The Hill writer writes VOA broadcasts to Iran "to no avail, " but spokespersons cite 30% audience.

Posted: 29 Apr 2010   Print   Send a link
The Hill, 28 Apr 2010, Tony Romm: "The Senate Foreign Relations Committee issued a symbolic message to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) on Tuesday, urging its members to support 'Internet censorship circumvention measures' in Iran. ... The measure that won committee approval on Tuesday has no force of law, but it nonetheless petitions the BBG to 'expand international broadcasting in Iran,' while promoting 'means which provide for the dissemination of accurate and independent information... through radio, television, Internet, mobile devices and other forms of connective technology.' ... VOA has long tried to broadcast into Iran, albeit to no avail. Officials in Tehran have recently jammed the station's signal, primarily out of fear that U.S.-based broadcasting would only intensify the standoff between the state government and the election protesters who saw the return of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as illegitimate." See also comment by VOA spokesman David Borgida. -- Radio Farda is already 24 hours a day. VOA PNN is live during seven peak viewing hours, then repeated to fill the rest of the 24 hours. Perhaps USIB should now concentrate on improved quality rather than raw expansion.
The Hill, 28 Apr 2010, Broadcasting Board of Governors spokesperson Tish King: "[O]ur broadcasts to Iran have remarkable success in reaching 30% of the adult audience, even in the face of censorship and signal interference. n June of last year, VOA’s Persian News Network (PNN) covered every aspect of the election crisis in Iran, adding a one-hour morning show to its seven-hour daily TV schedule as well as a one-hour 'special report' in the evening. Iranian citizen journalists sent VOA 300 videos daily, along with thousands of still pictures, e-mails, and telephone calls. PNN used Twitter, blogs, Facebook and YouTube pages to inform Iranians about developments inside their country and website traffic from Iran ballooned by 500 percent in June. It is unfortunate to see the success of that Persian broadcasts of VOA and its sister broadcast Radio Farda of RFE/RL overlooked as broadcasting 'to no avail' as Romm observed."