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U.S. court rules a contract employee can bring claims of discrimination against Broadcasting Board of Governors

U.S. court rules a contract employee can bring claims of discrimination against Broadcasting Board of Governors

BBG Watch Commentary In yet another defeat for the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) General Counsel (GC) Office, the federal District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Radio Sawa’s purchase order vendors (or POVs) could be considered “employees” and thus bring claims of discrimination under Title VII and the Rehabilitation Act. Rad...

Russian media report on departures of RFE/RL managers

Russian media report on departures of RFE/RL managers

BBG Watch Commentary The Russian investigative journalism magazine Sovershenno Sekretno is reporting on the departure of two Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) managers. The headline, “Top-mededzhery Radio Svoboda, prichastnye k massovym uvol’neniiam v Russkoi sluzhbe, otpravleny v otstavku,” links them with the mass dismissals ...

Two vice presidents departed Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Two vice presidents departed Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

BBG Watch Commentary Dale Cohen, Vice President of Administration at Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) since November 2011, and Beth Portale, Vice President and Chief of Staff to former RFE/RL President Steven Korn, have resigned from the U.S.-funded media freedom broadcaster. Their bios have been removed from the RFE/RL website. Since Jan...

Broadcasting Board of Governors – Information War Lost: Dysfunctional and Defunct, Same As It Ever Was

Broadcasting Board of Governors – Information War Lost: Dysfunctional and Defunct, Same As It Ever Was

Broadcasting Board of Governors – Information War Lost: Dysfunctional and Defunct, Same As It Ever Was By The Federalist   We have borrowed a refrain from a Talking Heads song, “Once in a Lifetime” (with that fine, compact, thumping bass line played by Tina Weymouth).  Read on and you will see why.   On Thursday, March 21, 2013...

IBB invited speaker who mocked former BBG member Hillary Clinton; some BBG governors furious with IBB's Director Lobo

IBB invited speaker who mocked former BBG member Hillary Clinton; some BBG governors furious with IBB's Director Lobo

BBG Watch Commentary The International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) has invited and later announced it will disinvite a Roman Catholic priest and a social activist from Chicago Father Michael Pfleger, whom Barack Obama had criticized for “divisive, backward-looking rhetoric,” to speak at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) “Div...

Employees angry with IBB Director Lobo

Employees angry with IBB Director Lobo

BBG Watch Commentary Jane Smith is one of our occasional anonymous contributors to BBG Watch from within the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the federal agency in charge of U.S. international broadcasting. She is reporting that the Voice of America (VOA) and the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) rank and file employees are visibly upse...

Voice of America – Broadcasting Board of Governors – has worst bosses, Federal Times reports

Voice of America – Broadcasting Board of Governors – has worst bosses, Federal Times reports

BBG Watch Commentary Federal Times reported that the Voice of America (VOA) has some of the worst bosses in the federal government based on surveys of government employees conducted by the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The survey results apply not just to the Voice of America but to all federal employees of the Broadcasting Board of...

BBG Interim Presiding Governor Michael Lynton is not confirming participation in April board meeting

BBG Interim Presiding Governor Michael Lynton is not confirming participation in April board meeting

BBG Watch Commentary Sources told BBG Watch that the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Interim Presiding Governor Michael Lynton has not confirmed to the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) executive staff whether he will attend the BBG open board meeting in April. Mr. Lynton has frequently missed board and committee meetings and was not pr...

Radio Liberty in Exile offers online election coverage in Russia

Radio Liberty in Exile offers online election coverage in Russia

BBG Watch Commentary Radio Liberty in Exile journalists — those who were fired last September by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) or resigned in protest — launched Sunday an impressive, live, online local elections coverage in Russia with streaming video (USTREAM), Google Hangout discussions, and YouTube video postings. The Radi...

U.S. reduces radio news broadcasts to Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus, China and other nations without free media

U.S. reduces radio news broadcasts to Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus, China and other nations without free media

BBG Watch Exclusive News and Commentary The United States is cutting or reducing radio news broadcasts to Afghanistan, Belarus, China, Iran and other nations without free media due to decreased funding for U.S. international broadcasting as a result of sequestration and, as some critics claim, also because of waste and mismanagement at the fed...

Tenzin Tethong to lead Radio Free Asia Tibetan Service

Tenzin Tethong to lead Radio Free Asia Tibetan Service

BBG Watch has learned that a distinguished leader and scholar Tenzin Tethong was chosen as the new Tibetan Service director at Radio Free Asia (RFA). Born in Tibet, he accompanied his family to India in 1959, a few months after the Dalai Lama had arrived there from Tibet. He has been living in the United States since 1995. The new Tibetan service d...

Kazakh political prisoner is unhappy with Radio Liberty programs

Kazakh political prisoner is unhappy with Radio Liberty programs

BBG Watch Commentary “By the way, it turns out that Azattyq (RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service) programs have drastically declined. There is neither political news nor political analysis.” – Kazakh poet and political prisoner Aron Atabek, March 2013 In a letter sent from prison in Kazakhstan, dissident, scholar, poet and writer Aron A...

Unilateral Disarmament: How the West Has Destroyed its Broadcasting to Russia

Unilateral Disarmament: How the West Has Destroyed its Broadcasting to Russia

A significant and well-researched analysis of Western broadcasting in Russia, written by British-Russian journalist, translator, writer and former BBC broadcaster Masha Karp, was published on the website of the UK-based Rights in Russia NGO. Her previous article on this subject, “The Radiant Digital Future,” was also published by Rights...

Morale boosting plan made some BBG employees highly skeptical

Morale boosting plan made some BBG employees highly skeptical

BBG Watch Commentary One employee said that he was literally sick in his stomach listening to and watching Internatinal Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) executives, who have made the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) the worst managed federal agency, explaining to the staff how IBB and VOA managers are being put in charge of improving employee morale ...

Under Gessen, Radio Liberty ceased to be frequently cited news source in Russia

Under Gessen, Radio Liberty ceased to be frequently cited news source in Russia

BBG Watch Commentary Warning from fired Radio Liberty journalists, media experts, sociologists opposition politicians and human rights activists in Russia proved to be right. After dozens of Radio Liberty star reporters had been fired last September by the previous Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) management, which then hired Masha Gessen a...

Broadcasting Board of Governors – Information War Lost: Dysfunctional, Defunct “Stupid News”

Broadcasting Board of Governors – Information War Lost: Dysfunctional, Defunct “Stupid News”

Broadcasting Board of Governors - Information War Lost: Dysfunctional, Defunct “Stupid News” by The Federalist   Anyone who has held a position in the stock market may be familiar with a term brokers use called “stupid news.” “Stupid news” generally refers to talk on the floor of the market or elsewhere that creates swings in in...

Czech Radio criticizes RFE/RL for mistreatment of foreign employees, new executive expected to act

Czech Radio criticizes RFE/RL for mistreatment of foreign employees, new executive expected to act

BBG Watch Commentary In an nationwide broadcast by the state-owned Czech radio station, Cesky Rozhlas Plus (Cro+), Anna Sabatova, Chairwoman of the Czech Helsinki Committee, sharply condemned the ongoing mistreatment of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) foreign personnel. Sources told BBG Watch that the newly-appointed RFE/RL president Kevin...

BBG executives and lawyers refuse to settle discrimination cases they know they will lose

BBG executives and lawyers refuse to settle discrimination cases they know they will lose

BBG Watch Commentary The union representing the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) employees, AFGE Local 1812, has been pointing out again and again that BBG executives and lawyers are wasting millions of U.S. taxpayers’ dollars by refusing to settle employee discrimination cases in which arbitrators and judges had already ruled multiple t...

Former president's top deputies leaving Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Former president's top deputies leaving Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

BBG Watch Commentary In the last six months, dozens of Radio Liberty journalists in Russia were fired without any warning, escorted by security guards and told they can’t say good bye to their audience, their pro-human rights programs were cancelled, gender offensive videos were produced, online audience in Russia took a deep dive along with ...

As Russian authorities raid human rights NGOs, RFE/RL websites were out of commission, offered minimal coverage

As Russian authorities raid human rights NGOs, RFE/RL websites were out of commission, offered minimal coverage

BBG Watch Commentary Big changes may soon be announced at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), but for now this once premier media freedom news organization, which has been nearly destroyed by the previous management team, remains incapable of timely and comprehensive coverage of human rights stories in Russia, with some of the discredited man...

CUSIB Marks 6-Month Anniversary of the Unjust Firing of Radio Liberty Journalists

CUSIB Marks 6-Month Anniversary of the Unjust Firing of Radio Liberty Journalists

    Lyudmila Alexeeva, Photo for Radio Liberty in Exile by Yuri Timofeev.   March 21, 2013 For Immediate Release   CUSIB Marks 6-Month Anniversary of the Unjust Firing of Radio Liberty Journalists CUSIB is urging the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to pay close attention to a statement made by Russian human right...

Lyudmila Alexeeva: Saving Radio Liberty in Russia Should Have Been Done The Day Before Yesterday

Lyudmila Alexeeva: Saving Radio Liberty in Russia Should Have Been Done The Day Before Yesterday

BBG Watch Commentary Supporters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), including a preeminent Russian human rights leader Lyudmila Alexeeva, are becoming more and more frustrated by the slow pace of addressing the management crisis at the U.S. taxpayer-funded broadcaster. While newly-appointed acting president Kevin Klose is expected to annou...

BBG aggregates English news from its media entities in one website

BBG aggregates English news from its media entities in one website

BBG Watch Commentary The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) has launched a new website which aggregates English-language news from its various media entities, including the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), and Radio Free Asia (RFA). A useful tool for media enthusiasts looking for under-reported but interesting ne...

Video of Wilson Center Roundtable Discussion on the Future of U.S. Global Media

Video of Wilson Center Roundtable Discussion on the Future of U.S. Global Media

BBG Watch Commentary After a long delay, the Wilson Center posted the video of the roundtable discussion on U.S. global media which took place on February 12. Expert panelists included Tom Dine, former president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague; D. Jeffrey Hirschberg, executive vice president of the Northeast MAGLEV and former governor ...

CUSIB Advisory Board member Jing Zhang at screening of "It's A Girl"

CUSIB Advisory Board member Jing Zhang at screening of "It's A Girl"

Jing Zhang, the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting Advisory Board member and President of Women’s Rights in China (WRIC), delivered a lecture on how the One Child Policy exacerbates gender imbalance in China and is a cause of serious social problems, affecting especially children, young girls and women. U.S. international broadcast...

Masha Gessen gets award for journalism while dozens of fired Radio Liberty journalists are still unable to work at the station

Masha Gessen gets award for journalism while dozens of fired Radio Liberty journalists are still unable to work at the station

BBG Watch Commentary Masha Gessen, the controversial director of the Russian Service at the U.S. taxpayer-funded media freedom station Radio Liberty, was given a $50,000 journalistic award by Liberty Media Corporation, a group of American media industry billionaires, while dozens of journalists recently fired from the station by the previous manage...

Growing consensus that failed Broadcasting Board of Governors executives should leave

Growing consensus that failed Broadcasting Board of Governors executives should leave

BBG Watch Commentary “That is why we call yet again on Congress to exercise its overview functions to get to the bottom of what is truly happening in U.S. international broadcasting and intervene to sweep clean the Agency’s discredited executive leadership. Our Agency needs many more managers of the caliber of Kevin Klose to return the ...

BBG union president says Voice of America and surrogate broadcasters have different missions

BBG union president says Voice of America and surrogate broadcasters have different missions

In a letter to The Washington Post, Tim Shamble, president of the AFGE Local 1812 union representing the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) employees, argued that the Voice of America (VOA) and BBG-funded surrogate broadcasters have different missions and questioned arguments that there is unnecessary duplication. He observed, however, that surr...

OCB and IBB executives show contempt for employees and law, face criticism from Victor Ashe

OCB and IBB executives show contempt for employees and law, face criticism from Victor Ashe

BBG Watch Commentary Cheered on by the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) executive staff, the current administration of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) has exhibited no intention to mitigate the case involving the RIFed Radio and TV Marti employees, OCB sources told BBG Watch. The Office of Cuba Broadcasting oversees the operations of R...

CUSIB looks at sequestration, Radio World reports

CUSIB looks at sequestration, Radio World reports

BBG Watch Commentary Radio World reported on the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) recommendation that instead of possible furloughs of either full-time employees or contract employees at the Voice of America, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) should look for sequestration savings by reducing the bureaucracy and spending...

When asked what Radio Liberty means to them, most fired journalists said it is their life

When asked what Radio Liberty means to them, most fired journalists said it is their life

BBG Watch Commentary When asked what Radio Liberty means to them, most fired journalists said it is their life This is a video worth watching even by those who don’t speak Russian. Recorded at the Radio Liberty 60th anniversary celebration held by Radio Liberty in Exile in Moscow on March 1, 2013, the video shows the depth of emotions among f...

Radio Liberty faces Die Hard moment, Russia's government website reports

Radio Liberty faces Die Hard moment, Russia's government website reports

BBG Watch Commentary Russia Beyond the Headlines English-language news website run by a leading Russian daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the Russian government’s paper of record and a general-interest daily newspaper, re-published an article from opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta by fired Radio Liberty journalist Elena Rykovtseva who describes how Radio ...

Voice of America Russian Service analyzes Reagan's "Evil Empire" speech after 30 years

Voice of America Russian Service analyzes Reagan's "Evil Empire" speech after 30 years

Russia expert and former U.S. international broadcasting specialist Dr. Paul Goble reported in his Window on Eurasia Blog that many democratic Russians consider Reagan’s “Evil Empire” speech still relevant and wish that the U.S. would confront Putin’s growing authoritarianism the same way Reagan peacefully confronted the Soviet Un...

Fired Radio Liberty journalist writes about his Holocaust video project

Fired Radio Liberty journalist writes about his Holocaust video project

BBG Watch Commentary In September 2012, the former Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) management team fired some of the best journalists in Russia and missed a chance to do a multimedia project on the meaning of the Holocaust for young people in Russia today. One of those fired was Mumin Shakirov, Moscow-based, award-winning video-journalist....

Is unexplained absence of Broadcasting Board of Governors interim chair due to alleged conflict of interest?

Is unexplained absence of Broadcasting Board of Governors interim chair due to alleged conflict of interest?

BBG Watch Commentary While the remaining members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) have been working hard in recent months on reforming U.S. international broadcasting after recent public criticism of the agency, long and unexplained absence of BBG Interim Presiding Governor Michael Lynton makes their job difficult and sometimes impossib...

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