United States Agency for Global Media

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USAGM names Michael Abramowitz as the new director of Voice of America

The U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) has named Michael Abramowitz as the new director of Voice of America (VOA). Abramowitz is currently president of Freedom House – a nonpartisan organization that works to create a world where all are free – and will succeed VOA Acting Director John Lippman later this year.

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OTF increases funding for circumvention tools to support 46 million monthly users

Open Technology Fund (OTF) is pleased to announce its Multilateral Surge and Sustain Fund will support additional censorship circumvention tools to provide access to the free and open internet to up to 46 million users each month. Long-time partners Psiphon, nthLink, and Lantern will continue to receive support to expand their reach to millions more users in China, Iran, and Russia. Three new providers, including FreeBrowser and RostamVPN, will also receive funding to significantly increase the number of users in authoritarian countries. Combined, they will serve tens of millions of users in the world’s most repressed online environments including Belarus, China, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, Russia, Russian-occupied Ukraine, and Turkmenistan.

Voice of America wins 10 awards at New York Festivals

Voice of America programming received top prizes at the prestigious 2024 New York Festivals. New York Festivals’ Radio and TV & Film Awards honor outstanding media content across a variety of platforms. At the April 16 ceremonies, VOA claimed three gold, two silver and five bronze awards. The ten-award haul matches VOA’s record in this annual competition.

MBN podcast marking “The Last Days in Kojo” wins gold

The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc. (MBN) podcast “Chapters” won gold for Best Documentary/Narrative Podcast in the New York Festivals-Radio Awards, it was announced on April 16, 2024. The episode “The Last Days in Kojo” chronicles the details of the day ISIS invaded the Yazidi village Kojo with firsthand accounts from survivors.

Russia extends detention of Alsu Kurmasheva; Her imprisonment “As outrageous today as it was six months ago”

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) condemns the latest extension of American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva’s pretrial detention. With U.S. embassy officials present for the first time, a Russian court in Kazan today ordered her to remain in custody until June 5 and rejected a request by her lawyers to have Alsu’s imprisonment converted to house arrest. The RFE/RL journalist has been in prison for nearly six months, since October 2023.

RFA Burmese, imprisoned filmmaker win Gracie Award for environmental story

Radio Free Asia’s (RFA) Burmese Service was today named among the winners at this year’s Gracie Awards for its video report, Ayeyarwady Riverbank Erosion. The project, which examines the human impact of climate change in Myanmar, was produced by Shin Daewe, a prolific documentarian and longtime freelancer to RFA who earlier this year was sentenced to life in prison by a military tribunal in Myanmar. She is widely known for her work spotlighting the challenges facing Myanmar’s environment and the impact of armed conflict on civilians following the military’s 2021 coup.

Voice of America names new Director of Studio and Production Operations

The Voice of America has selected Richard Frantz as its new Director of Studio and Production Operations. Frantz will lead the team responsible for all VOA television and radio studios, master controls, traffic and remote operations, its facilities around the globe, and its Washington, DC-based technical and operational staff of more than 250.