At Heritage Foundation event, criticism of BBG's proposal to eliminate VOA Mandarin shortwave.

Posted: 26 May 2011   Print   Send a link
VOA News, 25 May 2011, Jerome Socolovsky: "The decision to shut down the Voice of America's Chinese radio and TV services later this year came under heavy criticism Wednesday at a conservative Washington research institute. But a number of Western broadcasters are focusing on China's growing Internet audience. The changes were announced several months ago by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the U.S. agency in charge of government-funded foreign broadcasting, including the Voice of America. The BBG said it would shut down VOA's Chinese radio and television broadcasts while making its Mandarin-language service available only on the Internet. Forty-five journalists, or more than half of the branch's full-time staff, will be let go. ... [A] critic on the panel was former VOA director David Jackson. He said China's efforts to obstruct VOA programming are a sign of success. 'If people weren't listening to us, they wouldn't be jamming us,' he said." Video of the event is available at Heritage Foundation, 25 May 2011. See also previous post.

Public Diplomacy Council, undated but recent, Alan Heil: "Retention of shortwave as a failsafe backup is crucial, even if audiences in that medium are declining in some regions. This is because of the increasing technical savvy of some authoritarian regimes determined to block news and information from beyond their borders or transmissions of dissident activity within their territories to the outside world. The Heritage Foundation forum June 1 on Russia’s interdiction of external news will explore the issue. China is even more skilled in silencing or interdicting incoming information from abroad on both new and traditional media."