BBG Watch comments on VOA in China in IC therefore IM AU blog
BBG Watch has published comments on the IC therefore IM American University blog article A New Take on Public Diplomacy, which discusses “OMG Meiyu.” The author of the post describes it as “a series of web videos created by VOA employee Jessica Beinecke, a Caucasian American who learned Chinese at college. In her videos, which she produces herself in her DC apartment, Jessica explains American slang and other terms that may not be taught in English classes in China. Particularly popular is her video for “Yucky Gunk,” where she teaches her audience the English words for bodily fluids. While the Chinese government blocks many Voice of America programs, it has allowed “OMG Meiyu” to remain posted on Weibo, a Chinese version of Youtube. On the site, Jessica interacts with her 100,000 and growing followers and takes suggestions for new videos.”
Here are our comments: 1. The Broadcasting Board of Governors is promoting this video and confusing a lot of media reporters in the U.S. and elsewhere who have no idea that the BBG plans to end all Voice of America radio and TV broadcasts to China and to fire 45 VOA journalists who specialize in reporting on human rights topics in Mandarin and Cantonese. Their radio and TV reports are also available online on the VOA news website and social media sites, but these are blocked and censored by the Chinese cyber police. The BBG is not asking why these English video lessons are not blocked but they should, because this is what they want to offer if they succeed in ending VOA radio and TV to China. Members of Congress are trying to block this plan.
2. Jessica is delightful and very talented, but seriously, she is not different from other young Americans who appear in American movies seen in China and offer a similar glimpse into American life. Yes, she is a real person, not an actress. But she is not even identified with the Voice of America using its full name, just the letters VOA. Perhaps that’s why she’s still allowed on the Chinese Internet, but she soon may not be if she becomes too popular or identified closely with USG. And how is she going to express America’s real concern with human rights violations and other sensitive issues. She cannot and will not, otherwise she will be made to disappear from the Internet in China. In the meantime, the Broadcasting Board of Governors plans to end all VOA radio and satellite TV transmissions to China on October 1. Despite jamming of shortwave radio and the possibility of interfering with satellite TV signals, these programs are the only channel for interviews with Americans concerned about human rights and democracy in China and for presenting a more sophisticated picture of America. They offer a broad spectrum of opinions and topics, including “OMG Meiyu” for those who are interested. What the BBG really wants to do is to get rid of 45 journalists who provide a…