30 July 2008

Afghanistan’s Government, the News Media, Criticism and LBJ

Private media have flourished in Afghanistan since the end of Taliban rule in 2001. But the Afghan government does not always tolerate criticism of its performance. Thus we were disturbed to read this week that a journalist at Afghanistan’s Ariana TV was detained and now faces prosecution for allegedly insulting senior government officials.

According to a government statement, journalist Nasir Fayaz, host of a weekly show called “Truth”, made what were termed baseless accusations against two cabinet ministers. The statement said: “The Cabinet decided that such people, and any other persons who are working in the media and are making baseless accusations, should be prosecuted.”

Bob Dietz, Asia program coordinator for The Committee to Protect Journalists, says: “These kinds of heavy-handed tactics show that Afghanistan still has far to go in accepting the role of a critical press in an open society.”

Reporters Without Borders said: “The government is making a mistake when it arrests the host of an outspoken current affairs program.”

Reporters Without Borders acknowledges Fayaz was “very critical” of the government, describing two of the country’s ministers as thieves. The VOA news report on his detention quoted government officials as saying Fayaz tried to ask the ministers for special favors.

While we may not know the full story behind this incident, we do know that criticism of government officials can be routine in countries that enjoy a free press. Some leaders even make light of this fact of political life. When the late Lyndon Johnson was US President, he joked that he was never portrayed favorably in the news media, even when he did something spectacular. As he put it: “If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: President Can't Swim.”

29 July 2008

Obama-Mania 2: Will It Translate Into Votes in November?

We noticed today the latest Presidential campaign coverage study released by the Project for Excellence in Journalism here in the United States.

Not only did Senator Obama’s trip abroad dominate domestic political reporting during the past week, even the number of reports about press treatment of the Democratic Presidential contender exceeded the number of stories about Republican contender John McCain’s campaign.

Obama’s trip filled 51.2% of the campaign “newshole” in the major domestic media outlets. Press treatment of Obama filled 6.9%. Pure McCain coverage came in at just 3.6%.

The PEJ report notes that not all of the coverage of the Obama trip was flattering. But it went on to say:

“Whatever the tone of the coverage, Obama’s visit to the Middle East and Europe was an extraordinary media event.” And PEJ noted, “Barack Obama’s speech to a crowd of about 200,000 in Berlin provided a startling campaign visual to punctuate a week of remarkable media attention.”

But here is the important issue for non-Americans to keep in mind: warm receptions abroad don’t necessarily translate into votes at home.

Or as one prominent US broadcaster, Brian Williams, noted in his news program the same day as Obama’s Berlin speech: “If the election were held today, Barack Obama could sail to victory by a margin of 70 percent or more as President of Germany. Perhaps even all of Europe. The only problem is Senator Obama is running for President of the United States.”

We would encourage you to pay close attention to the campaign on our website’s special election page. And please note the VOA stories about race and its possible role in the 2008 election.

For the record, the Project on Excellence in Journalism weekly survey monitors 48 different news outlets each week from five different media sectors: newspapers, web sites, network television, cable television and radio --- all in the United States.

23 July 2008

Zimbabwe: The Real Story

If you were searching for news about Zimbabwe this morning and went to VOANews.com for the latest, you’d find this story with the headline: “Zimbabwe State Media: Political Talks Set to Begin Thursday”

This story and similar ones on other international news sites refer to plans by Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to begin talks about the country’s political future.

The talks follow controversial runoff elections in which Robert Mugabe was re-elected President. He was the only candidate after opposition contender Morgan Tsvangirai dropped out of the race (after taking the most votes in the initial round of balloting). He decided to pull out after many of his supporters were wounded, jailed or killed in what was considered widely a state-sponsored campaign of intimidation.

Understandably, many Zimbabweans, weary of the violence, the political turmoil and a collapsing economy, have welcomed the talks.

But does the narrow focus on talks accurately reflect what is actually going on in Zimbabwe?

We think not because the violence in Zimbabwe continues, as our courageous reporter in Harare, Peta Thornycroft, has discovered.

She notes in a report today that some opposition MDC legislators remain in hiding in Zimbabwe and abroad, afraid to go to their homes for fear of being arrested. She says about 20 winning MDC legislators have been arrested since the elections.

One legislator, who spent three weeks in detention recently and asked not to be identified, is quoted as saying members of the ZANU-PF militia are asking for money from people who fled during post-election violence and now want to return home. He said those that have returned have found their assets, such as food and livestock, were taken after the elections.

Her report goes on: A parliament member from a ZANU-PF stronghold where many voted for the first time for the MDC said militias still control people's movements in and out of villages. And, she notes, many opposition activists and supporters have now gone missing.

Covering talks or press conference or staking out meetings and conferring with officials is important but generally easy and convenient, journalistically. What is much harder is getting out and about, often under difficult conditions, to meet real and possibly fearful people affected by often frightening events and gathering their stories.

Such stories paint a grim picture --- but it is a picture that should be an integral part of any news about Zimbabwe today.

(For the record, Thornycroft’s story has, since we finished writing this, been moved up to the front page of VOANews.com. We’d also like to draw your attention to the reporting of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe where the daily news regularly chronicles the ongoing turmoil, with reports like this one and this one.)

21 July 2008


If you looked at the top two stories on VOANews.com at the same time we did today (around 10:45AM Eastern), you’d see they were both about U.S. Democratic Party Presidential contender Barack Obama. (See here and here.)

In fact, if you were to run a search at that same time for the name of Obama’s Republican Party rival, John McCain, you’d find most of the first 10 hits for McCain were actually stories about Obama! Take a look:

Obama Gets First-Hand Look at Iraq War US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama meets with senior Iraqi officials, US military commanders 21 July 2008
Obama Says US Must Focus on Threats in Afghanistan Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee spoke after meeting with Afghanistan's president in Kabul 20 July 2008
Obama Meets Karzai in Kabul Democratic presidential candidate promises to send more troops to Afghanistan if he wins US presidential election, calls for gradual withdrawal of US troops from Iraq 20 July 2008
Presidential Hopeful Barack Obama Meets Military Leaders in Afghanistan He visits Bagram air force base in eastern Afghanistan as part of congressional delegation 19 July 2008
Obama Seeks to Bolster Foreign Policy Credentials With Overseas Trip Obama expected to visit Iraq, Afghanistan soon 18 July 2008
Obama's Overseas Trip Draws Praise, Criticism from McCain Republican rival astonished Obama would deliver foreign policy speech on Afghanistan before visiting country 18 July 2008
US Candidate Obama Raises $52 Million in June Amount is more than double what Republican McCain rival raised 17 July 2008
Former Vice President Gore Issues US 10 Year Electricity Challenge Al Gore challenges US to produce all of its electricity through wind power, solar power and other environmentally friendly sources within 10 years 17 July 2008
McCain Calls for Education Reform; Obama Talks Security Threats John McCain says there have been decades of big promises by public education establishment but same poor results 16 July 2008
Obama Leads McCain in 3 New Polls Polls give Senator Obama lead over Senator McCain of between six and nine points 16 July 2008

Does this suggest a bias in VOA news coverage of the election campaign?

We don’t think so. Most of the stories in the list focus on Obama’s current overseas trip --- a trip that has taken the Democratic contender to Afghanistan and Iraq. Senator McCain’s campaign is still being covered but his most newsworthy comments in recent days have been reactions to Obama’s statements abroad, thus making him a part of the same stories, just not the leading part.

Other news executives also reject the suggestion about bias. Some even blame Senator McCain for the disparity in coverage. A senior vice president of CBS News was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that by criticizing Obama for a lack of foreign policy experience, McCain raised the stakes for Obama's current overseas trip, “especially if he winds up going in to two war zones.”

The Project on Excellence in Journalism studies news coverage here in the United States. Between May 12 and July 13, it says Obama received more media attention than his rival, although not all of the news about his campaign has been positive.

Tom Rosenstiel, the Project's director, is quoted by the A.P. as saying some of the attention is understandable but he suggests something is out of balance: “No matter how understandable it is given the newness of the candidate and the historical nature of Obama's candidacy, in the end it's probably not fair to McCain.”

Rosenstiel goes on to suggest that instead of a McCain-vs-Obama contest, the 2008 Presidential campaign could become a referendum on Obama if this apparent attention gap continues.

But some see risks for Obama in all the attention focused on the Democrat. If, for example, he makes a misstep while on his foreign trip, it could convey to voters the impression he doesn’t have what it takes to be an international statesman.

Still, some, like NBC News President Steve Capus, also quoted by A.P., find the issue of an alleged coverage imbalance funny --- given that in the not-too-distant past, critics charged campaign reporters with being much too chummy (friendly) with McCain.

17 July 2008

Honoring Journalists Killed in the Line of Duty

There is a new feature in the main hallway at Voice of America headquarters in Washington: a memorial to 10 journalists who worked for VOA, RFE-RL, Alhurra and Radio Sawa who were killed in the line of duty. The memorial was unveiled this week by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the government agency that supervises U.S. international broadcasters, including VOA.

The memorial honors Leonid Karas, Abdulrachmann Fatalibey, Georgi Markov, Iskandar Khatloni, Abdul-Hussein Khazal, Ricardo de Mello, Ogulsapar Muradova, Khamail Muhsin Khalaf, Nazar Abdulwahid Al-Radhi, and Alisher Saipov. Short profiles of these international broadcasters and reporters can be viewed in the news section of the BBG website.

At the dedication ceremony, Board member Steven Simmons called the memorial “a sad reminder that journalists risk their lives to protect a most basic freedom: the freedom to receive information. Information that sometimes is a matter of life and death.”

Board member Joaquin Blaya noted: “While a journalist's toolbox consists of pens, papers and sometimes a laptop, camera and microphone, the arsenal of the opponents of freedom of the press too often includes fists, arrest warrants and - as we acknowledge so vividly today – murder.”

“The tragic events that we recognize in today's dedication attest not to the power of despots, but to the power of journalists - whose seemingly insignificant tools produce the words of truth that find their way into millions of households every day. Journalists, whose words are so powerful, that the foes of freedom choose to fight them with force,” observed Governor Blaya.

15 July 2008

Death to Bloggers?

We were naturally disturbed the other day to see a report from Tehran headlined: “IRAN MULLS DEATH PENALTY FOR INTERNET CRIMES”

According to this report, Iran’s Parliament will consider a draft bill that adds to the list of those crimes meriting the death penalty “establishing weblogs and sites promoting corruption, prostitution and apostasy.”

The Internet is widely used in Iran and blogging is very popular --- especially for those interested in criticizing the country’s governing system.

“This proposal is horrifying,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Iranian Internet users and bloggers already have to cope with very aggressive filtering policies. The passage of such a law, based on ill-defined concepts and giving judges a lot of room for interpretation, would have disastrous consequences for online freedom. We urge the parliament’s members to oppose this bill and instead to starting working on a moratorium on the death penalty.”

According to the press freedom organization, a blogger, Mojtaba Saminejad, was tried before a Tehran court in 2005 on a charge of “insulting the prophets,” which carries the death penalty. In the end, the court acquitted him.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, other bloggers elsewhere have also run afoul of authorities. A Malaysian blogger, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, is being held in connection with a story alleging that a top official and his wife were involved in a murder.

A blogger is also being held in Burma, according to CPJ. The blogger is Maung Thura, better known as Zarganar.

The CPJ has also voiced concern about the detention of blogger Gopalan Nair on charges of insulting a Singaporean judge during a high-profile libel case.

Global Voices Advocacy, a project of Global Voices Online, is trying to build a global anti-censorship network of bloggers and online activists throughout the developing world.

One key piece of advice: “Advocacy often involves taking unpopular or controversial positions and criticizing powerful people, particularly members of the government. If you think that the material on your advocacy blog could get you into trouble, please consider blogging anonymously.”

The group makes available Ethan Zuckerman’s guide, “Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress & Tor.”

The guide says: “If you follow these directions exactly, you’ll sharply reduce the chances that your identity will be linked to your online writing through technical means - i.e., through a government or law enforcement agency obtaining records from an Internet Service Provider.”

Some key pointers for anonymous blogging:

Do not use any personal information on the blog, such as your name, employer, school, or home town.

Use a pseudonym or do not use any name at all.

Never post a photo of yourself on your blog.

Do not use a paid blogging or e-mail service. Your payment information can be used to track your identity.

Use different computers to post to your blog so that your blog cannot be connected to a single IP address (the unique series of numbers connected to each computer on the Internet). Identifying the computer from which the posts were uploaded is only one step away from identifying you.

Use a “proxy server” to browse the internet (this hides your IP address).

To achieve maximum security, ask a friend in a freer country to run the advocacy blog for you, sending them the information they need through an anonymous e-mail account

A couple of downloads for aspiring bloggers:

Title: “Anonymous Blogging With Wordpress and Tor”
Published by: Global Voices Advocacy (2007)
Download: http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/tools/guide/

Title: “Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents”
Published by: Reporters Without Borders (2005)
Download: http://www.rsf.org/IMG/pdf/handbook_bloggers_cyberdissidents-GB.pdf

11 July 2008

Good News, News Cocoons and Truly Bad News

A friend sent us a news release the other day from Vienna from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It really caught our attention. Read it and you’ll see why:

VIENNA, 8 July 2008 - The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, asked Romanian President Traian Basescu today to veto a proposed amendment to the broadcasting law that would oblige television and radio stations to ensure that half their news coverage consists of "positive news".

"Prescribing, or even defining good versus bad news is a severe political intrusion into editorial freedom, and is fully out of touch with the rights of the audiences as well," said Haraszti.

"I do not see how ordering editors to carry 50 % good news could 'help improve the general climate and give people a balanced view of everyday life', as argued by the sponsors of the amendment," he added. "It is the diversity of unrestricted news reporting that makes a well-informed public, and this rule would only diminish such pluralism."

Naturally we share the view that this is a bad idea. And we appreciate even more the fact that the US Constitution (First Amendment) specifically bars any legislative action that would impinge on freedom of the press:

“Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

Today we learned from the OSCE that the Constitutional Court of Romania has ruled the “good news” draft is unconstitutional. That is good news.

As journalists, we are familiar with the impulse that often drives political figures and ordinary citizens to complain that the news is “too negative” or “never tells us anything good about anything.”

We are also aware that many people, some of them sour on what they see as too much bad news, are moving into what one American professor, Cass Sunstein of the University of Chicago, writing in Neiman Reports, characterizes as “information cocoons” --- where they only see exactly what they want to see and where, as Sunstein writes, “people can reinforce their own convictions.”

This, too, we find troubling. And Professor Sunstein explains why:

“A central consequence of this kind of self-sorting is what might be called “enclave extremism.” This term refers to the fact that when people end up in enclaves of like-minded people, they usually move toward a more extreme point in the direction to which the group’s members were originally inclined. Enclave extremism is a special case of the broader phenomenon of group polarization, which has been found in more than a dozen nations. As group polarization occurs, misconceptions and falsehoods can spread like wildfire.”

We at VOA news have always reported the news, good and bad. We don’t deal in rumor, gossip or speculation. Nor do we play to only certain points of view. We have a responsibility to you, the audience, to present news that is accurate, objective and comprehensive.

And we believe you, the audience, have a responsibility to know what is happening in your world, good and bad. We believe it is the only way responsible decisions can be made.

Here is how Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel of the US-based Project for Excellence in Journalism put it in their book, “The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect”:

“Journalism provides something unique to a culture -- independent, reliable, accurate, and comprehensive information that citizens require to be free. A journalism that is asked to provide something other than that subverts democratic culture… The issue isn't just the loss of journalism. At stake is whether, as citizens, we have access to independent information that makes it possible for us to take part in governing ourselves.”

If you can’t get that kind of information, we think that is truly bad news.

09 July 2008

Covering the Olympics in China: The Difference Between Press Convenience and Press Freedom

VOA correspondent Stephanie Ho in Beijing reports that with one month to go before the Olympics, China is reaffirming its promises of complete media freedom during the games. But these assurances come at a time when foreign journalists working in Beijing are reporting continued harassment and interference.

The problem could be that China is confusing media convenience with press freedom.

Ms. Ho quotes Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing Olympics organizing committee, as telling reporters China takes media service seriously and as asserting China has honored its commitment, in his words, to “adopt all kinds of measures to provide every convenience for journalists.”

The International Olympic Committee's Hein Verbruggen seems pleased. He is already thanking the Beijing organizing committee, but for what?

Here is what he says about the organizers: “They have made great efforts to provide excellent services for the press, such as providing all that is virtually needed for the media to make this their home for several weeks, from hair dressers, gyms, restaurants, to even a massage center.”

Massage center!!! That’s great. But again we ask, what about press freedom?

Listen to Johannes Hano, from the German broadcaster ZDF:

“We were stopped by security guards last week, on the Great Wall, and we had all the permissions we needed. They stopped us. We had a rehearsal before and nobody interfered. But when we started the live (shot), when we were on air, then they stopped us, running to the camera, putting their hands on the camera.”

Hano is quoted as saying he does not care as much about the working facilities as he does about having the ability to report freely. He said he is worried that, despite Chinese promises, media freedom will be seriously curtailed.

His concerns have been echoed by the Foreign Correspondents Club of China, which has recorded 259 cases of reporting interference since January 1st, 2007. That is the date the new, more open, rules for Olympic reporting went into effect.

In a statement this week, FCCC president Jonathan Watts said:
“The Chinese government has not yet lived up to its Olympic promise of complete reporting freedom and there are mixed signals about its willingness to do so. In the run up to the Games, we have seen steps forward towards greater openness and at the same time backward to tighter controls. The government should show which way it intends to go by making access and transparency an enduring legacy of the Olympics.”

Human Rights Watch has also issued its own report accusing Chinese authorities of continuing to block and threaten foreign journalists despite promises to lift media restrictions ahead of the Olympics.

Its 71-page report, “China’s Forbidden Zones: Shutting the Media out of Tibet and Other ‘Sensitive’ Stories,” documents how foreign correspondents continue to face intimidation and obstruction by government officials or their proxies when they pursue stories that can embarrass the authorities, expose official wrongdoing, or document social unrest. It says some journalists have suffered serious threats to their lives or safety. And it reports China is also threatening to restrict entry to news organizations that do not toe the line.

“These constraints limit what the estimated 25,000 correspondents going to China for the Olympics can cover,” says Sophie Richardson, Asia Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch. “Journalists who try to report objectively on the complex realities of modern China are facing real risks, despite the government’s commitments to give them greater freedom.”

Reporters Without Borders also weighed in recently on the same subject. It asserts “There has been no improvement in the situation of free expression in recent months and arrests are continuing at the same pace.”

And the Committee to Protect Journalists, in a statement of its own this week, notes Chinese journalists are suffering, too. CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said: “We remain dismayed by the repressive conditions under which our Chinese colleagues continue to work. The censorship, imprisonment, and harassment of domestic journalists are the fundamental issues that should be resolved.”

Seems there may be a problem here that can’t be massaged away.

08 July 2008

Soldiers Pretending to Be Journalists?

Isn’t anyone out there concerned about the potential hazard posed to real reporters when soldiers masquerade as journalists?

We ask because we haven’t seen any expressions of worry from major journalist organizations since it was revealed that the Colombian special forces who took part in that dramatic and successful hostage rescue last week pretended to be both aid workers and a TV crew.

Here’s how the Washington Post reported it:

“The commandos who volunteered for the operation took acting classes. Two posed as a camera crew… and a handful of others played the role of relief workers, faking foreign accents.”

Now, don’t get us wrong: we rejoice in the release of the hostages.

But, as one observer in Colombia argues:

“By having soldiers pose as journalists and aid workers in order to gain access to the hostages, the Colombian government has increased the already high risks faced by legitimate reporters and NGO workers. In a country that is already one of the most dangerous places in the world in which to work as a journalist or a defender of human rights, the armed actors will now be even more suspicious of anyone claiming to work in those fields.”

We agree that it is worrisome.

What do you think?

03 July 2008

Climate Change and Criticism: Chill Out

Very often, we here at VOA News get emails from someone in our global audience who challenges one of our reports not because it is wrong, but because he or she simply doesn’t like what the report says or disagrees with what one of the sources in the report is quoted as saying.

Is this legitimate criticism? Well, far be it for us to tell audiences what they may or may not write us.

But let us put the question back to the audience: what would you have VOA do? Not quote somebody? Not report at all on a certain topic? Or leave out one or more significant viewpoints in a report that tries to present multiple points of view?

If that were our practice, we might find it difficult to write any reports or to quote many officials, including some very prominent ones.

We raise this topic in light of an email we received recently which accused us of doing a disservice to our audiences in reporting on what has become a rather contentious topic --- climate change.

The writer was referring to a TV report about a recent appearance at the National Press Club in Washington by Director James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies.

Hansen is among the first scientists to sound a warning about the potential dangers of greenhouse gases and global warming. He now asserts the dangers are even greater.

In the VOA report, he says, “We really have reached a point of a planetary emergency” and he predicts, “We are going to lose all of the sea ice in the Arctic summer season, and we know we are going to lose that sea ice because the planet is out of energy balance.”

Our emailer accuses Hansen of ranting and raving and insists “the science is not on his (Hansen’s) side.”

He accuses VOA of failing to do adequate research, suggests a couple of websites we should use and ends by demanding that we “start reporting the science and not the propaganda.”


Well, it’s not as if we don’t recognize there are other points of view. In this report, for example, our reporter notes there are those who, as the report puts it, “downplay the warnings of global warming and dispute the claim the climate system is reaching a tipping point.” It even quotes a lawyer representing energy interests as saying, “Most people who work on climate change issues… believe there are a suite of technological applications that we will be able to apply that can reverse, or at least adapt, to the consequences of global warming.”

This all gets back to a point we have made before. We think it is our responsibility to present significant points of view and let the audiences weigh them and draw their own conclusions. We don’t decide for you.

A final note: we looked at the two websites suggested by our emailer as sources of expertise on climate change. One of them is for a supposedly independent non-profit center which, after a little search, we learned is reported to have taken money from a major energy corporation, something that journalists generally view as a conflict of interest. The other is the website of a scientist who, when we looked into his work, characterizes himself as a global warming optimist and who appeared in a documentary film titled, “The Great Global Warming Swindle”.

02 July 2008

Journalists Taking Government Money

Here’s a question: if a journalist for another news organization appears on VOA and accepts a token payment for his or her time and trouble, is the journalist’s credibility irreparably damaged because it is ultimately US government money? Is there a risk audiences might believe the journalist’s opinion has been “bought”?

There is a debate under way on this topic right now.

It started after a privately-financed investigative journalism organization called ProPublica reported on the appearance fees paid to some guests by Alhurra, the Arabic-language television service funded by the US government through the Board of Broadcasting Governors (BBG), the same board that oversees the operations of the Voice of America.

ProPublica published a report stating that Alhurra paid “high-profile Washington journalists” and some former officials and lobbyists “tens of thousands of dollars in U.S. taxpayer money to appear on the network as commentators, according to interviews and a review of company records.”

The ProPublica report quoted Kelly McBride, a specialist on media ethics at the Poynter Institute, a professional journalism center in St. Petersburg, Fla., as saying reporters damage their ability to be objective when they accept government money.

But one journalist who took Alhurra money disagreed.

David Corn of Mother Jones magazine noted the payment of appearance fees is not unusual, whether by commercial media in the US or by foreign media that are state-supported.

He went on to say: “If the Voice of America (or Alhurra) is producing radio and television programs watched and heard (by whatever the number of people) in foreign countries, don't we want it to represent a full range of views? I noted that as long as I was granted complete editorial freedom to say what I thought, I saw nothing wrong in accepting a modest fee for what was in essence freelance work…And I even believe there is something positive about a government-underwritten network using a journalist who has been rather critical of the current administration.”

Letitia King, a spokeswoman for the BBG, had the following statement: “Following common practice among international broadcasters, Alhurra has paid for expert guest appearances since its inception. This ensures that Alhurra has the richest possible pool of high caliber guests to facilitate broader discussions on America and American foreign policy. Like most networks, Alhurra provides transportation by car to and from their broadcast studios. Alhurra follows firmly controlled guidelines concerning fees for expert commentary.”

What do you think?