BBG Watch Commentary
Sheema Kalbasi, who tweets as @IranianWoman, is a U.S.-based Iranian poet, filmmaker, rights activist who had worked for UNHCR and Center for Refugees in Pakistan and UNA Denmark.
She is one of many pro-democracy Iranians banned in recent years by Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG)-managed Voice of America’s (VOA) Persian Service and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Radio Farda because of their outspoken opposition to the Iranian regime.
These Iranian activists are hoping that the expected management change at the Broadcasting Board of Governors will result in lifting such bias, blacklisting and censorship. Yesterday, the White House announced President Trump’s intent to nominate Michael Pack as new BBG CEO. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Pack would replace Obama administration holdover CEO John F. Lansing.
Iranian human rights activists hope that the expected management change will lead to improvements at the U.S. taxpayer-funded media outlets which in a recent independent study commissioned by the BBG have been severely criticized for biased coverage of Iran.
Sheema Kalbasi tweeted:
“I look forward to seeing these US-funded Radio Farda and VOA will finally stand for democratic values and not be an instrument of Tehran’s propaganda. I have been blacklisted for several years now!”
I look forward to seeing these US-funded Radio Farda and VOA will finally stand for democratic values and not be an instrument of Tehran’s propaganda. I have been blacklisted for several years now! https://t.co/TvpezXLLVX
— Sheema Kalbasi (@IranianWoman) June 3, 2018
ALSO SEE: Trump intends to nominate Michael Pack as CEO of Broadcasting Board of Governors EXCLUSIVE
Here are some other Iranian tweets (more can be viewed in Iran scholars criticize BBG, VOA, and Radio Farda management.
دانلد ترامپ تغییرات در بیبیجی (BBG) نهاد بالادستی صدای امریکا و رادیوفردا را کلید زد.
"مایکل پَک" که به عنوان مدیرعامل جدید BBG از سوی ترامپ به سنا معرفی شده، از چهرههای رسانهای محافظهکار و نزدیک به "استیو بنن" استراتژیست سابق کاخ سفید است. pic.twitter.com/yTVqepV5Mk
— Taghato (@taghato) June 2, 2018
@VOAIran needs to be looked at asap, it doesn't reflect the views of Iranian Americans or support the policies of the US, it needs major improvements.
— Democratic Iran Channel (@democraticiran3) June 3, 2018
EXCELLENT news! https://t.co/qnuIM2cpC3
— Banafsheh Pour'Zand (@BanafshehZand) June 2, 2018
May be a good time to ask you, Mr. @KenWeinstein, why I was an analyst on flagship Tafsir Khabar program & other shows 2-3 times/month during GWB, but blacklisted from @VOAIran last 9 yrs. I continue as guest commentator @alhurranews & recently spoke @HudsonInstitute —@BBGWatch https://t.co/U6aJxjG31n
— Mariam Memarsadeghi (@memarsadeghi) June 2, 2018
@KenWeinstein We are waiting with anticipation for your response? @lipin
Why censorship in a taxpayer funded news outfit? Why does the VOA support the Islamic Republic reformers??@SecPompeo @statedeptspox
— Lou lou (@upuouo) June 2, 2018