Tuesday, March 18, 2008

VOA and RFA Increase Broadcasts to Tibet

PRESS RELEASE - Washington, D.C. March 17, 2008 - U.S. international radiobroadcasts to Tibet will increase by four hours daily beginning tonight at6:00 p.m. EDT, 6:00 a.m. local time in Lhasa."The violent crackdown by Chinese authorities in Tibet compels us toincrease our broadcasts," said James K. Glassman, Chairman of the BBG, whichoversees all non-military U.S. international broadcasting including theVoice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Asia (RFA). "Our audience clearly willbenefit from these trustworthy sources of news and information, which differsharply from Chinese government sanctioned broadcasts."At present RFA broadcasts eight hours daily to Tibet via shortwave radio.VOA broadcasts four hours daily, also via shortwave. Each will expand radioprograms by two additional hours daily. VOA also will double its weeklyTibetan-language television programming from one to two hours via theAsiaSat 3 satellite."RFA's Tibetan service is working around the clock to bring authoritative,breaking news to the Tibetan people. These additional hours will greatlyenhance our capacity to deliver this news, including live updates, to peopleon the ground," RFA President Libby Liu said.Tibet's media is tightly controlled and most Tibetans are deeply suspiciousof Chinese domestic media coverage. BBG audience research, while limited toTibetan refugees in Nepal, indicates that VOA and RFA are among the mostwell known foreign broadcasters and an important source of information in asociety where word of mouth is the top way to share news."We know from experience that Tibetans will tune to VOA at pivotal timessuch as these," said Danforth Austin, Director of the Voice of America. "Forexample, a VOA special TV program about the Dalai Lama receiving a goldmedal from the U.S. Congress was recorded and widely distributed in Tibetanregions inside China."
(VOA Press Release )

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