Media Highlights – September 7, 2012

Media Highlights – September 7, 2012

About Our Broadcasters

BBG Renews Call for Info on Missing Journalists Broadcasting & Cable, September 5, 2012
The Broadcasting Board of Governors Thursday again pressed the Syrian government on the whereabouts of a pair of missing journalists. Bashar Fahmi, a correspondent with the BBG-backed Alhurra news outlet and cameraman Cuneyt Unal have been missing since Aug. 20. The Syrian government released a statement Tuesday, Sept. 4, saying Fahmi was not under Syrian authority.

Syria denies holding missing journalistInternational Press Institute, September 6, 2012
The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees U.S.-funded Arabic-language satellite station Al Hurra, yesterday called on Syria’s government to release any information it had on the capture and whereabouts of Al Hurra correspondent Bashar Fahmi and cameraman Cüneyt Ünal.

Nigeria Islamists claim phone company fires, threaten mediaAFP, September 7, 2012
Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram on Thursday claimed a set of fires at telecom masts across the north, while threatening journalists with the Voice of America radio network.
Also covered in AllAfrica, AFP

Pakistan attacks help unite AfghansStars and Stripes, September 6, 2012
On a popular weekly call-in show broadcast by Radio Free Europe, callers have been jamming the show’s voice mail with angry messages about the attacks, said host Zarif Nazar, who has devoted several two-hour blocks solely to discussion of the rocket attacks.

VOA journalists are asked to tweet agency’s PR news Washington Post, September 6, 2012
A Voice of America spokesman tells the Loop that “nobody’s being coerced” and that the initiative was simply intended to help far-flung VOA journalists share one another’s stories with a wider audience. But VOA higher-ups know just how hard it is to control a message — even when it’s just delivered to their own people.

Letter to the Editor: Thanks to Neil Armstrong, a break in the Cold WarWashington Post, September 6, 2012
Leaning into our car I heard a Voice of America announcer say, “You will now hear astronaut Neil Armstrong as he steps foot on the moon.” My excitement apparently aroused the curiosity of one of the policemen, who approached with hesitant steps and tilted his head questioningly.

Media Citations of BBG Broadcasters

Rumors Grow That North Korea Is About To Enact Economic ReformBusiness Insider, September 6, 2012
One more theory purports that the meeting is an attempt by Kim Jong-un to firmly establish and secure his power. Currently, the military has the main power over economic policies but Kim Jong-un would like to move the control under his Cabinet, reports the Voice of America.

Greenpeace activists dressed as polar bears arrested in MoscowAlaska Dispatch, September 6, 2012
Voice of America (VOA) News reports that the activists, dressed in plush polar bear costumes, holding yellow signs and parading behind a long white banner, congregated outside of state-controlled energy giant Gazpom’s Moscow headquarters.

N. Korea’s global narrativeKorea Times, September 7, 2012
In fact, they sounded so rehearsed, artificial, and identical that the international media snubbed them in post-medal interviews. One Chinese reporter was even quoted in Radio Free Asia as saying, “Although their voices are different, the North Korean gold medalists’ acceptance speeches sound like they are coming from the same person.”

In the foreign-language press:

[BBG] calls on Syrian government to release Alhurra journalistsBBC, September 6, 2012
According to the BBC Arabic service, the Broadcasting Board of Governors calls on the Syrian government to release any information they have on the capture and whereabouts of Alhurra correspondent Bashar Fahmi and cameraman Cüneyt Ünal. the Syrian Information Ministry released a statement saying that Fahmi is not with the Syrian authorities. This follows an August 26th video on a Syrian government channel of Ünal giving a brief statement in which he describes himself as part of an international militant force. In a statement, the BBG stated that Fahmi and Ünal were captured together in Aleppo on August 20th. Ünal alone appeared in the disturbing video on Syrian Television. Now the Syrian government claims to have no responsibility of Fahmi, BBC reported.

Of Interest

Vietnamese Journalist Sentenced to 4 Years in Jail AP, September 7, 2012
A Vietnamese journalist who bribed a police officer as part of an undercover investigation into corruption was sentenced to four years in prison on Friday, while the officer who accepted the money got a five-year sentence, state-controlled media reported.

Romantic Comedy Gets Twist From NKorean Acrobats Huffington Post, September 7, 2012
“Comrade Kim Goes Flying,” a collaboration between a North Korean director and two European filmmakers, makes its world premiere Saturday at the Toronto International Film Festival before it heads to Pyongyang later this month for its North Korean debut.

Putin Jokes About Orgies to Cast Pussy Riot Protesters as DegeneratesNew York Times, September 6, 2012
During an interview with an English-language satellite news channel financed by the Russian government, Mr. Putin was asked about the harsh sentences for the dissident musicians. He responded by attempting to draw attention to what he termed “the moral side” of the Pussy Riot saga.