international broadcasting

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.

This function of the press in no way comports with Tillerson’s experience at ExxonMobil. [...] Oil is not an especially popular product, and its production generates manifold controversies, yet just about everybody needs oil, at least for now, so well-run corporations in the industry can be as durable as public utilities, no matter what consumers think. Some time ago, ExxonMobil executives concluded that they were better off avoiding journalists to the extent that it was possible, and putting out what little they had to say on their own Web site.

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.

Conventional news organizations follow a simple protocol in pursuing this week’s WikiLeaks dump of alleged CIA documents about tools to hack into computers, smartphones and the like. Just open up the documents, read them, consult with experts and perhaps write up an article or two. That process doesn’t proceed quite as smoothly at the Voice of America (VOA), the government-funded news outlet that launched in 1942 “to combat Nazi propaganda with accurate and unbiased news and information.”

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