international broadcasting

Putin perfectly understood the power of the media that helped propel his famously unpopular predecessor Boris Yeltsin into power in 1996. So the first thing he did after assuming the presidency in 2000 was to force all the major TV channels to submit to his will. Oligarch owners were either co-opted, jailed or exiled, and by 2006 most major Russian media were either directly or indirectly under Putin’s administration’s control.

The success of Al Jazeera’s social media outreach should be particularly worrisome for those who value accurate and unbiased reporting, as its massive reach and influence can no longer be ignored. But for the government of Qatar, AJ+’s reach has given them precisely the platform they need to advance their agenda, particularly on issues where the geopolitical goals of Western governments and Qatar’s government conveniently overlap.

VOA began radio broadcasting in 1942, to combat Nazi propaganda. Per its charter, it is mandated to “serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news.” Since WWII, it has been the front-edge of America’s informational interface with citizens around the world, particularly those battling dictatorships and tyranny. [...] VOA is the largest public diplomacy program of the United States government and broadcasts in more than 40 languages.

Japan International Broadcasting Inc., which transmits various information from Japan to destinations worldwide via NHK World TV, is now distributing the promotional music video “OISHII” (delicious) TRIP in collaboration with the vocaloid Hatsune Miku as a project of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (hereinafter “MAFF”).

RT’s coverage may seem shoddy, at times even comical, but it serves its propaganda function efficiently. Media failures over the Iraq War and the financial crisis have disenchanted audiences, making them cynical and distrustful. The cynicism, however, has made them credulous toward those who present themselves as critics of the “mainstream media”...

Photo of Jo Stafford with guest William Boyd AKA Hopalong Cassidy on her Voice of America radio show.

A new paper in our Perspectives series looks at U.S. international broadcasting.

The Kwesé Network’s Pay-TV satellite service started broadcasting yesterday, beaming Kwesé’s full suite of entertainment and sports programming to households in Ghana, Rwanda and Zambia, which make up the initial phase of the Kwesé TV rollout across Africa, other countries will be announced in due course. Viewers in these countries can now access Kwesé TV via Kwesé’s own satellite and set-top-box (decoder) available at leading retailers.

Edward R. Murrow

Philip Seib reviews Gregory Tomlin's work on the former USIA director.

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