The VOA/Martí "government pays journalists" flap now has more than one view.

Posted: 22 Sep 2006   Print   Send a link
"The radio and television programs broadcast by Marti are beamed into Cuba with the aim of subverting the Castro regime. They are run by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the federal office that runs the U.S. government's overseas television and radio stations. The BBG in turn is headed by none other than Kenneth Tomlinson, the right-wing Bush appointee who tried to recast the editorial content of the Public Broadcasting Service and Voice of America in the Bush administration’s own conservative image." Eric Alterman, 21 September 2006. "These taxpayer-financed entities, whose programs are received by few Cubans, are a long-running patronage piñata for Miami. Like the Voice of America, they are overseen by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, whose chief, Kenneth Tomlinson, retained his job in a September 13 party-line vote after it was revealed by the State Department's inspector general that he'd been running a horse-racing operation out of his office in Washington." Ned Sublette, The Nation, 9 October 2006 issue. "Office of Cuba Broadcasting Director Pedro Roig, who oversees TV and Radio Martí, said Thursday that he runs his operation ethically and wants to start a national debate on whether journalists who work for news companies and also freelance for the government have a conflict of interest." Miami Herald, 21 September 2006. "Radio Martí is required to follow the same standards as Voice of America; and like VOA, it has a professional staff of journalists and augments their reports and commentary with work from credible independent journalists employed in the private sector." Frank Calzon, Miami Herald, 19 September 2006. BBG spokesman says, "if you're going to say a few Cuban-American journalists are corrupted by coming on (Radio/TV Martí) then every major journalist who has been on VOA for the past 35 years has also been corrupted." New York Sun, 20 September 2006. "The Cuban-American community on Tuesday launched an Internet campaign and held a press conference to protest the Sept. 7 firing of three El Nuevo Herald reporters who worked as paid freelancers for TV Martí." McClatchy Newpapers, 19 September 2006. "As with any major radio or TV broadcaster, Radio and TV Marti need the insights and commentary of print journalists to fulfill their mission. Anyone who watches any of the major networks sees George Will, Fareed Zakaria, Tom Friedman and many more print journalists fill that role. Every journalist who appears on Radio and TV Marti's shows knows they will be required by law not to promote any federal program." Letter from Edward Kaufman, BBG member, The News Journal (Delaware), 21 September 2006. See previous post on this subject.