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  • One-Sided View of War in Russia

    The end of on-the-air broadcasts of Voice of America couldn’t come at worse time: Russia is providing an utterly skewed and one-sided picture of the war in Georgia domestically, while the Internet has only 15% to 18% penetration, limited primarily to medium and large cities.

    Russia’s online audience is mostly young(er), urban and educated, which leaves many people in the aging country clueless as to what’s really going on. There are plenty of pro-government sites in the RU.net universe, many TV channels with plenty of Russian “patriotic” fare and entertainment, but very few that present an objective view of the fighting.

    As a child growing up in Russia, my peers and I were all glued to Voice of America, Radio Liberty, BBC and other Western broadcasts. They demolished the lies of the Soviet propaganda machine. They undermine credibility of the Communist regime. They  read to us the soaring words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the great Nobel winning writer who passed away last week.

    Today, when we should be engaged in war of ideas against radical Islamists, the situation is quite different. U.S. international broadcasting lacks talent, budget and credibility — be it Arabic, Farsi or Russian. Stations have a hard time competing with Al Jazeera, BBC or Russian state-run TV.

    Voice of America, and Russian and Eurasian services in particular, have been badly mismanaged during the last 15 years. But in the last several years the bungling is beyond belief, including an inability to attract capable managers, journalists and editors, not paying outside contributors, not succeeding to reach out to Russian audiences through TV or AM frequencies from neighboring countries, failure to launch a serious TV-through-Internet effort, etc.

    This is yet another sorry case of a breakdown of U.S. international broadcasting while global challenges are on the rise.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to One-Sided View of War in Russia

    1. Darvin Dowdy, Houst says:

      How is it that the Repub's allowed this to happen over the past 8 years? The Republican Party has LOST its zeal for freedom. Because they've compromised too much with the left leaning democrats. As a result they've come to believe the Globalist vision that the U.S. is simply another country in the world community. Nothing special. Moral relativism has seeped into the GOP Hierarchy. What's truth to us isn't necessarily truth to someone in another nation and we shouldn't be broadcasting our "opinions" into other nations, or so they believe.

      George Bush, John McCain and the GOP are nothing more than a collection of watered-down globalists and they're dulling our cutting edge. Because they continue to "work with our friends on the other side of the isle" rather than oppose them vigorously. Additionally, the importance and priority they have placed on "world opinion" is a crime against our Nation. That's what's behind this diminishing of the VOA. Darvin Dowdy

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