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Media Outlets Worldwide Decry Jamming

A consortium of international media outlets says that media freedom is under siege like no time since the Cold War, thanks to Internet blocking and jamming of satellite and shortwave signals.

The U.S.-backed Broadcasting Board of Governors joined with Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France (AEF), the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the British Broadcasting Corporation
Deutsche Welle, Nippon Hoso Kyokai and Radio Netherlands Worldwide on the eve of the World Press Freedom Day May 3 to call on all nations to "recognize the legitimate role played by international broadcasts in offering free access to global media and coverage of events."

They issued the following joint statement early Friday: "The jamming of satellite broadcasts has become a regular occurrence as regimes seek to block certain services from the being received. This jamming affects the area stretching from Northern Europe to Afghanistan and as far south as Northern Africa. We have also seen Internet blocking of services and cyber-attacks on media organisations all over the world, shortwave jamming and disruption and interference with FM broadcasts. Media freedom has not faced such a concerted campaign of disruption since the end of the Cold War."

BBG is an independent entity overseeing all U.S. government-backed, non-military, international broadcasting comprising broadcasts in 59 languages via Voice of America (VOA), the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA) and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks.

Radio Free Europe has experience with jamming dating back to its broadcasts to Eastern Europe during the height of the Cold War.

BBC said in a statement that it has faced jamming of its broadcasts by China, Iran and Cuba, and that their journalists have been harrassed and threatened in Zimbabwe, Tibet, Mali, Belarus, Azerbaijan and elsewhere.