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As Karen Hughes begins to settle into her new office, she must see that one priority for U.S. public diplomacy is to get reporters out of Baghdad.

No, not get reporters out of Iraq: Just get them out of their bureaus in the capital.

The hottest news broadcaster these days is not one of the American network news anchors. He is not even an American, but a Russian. His name is Andrei Babitsky ("The Evening News, with Andrei Babitsky"?)

He is, of all things, a U.S. government-funded employee, a broadcast news correspondent for the congressionally-supported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

It's back to Cold War days at the Voice of America. The Russian government is still trying to block VOA programs from entering the country, but not succeeding totally.

During the Cold War, a Soviet Union "jammer" would transmit static over the radio frequency of a foreign news broadcast aimed for audiences behind the Iron Curtain to render the radio signal inaudible. Broadcast interference is much more sophisticated as practiced in today's Russia, and the VOA and other international programmers are once again being put to the test.

Al-Jazeera is ramping up to test Fox News and CNN on their home turf. The Qatar-based Arabic news channel, scheduled to launch its English-language service in the U.S. and Canada early next year, has retained the public relations firm Brown Lloyd James (BLJ) to help build its base in the world’s most lucrative and challenging commercial marketplace.

Washington, DC - July 28, 2005 - There are several interesting stories behind the recent award ceremony that took place at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the Voice of America.

The British news agency Reuters proudly notes its scoops on its journalism training website, such as President Lincoln's assassination in 1865.

This was a week when some international broadcasters came of age while others began to show theirs. Winners began to emerge, meaning someone had to lose. Some broadcasters stepped out of the shadows to participate in the big dance. And new startups set out to take on the world's most familiar satellite news channels.

At the BBC, news editors and writers decided to cast away their policy stylebook to do it their own way on the morning of the London bombings and use the word "terrorism" to describe what had happened. But 12 hours later they backed off.

LOS ANGELES, July 13 - Nothing fascinates media as much as, well, media.

That is the lasting impression after an extended visit to New Zealand and Australia, which boast world-class commercial, public service and international broadcasters and first-rate newspapers. But looking at America through South Pacific lenses, the focus more often than not seemed on American media.

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