Mr. Qiao Mu, a dissident Chinese academic, previously a professor at the Beijing Foreign Studies University and a contract employee at VOA Mandarin Service from November 2017 to January 2018, challenged Voice of America Director Amanda Bennet and Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) CEO John Lansing during the Q & A session at an event to mark the 2018 World Press Freedom Day on whether there is press freedom at VOA. When he was working in the Mandarin Service, he said, two managers asked him to stop tweeting on certain topics which he believed had nothing to do with his work. He has more than 14,000 Twitter followers. In January, he said, his VOA contract was abruptly terminated because in one of his tweets he showed sympathy for the Mandarin journalists who were put on administrative leave.

Mr. Qiao’s question was cut short by Greta Van Susteren, one of the panelists who also works as a non-paid VOA TV host for VOA. Amanda Bennett said “there is” [freedom of the press at the Voice of America], but neither she nor anybody else, including BBG CEO John F. Lansing, tried to react to Qiao Moo’s comments about censorship at the VOA China Branch. Greta Van Susteren kept insisting there was no more time left. The panel was hurriedly wrapped up, but the program continued with BBG Deputy Director Jeff Trimble speaking about censorship abroad. Both John Lansing and Amanda Bennett are Obama administration holdover appointees who were not required to be vetted or confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Any new BBG CEO nominated by the President would require a Senate confirmation. The co-sponsors of the event-the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University and the Committee to Protect Journalists-also ignored the plight of administratively suspended VOA Mandarin Service journalists and did not comment on the VOA Guo Wengui interview controversy and charges of censorship at the Voice of America and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

Take a look at some of his recent tweets about his experience at the Voice of America. They are written in Chinese but auto-translate shows the general meaning. Also take a look at some of the comments in auto-translate.