BBG Watch Commentary
Newly-appointed Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty acting president Kevin Klose spoke last Friday, February 22, 2013, at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) open meeting in Washington, DC. He was introduced by Presiding Governor and RFE/RL Board Chair Dennis Mulhaupt who welcomed Klose and thanked BBG Governor and RFE/RL Board Co-Chair Susan McCue for leading the effort to find and select Kevin Klose to be in charge of the U.S.-funded broadcaster as an acting president for one year. Klose was also welcomed and praised by BBG Governor Ambassador Victor Ashe who noted that on March 1 Radio Liberty will celebrate its 60th anniversary.
During the meeting Kevin Klose showcased a video journalism report from Afghanistan.
Klose promised to return Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to serious fact-based journalism after a period of embarrassing journalistic experiments under the previous RFE/RL management team. Sources told BBG Watch that BBG members were impressed by the video, both by its journalistic content and production.
Klose, a former editor, and national and foreign correspondent with The Washington Post, is an award-winning author and worldwide broadcasting executive. He served most recently as dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, was president of National Public Radio (NPR) from 1998 to 2008, and RFE/RL president from 1994 to 1997.
During the open meeting, Klose did not speak about his recent trip to Moscow, where he met separately with representatives of fired Radio Liberty journalists and leading human rights activists and democratic political leaders who support the fired team and demand their return to Radio Liberty. The journalists were fired last September on orders of Klose’s predecessor Steven Korn. Klose reported to BBG members in a closed session on his trip to Moscow. He did not discuss his plans regarding the fired journalists in his open meeting presentation.
Klose was hired by the BBG with a mandate to resolve the Radio Liberty crisis. Sources told BBG Watch that BBG members are anxious to see an end of the current boycott of Radio Liberty by Russian opposition leaders and want to restore the station’s reputation, effectiveness and audience in Russia as soon as possible.
LINK to video.
The video report presented by Kevin Klose can be seen in better quality below. Titled, “At Afghan Brickworks, Family Trapped In Cycle Of Debt,” it tells the story of Zabit Khan and his nine children who are bonded laborers working to pay off family debts at a brick factory in Afghanistan. The Khans are among thousands of Afghans stuck in an unending cycle of debt and poverty with little hope of escape. The report was produced by Sabawoon of RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan and written by Frud Bezhan.
Direct LINK TO RFE/RL VIDEO.