece,” says RFA – Radio Free Asia after they attempted to make direct contact with Metok’s uncle.

Ethiopia mourns longtime PMUPI, September 2, 2012

The Voice of America reported Ethiopian soldiers stood in formation as the flag-draped casket was carried into Meskel Square in Addis Ababa.

Rebels Plant Bombs in Assad’s Army HQ; 1,600 Reported Killed Just Last WeekInternational Business Times, September 2, 2012

The U.N. children’s fund UNICEF said Sunday that 1,600 Syrians had been killed in civil war last week alone, making it the deadliest seven-day period of the 18-month conflict, the Voice of America reported.


Of Interest

Reporters Interrupt Ukraine Leader’s Press SpeechAP, September 3, 2012

Top Ukrainian journalists interrupted President Viktor Yanukovych’s speech on press rights Monday, protesting increasing media censorship by the authorities. About a dozen reporters rose from their seats and held up posters reading “Stop Censorship” and “Media Oligarchs Serve the Authorities.” Security guards violently ripped them out of the hands of some protesters.

Software Meant to Fight Crime Is Used to Spy on DissidentsNew York Times, August 31, 2012

The software has been identified as FinSpy, one of the more elusive spyware tools sold in the growing market of off-the-shelf computer surveillance technologies that give governments a sophisticated plug-in monitoring operation. Research now links it to servers in more than a dozen countries, including Turkmenistan, Brunei and Bahrain, although no government acknowledges using the software for surveillance purposes.