BBG plan for VOA will harm human rights activists in China — Politburo Media Review
BBG Watch — BBG Politburo Media Review (also on BBG Watch Hot Tub Blog)
The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) wants to end all Voice of America radio and TV broadcasts to China on Oct. 1. BBG members should read these recent news stories which may show that they and their executive staff have no first-hand or other direct experience of what life under authoritarian regimes is like and what dissidents, pro-democracy activists, and those who are the most oppressed expect from the United States.
A recent BBG statement on threats to free media around the world did not mention China while at the their last meeting BBG members were ecstatic about a VOA English teaching video in Mandarin, which the Chinese cyber police allowed on the Internet in China.
Apparently, the Chinese censors are not offended by words like “All of the icky stuff that comes out of your face!!, eye gunk, sleepies, earwax, booger, snot, drool, slobber, pimple/zit/blemish” — which the delightful and very talented Jessica Beinecke teaches the Chinese youth to use.
We’re not saying that such videos have no place in VOA programs to China, but BBG members could have perhaps benefitted from also watching this video.
Direct link to this video.
Compare the previous video with the next one, which BBG members loved so much that they forgot to include China in their statement condemning assaults on free media. Quite a contrast!
Direct link to this video.
OK. Keep producing such videos that the Chinese cyber police will allow.
By the way, since this is our first BBG Watch Politburo Media Review, we looked at the Voice of America English website and did not find any China-related human rights stories. But we did find this story, Meet Tara (Again), Graduate Student from China and Fashionista, no doubt highly recommended by your social media private consultants whose only experience of human rights violations was probably limited to being denied computer access by their American parents.
OK, Meet Tara has some redeeming content, although not much. But what will happen, BBG members, to “Free Chen Guangcheng” video and VOA radio and television interviews with those Americans who are trying to help him and thousands of other political prisoners in China?
You want to end VOA satellite TV to China on October 1, as well as radio. Do you really think that the heavily jammed and not very well-known Radio Free Asia is enough? RFA does not have satellite television programs and neither will VOA after Oct. 1.
Does that mean that Voice of America will represent American views on China with content such Yucky GUNK!, since this is about the only material that the Chinese censors will allow on the Internet. And what happens when they ban it when it becomes too popular.
We will be posting these media roundups, which we call BBG Politburo Media Review, to help focus BBG members’ attention on the real information needs of people living under authoritarian and totalitarian regimes.
Just as Soviet Politburo members used to receive digests of Radio Liberty and Voice of America news reports, we believe that BBG members are also entiled to uncensored news that offer a more realistic picture of life outside the Beltway and outside of the United States than they can get from their executive staff, even if such information is already readily available.
National Endowment for Democracy
China’s protests ‘could crystallize into broader movement’
Reporters Without Borders
ACTIVISTS ATTACKED WHILE TRYING TO VISIT HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER UNDER HOUSE ARREST http://en.rsf.org/chine-activists-attacked-while-trying-to-20-09-2011,39533.html
Women’s Rights in China
Former Chinese political prisoner says Voice of America must not retreat from China
Women’s Rights Without Frontiers
Personal Prison Prepared for Forced Abortion Opponent Chen http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/blog/?p=419
Amendment for Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng Passes Today
Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers:
“I believe that the VOA Mandarin Service has been singled out for the chopping block precisely because of its effectiveness – it has been the leading international broadcaster into China for nearly 70 years and has an enormous following inside China. VOA has been a thorn in the side of the Chinese Communist Party by exposing, for example, the persecution of human rights lawyers and the use of forced abortion to enforce China’s hated One Child Policy. My interview about China’s One Child Policy on VOA’s Mandarin Service generated an ardent and wide-ranging discussion, in which people from all over China called in to comment and discuss. The interview gave Chinese citizens a national forum in which to debate passionately held beliefs – an opportunity they otherwise would not have had, but for VOA.”