Media Highlights – September 24, 2012

Media Highlights – September 24, 2012

About Our Broadcasters

Russia Moves to Broaden Definition of High TreasonNew York Times, September 21, 2012
Earlier this week, the United States Agency for International Development announced that it would end its 20-year-old program in Russia at the Kremlin’s request. On Friday, the Moscow office of Radio Liberty, which is financed by the American government, announced that it was ending medium-wave broadcasts because of a tough new media law that prohibits such broadcasting when more than 48 percent of an outlet’s founders are foreigners. The station will continue its broadcasts online.
Also mentioned in Interfax, The Moscow Times, RIA Novosti

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Recognizes Staff at Radio Free Asia and Voice of AmericaDipNote (U.S. Department of State official blog), September 21, 2012
On Wednesday, September 19, I had the opportunity to accompany Aung San Suu Kyi to the Washington offices of Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Voice of America (VOA), two news organizations whose broadcasts have penetrated closed and war-torn countries, such as Burma, for decades.

Conscience and Charisma: Aung San Suu Kyi Receives the Congressional Gold Medal Huffington Post, September 21, 2012
One of the most touching aspects of Suu Kyi’s remarks and Suu Kyi’s struggle has been her enduring affection for the United States and for democracy. Democracy, she said in her remarks yesterday, is inextricable from both freedom and security. Her views come from long years of study of history, political theory, and philosophy in her years in captivity. It reminds us that the U.S. still has something unique to offer to the world, and that we should continue to offer it through the Voice of America, public diplomacy, and a vigorous program of international education and exchange.

In Mali, Islamist militants seize, shut down two stations CPJ, September 21, 2012
The gunmen closed down community station Radio Tisdas, which partners with U.S. government funded-international broadcaster Voice of America, and renamed it “Station Islamique de L’Azawad,” according to Assikadaye Waerzagane, the station director.

BBG Seeks Third-Party Assessment of Journalist in Syrian Hands Broadcasting & Cable, September 21, 2012
The Broadcasting Board of Governors, which protects the independence of the U.S. government’s international broadcasts, including Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN), has asked the Syrian government for third-party access to detained Alhurra cameraman Cuneyt Unal and any information on the whereabouts of Alhurra correspondent Bashar Fahmi. Both have been missing in Syria since mid-August, where they were covering the conflict there.

MADA Monitors Israeli Violations of Media Freedoms in OPt During August 2012Palestinian News Network, September 24, 2012
MADA also expresses deep concern at the disappearance in Syria of the Palestinian journalist who was working as director of the Alhurra channel office in Turkey, Bashar Qaddoumi. The channel has had no contact with him since the third day of the Eid al-Fitr. MADA Center appeals to the international community to provide urgent assistance to help locate Mr. Qaddoumi.

Syrian journalist killed in city of HamaCPJ, September 21, 2012
Turkish cameraman Cüneyt Ünal and reporter Bashar Fahmi, a Jordanian citizen of Palestinian origin, who work for the U.S. government-funded Al-Hurra, were reported missing in the northwestern city of Aleppo on August 20, according to news reports. Six days later, Ünal appeared in a video saying he had been taken captive while reporting in Syria, but did not explicitly name his captors, although the video appeared on a pro-government television channel. The cameraman made no mention of Fahmi. No further information is known about the journalists’ whereabouts or condition.

Media Citations of BBG Broadcasters

Georgia: Saakashvili, the Prison-Abuse Videos, and the ElectionNewsweek, September 24, 2012
Further details became public. The videos had been shot and subsequently leaked by a former prison guard named Vladimer Bedukadze—the head of the unit that had committed the brutal acts. He had preemptively decamped to Brussels before the clips were released. In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, he said he had recorded the video in 2011 and 2012 on orders from the prison chief and the interior minister.
Also cited by The American Conservative

Protests over anti-Islam film and Muhammad cartoons – as it happenedThe Guardian, September 21, 2012
Demonstrators who took part in the massive peace rally in Benghazi have moved into at least one compound connected with the militant group Ansar al-Sharia. No clashes have been reported. Zaid Benjamin is an anchor with US-funded Radio Sawa: “BREAKING: Protesters thrust into Ansar al-Sharia HQ in #Benghazi. No fighter was found there – Picture #Libya”

Somalian journalists: No 1 target of al-Shabaab terrorists Radio Netherlands Worldwide, September 22, 2012
Four other journalists were wounded in the attack. Their colleagues, who used to frequent The Village, are still trying to get to grips with what happened. “Today we mourn our colleagues,” says an emotional Liban Abdi Ali, a TV reporter with US-based Al Hurra TV, at the burial site near Mogadishu.

Aung San Suu Kyi US Visit: Myanmar Activist Awarded Congressional Gold Medal – Policy Mic, September 21, 2012
Moreover, now that Aung possesses legitimate power in the government, she will become closer to realizing her goal of democracy by contributing to changes in the country’s constitution. In an interview with Voice of America, she notes that these changes are precarious unless the military power completely divorces their influence from the civilian government.

Amid opposition boycott, Belarus leader praises ‘boring and calm’ electionChristian Science Monitor, September 23, 2012
“Either we restore genuine elections of the president and parliament in Belarus, or it is better to cancel this imitation of democracy we are witnessing,” United Civic leader Anatol Lyabedzka told Radio Liberty last week.

South Korea fires on North Korean ships because there isn’t enough tension in East Asia at the momentShanghaiist, September 22, 2012
The DPRK, in its continuing efforts for world peace, has recently relocated its main military to command centre to the northern city of Rason. Radio Free Asia quotes an anonymous source explaining the reason for the move: “The center’s present location at Samjiyeon in Yanggang province is also “cut off from the outside, and is not suitable for wartime command.”

Tibetan singer detained for berating Chinese rule Tibetan Review, September 23, 2012
In a continuing trend of putting away artists and writers whose works are seen as disparaging Chinese rule in Tibet, a Tibetan singer and satirical skit performer has been detained on Sep 20 in Yulgan (Chinese: Henan) County of Malho (Chinese: Huangnan) prefecture, Qinghai Province, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Sep 21.

The Rohingya conundrum Myanmar Times, September 24, 2012
Another possible solution is that Myanmar can amend its 1982 citizenship law to pave the way for the Rohingya to apply for citizenship. As Minister for Immigration and Population U Khin Yi told Radio Free Asia recently, under the existing law foreigners can apply for citizenship only if they are born in Myanmar, their parents and grandparents have lived and died in Myanmar, they are literate in Burmese and meet some additional criteria.

Suu Kyi speaks to Burmese community Mizzima News, September 21, 2012
“There’s a great future for Burma, provided she’s able to succeed in the next election,” Burmese-American Bilal Raschid told Voice of America (VOA).

Myanmar official vows more peaceful futureUPI, September 21, 2012
The government of Myanmar will do more to end fighting with ethnic groups and help refugees return home, the country’s service minister said. U Aung Min said the government will honor its pledge to end the clashes, particularly in Kachin state, Voice of America reported Thursday.

Concern yourselves with service delivery, Aliyu tells office holdersThe Guardian Nigeria, September 24, 2012
In an interview he granted the Voice of America (Hausa service), which was monitored in Minna, Kuta alleged that the governor was working in concert with the People Democratic Party (PDP) leadership in the state, particularly from his zone, to scheme him out in 2015 and vowed to protect his seat with the last drop of his blood.

U.S. lifts ban on N.Z. warship visitsUPI, September 21, 2012
Panetta also said the United States was removing restrictions that would make conducting military exercises and security discussions between the two countries easier, Voice of America reported.

Suicide bomber kills 2 in attack on Nigeria churchDigital Journal, September 23, 2012
The Voice of America reported that the attacker detonated a vehicle loaded with explosives during a security check outside the church.

Of Interest

Iran readies domestic Internet system, blocks GoogleReuters, September 24, 2012
Iran plans to switch its citizens onto a domestic Internet network in what officials say is a bid to improve cyber security but which many Iranians fear is the latest way to control their access to the web. The announcement, made by a government deputy minister on Sunday, came as state television announced Google Inc’s search engine and its email service would be blocked “within a few hours”.

Chief Censor in Myanmar Caps His Red PenNew York Times, September 21, 2012
The censorship office, known by the Orwellian title of Press Scrutiny and Registration Division, infuriated generations of authors. Censors returned manuscripts with red lines through entire passages. Often they banned books or articles altogether. Any whiff of dissent toward the military or suggestion of government corruption was removed. Burma, the old name of the country, was deleted in favor of Myanmar, the name preferred by the military junta.