tv Discussion with Radio Free Asia President Libby Liu CSPAN August 6, 2019 2:27am-3:47am EDT
libby liu on news programming in east asia and southeast asia. radio free asia is a private nonprofit corporation mandated to broadcast to china, tibet, north korea, vietnam, cambodia, laos, and myanmar. the event was hosted by the public diplomacy council, and the usc center on communication leadership and policy. the usc center on communication leadership and policy. [chatter]
>> welcome to the first monday in august, august 5, our first monthly program. these programs are a partnership of three organizations. the university of southern california annenberg center for leadership and policy, the public policy the publicd diplomacy association of america , whose president is also here. our speaker today is -- has many us.gs to tell i know she has been trying to figure out how to cut it down, so i will cut my introduction short. libby liu is the longest serving, by far, head of a network of u.s. international broadcasting. she goes back to the bush administration, which no one else i think can claim.
radio free asia, which is what she heads, brings journalism from the denied areas of china, ,orth korea, and other areas winning awards, and then, of course, turns around and sends journalism back to denied areas. libby, in addition to being the longest serving network head in u.s. international broadcasting, i believe is the only one who has both an mba and a law degree , both from penn, so worn school ton school and penn law school. it is my pleasure to welcome to the podium, libby liu. [applause] libby: thank you, adam, and thank you, everybody, for being here. i hope this is informative.
feel free to pipe up with questions along the way, -- i hate my own voice -- but i have tried to put a lot of material altogether here. as adam just said, we prepared a longer one than we have had. so we are just going to have to go with it. go ahead. so what i am going to do is talk about radio free asia to get a rsa. of what we do aat radio free asia, every single thing we do is based on article 19 of the universal declaration of human rights. the early, with we are thinking of programming and make strategy decisions, we always bring it back to article 19. this is our mission. basically, our mission is to bring information to people in
asia who would otherwise not have access to it. this came to a struggling light doing that 10 them in -- that tiananmen massacre. that is what started the u.s. congress deciding they needed to create a sister organization which as you know, was very powerful and effective during the cold war in preserving freedom and democracy, and educating people behind the iron curtain. we were created by congress and funded by formally the bpg. we have three under the umbrella, radio free asia, news, and the open technology fund. i put the slide in because what we do is really basic. it is a very simple formula. our goal is that people regard trusted source in their language, particularly important when something major happens. like the earthquakes in shanghai that were built on shoddy construction and collapsed on
children, all of the children in the chinese province. that was a disaster, and tragic. during that time, our numbers and our engagement went up dramatically. when there are things that happen like that, like the hong kong protests right now, we put all hands on deck and we do 24 hours of live tweeting and streaming coverage and this continues -- the situation in hong kong, which is now in taiwan. so basically know your audience, , understand the context of where they're coming from so you can talk to them in a way that they can understand and can conceptualize and relate. know your adversary. in our case, our adversaries are the censors. we are the free press, and they are the censors. deliver the truth, and never, ever deviate. for us, being the enemy of the states in which we operate, one mistake will kill us.
so, we have to absolutely be rigorous in our ethics. and then, shoot for the epiphany moment. when you go up in a society where your state media is controlled from birth, it is sometimes really jarring to turn on a radio station like radio free asia and hear something that is completely different than anything you ever believed before. what we found in our audiences is that everybody has an thehany moment come at moment when you realize there is truth you are being denied, and that it matters to you. and it is your state doing it. we get letters and comments all the time from people telling us their personal epiphany moment stories. a quick one, i remember this woman who was a very, very successful corporate lawyer in shanghai. very wealthy and very
know,ntial, you socialized with all the important people, etc. them a, and one day, her brother who was in college disappeared. before that time, whenever people talked about radio free asia to her, she was like, they hate china, they hate chinese people, they are just attacking us all the time. then she started doing research, because she was trying to find her brother. and she realized that a lot of people who write on college blogs and chat rooms and message boards disappear when they say something the state does not like. so she went on a six-month intensive mission to find her brother. with all the connections she had, all the wealth she had, she couldn't find anything. he was gone and he never turned up. so she wrote me and said, i finally realized that everything you have said is true. i didn't want to realize it, because my life was so good. but it is. that is the epiphany moment, the moment a person who lives in a
closed society and experienced that, it is difficult to live without it. i feel that the freedom of information, call the freedoms that states do neither citizens so they can stay in power -- freedom of information, association, religious freedom, these are elements of human dignity. humans deserve their own dignity. so we try to give it back to them by providing information so they can make informed decisions about their own life. operations. radio free asia is a surrogate broadcaster. i know that a lot of you know a lot more about some of these things than others but i am trying to be wide, in scope. we do local news for local people in closed societies. this was originally mandarin, tibetan,, uighur and
in north china north korea, , cambodia, and vietnam. none of these places are free. when we were created, we had a very, very short window, then we had only annual re-authorizations until finally in 2011, congress gave us permanent authorization. because it was clear the trajectory of freedom and free speech in asia was not going in the right direction. we are in our fifth year of operation. it was created to counter extremist rhetoric focused at muslim, disenfranchised muslim communities that were being targeted by extremist rhetoric. unfortunately, because of the violence of extremism at the time we started this, there was no room in these indigenous countries to do these independent news sites. because their houses tended to be firebombed. so we realized that we had to do
this from outside. we call it offshore. we created this brand to be service to these communities that feel disenfranchised. we looked at the causes of being vulnerable to extremist rhetoric and fundraising, and foreign ,ighter flight, and found that unlike in all things, it is really about not feeling like you are heard or not feeling like you matter. issues that were particularly influential were corruption, unemployment, lack of education, you know, all of the things that make you feel dehumanized or not a part of a society. so even though these were predominantly very developed, and vital, vibrant environment, there were communities of people
who were left behind, easy sitting targets. we are in our fifth year now and now we do a lot more than just countering violent extremism. they open technology fund. yeare -- i don't know what we are in, we started in 2012. the thing about the internet, often times, people think about internet freedom in the case of news organizations as a pure access issue. this is a very serious issue, as you know. the great firewall of china is an ominously effective in blocking. have an upcoming thatt from otf which shows censorship technology in china is now being used in 120 countries in the world. access is a very serious issue but it is so much more than that. because there is no ability for
to create content unless we have access to sources and secondary sources and can't mission and photos and videos and, you know, documents that are found, or leaks, right? during the revolution, which radio free asia broke, i don't know if you remember scenes of monks going before it opened, we ran 24/7 during the entire movement and when it ended, every single one went to prison with transcripts of their phone calls to radio free asia. at that time, we decided that was not going to work anymore. we created the open technology fund. its legislative mission -- legislative mission is to
promote unrestricted access to the internet. we are talking about no censorship, no monitoring, and no interference. this is a very important concept. it touches everybody's life. free societies, closed societies, anyone who touches the internet must have freedom for it to work. next. to understand china come your adversary, you have to understand why they do what they do appear they want to take their rightful position in global leadership. what they do, they control the global narrative and global sentiments regarding china, and how. this is a complex, multilateral -- multilevel strategy.
many of us in this room know the various parts of this multilevel and synchronized thing. it is not coordinated in the sense that there is a planned, this is your job and your job, it is that everyone is moving their boat in the same direction. everyone knows where the goal is. in individual lanes, they will drive toward the same place. challenges. you all probably know this -- sorry about the colors. press freedom has declined in the world. journalists are being targeted. authoritarian disinformation, and the decline of commercial journalism. you can see what i wrote here. someone asked me how radio free asia is doing. it is fantastic but i have more journalists in prison today than i have ever had before. more family members have been
disappeared or held to pressure our journalists than ever before. our sources are in prison. people we profile are in prison. it is a very bad time. this is a great graphic done in our freedom house. these are selected cases of what china has been active in doing. you cannot read it so i will talk about some of these. the top left corner is in sweden and russia, where the chinese have harassed and threatened critics of china. in germany, the former chancellor was found spewing chinese party lines about the detentions. in africa, the start times
decides who is going to get state media. i could go on and on. i recommend you take a look at the graphic, in freedom house online. it is very illustrative of the vast array of pressures that can be applied all over. next. i will focus on the propaganda portion of it because united front does everything, including co-opting citizens of the free world to act as their representative and push their interests. this is pervasive especially in western democracy. for our purposes, radio free asia is really about propaganda. where we sit, there are three major concerns. one, obviously, domestic media.
that is everything they control inside the orders, which is basically everything online, tv, radio, newspapers, magazines, everything. the second area is shaping the global narrative and what we have seen is, especially in these countries, they have bought up radio, tv, and have pervasive information operations in those third languages. a very serious concern that we have is how to counter chinese propaganda coming into a country in its own language, such as vietnam or cambodia or some of the countries that we deal with. the third area is chinese -- the crazy thing is people like my parents, who left in 1949
because of the communist regime, today, they watch cctv 24/7. i am sorry, mom and dad. i have to out you. this is insane and insanely effective. we will talk more about this later but those are the three areas i'm concerned about. basically, these are all different ways to ensure domestic censorship. some examples. you know, controlling all the state party lines, you have seen if you go to china, digital time, leaked propaganda department advisories on what can and cannot be said. you will notice during big
events, the headlines are consistent across everything and you will see those exact headlines echoed in western media or international media, shockingly. this is something we pulled off of great fire.org, and otf project. it gives you kind of an idea of what censorship looks like the -- the hind the great firewall of china. sorry that was so fast. if you need me to slow down, say , could you hold it for a second? so, the global narrative. they have committed -- a committed strategy of making sure their views are representative and that and t ccp views are discouraged. cri, china radio international, probably a few years ago now, there was an investigative report that basically outed
enormous, covert, international network of radio stations that hide the fact that they put on ccp state media, including in the united states. i bring that up because these things are purposeful. they are incredibly strategic. if you wanted to convince the american people that, you know, that china is a good guy, a good performer who will help you in your prosperity, etc., you are getting these ideas that are state narratives. and i think it is super important that at least we in this room, when we read these headlines and these stories, just take it with a little bit of skepticism and ask yourself, who does this serve?
is it serving me with objective information or is it steering me against my country, my president, my congress, what? the interest of my nation. this is very significant. next. another example of this phenomenon is this. you have probably seen it before it is in the washington post. there are many people who read it and think it is a special section of the post even though it is clearly not it looks like it. it reads like western news. we have juxtaposed stories from the china daily english versus the chinese version of the story, specific terms and sentences are dropped out specifically so they appeal to whoever the audience is. the next one is super important. this is more finding from
freedom house 2018's report, -- the 2018 report, which i thought was significant. they expanded their influence to media everywhere. they have enhanced their ability to interfere -- because in democracy, people decide what our priorities are. they are trying to convince people that their state narrative is the right one. they influence through many ways, suppress criticism and push party lines, and they control and manage delivery platforms. for example, satellites. this is a good one. recently, ccp has exerted, i would say, majority influence over asia and telstar, the leading satellites have a
-- that have a footprint over china. they informed us immediately that we were going to be not renewed when our contract came up. this is a way to control the media platform themselves. of course, the threat of our -- huwaii means that they will have even greater control and data mining opportunities. there are also massive amounts of other chinese members, students that go overseas, people that go overseas, tourists, workers, they are also targeting these with chinese language media. one thing i have noticed over
time is newspapers that are local and chinese communities have and we think they are our own they suddenly start sounding , a lot like cctv state media. they have made a deliberate attempt, successfully, to either through economics or pressure or putting friends in the right places, influencing all of those journalistic lines. even if you think you are consuming something that is independent, you are not. because you get the same view from your local chinese newspaper as you do from chinese tv, it must be right. this is all part of an orchestrated strategy. so the most amazing phenomenon in this is something referred to as uber nationalism. if you have chinese blood, you need to be pro-ccp. you would be amazed at how effective this is. i think a recent example, was
when we had about a decade ago, this conflict where there was a violent clash, and this one, i do not know if you remember, one girl at duke university, she really wanted to bring tibetan students at duke with the chinese students at duke and have a dialogue. what happened is as she was the own eyes, her family actually ized, hers villain iced family had to actually go on the because theirng lives were threatened. but you saw a surge of uber nationalism and people at my parents who theoretically were not supportive of the communist party, turn red in the face of -- if you brought this up. they have the ability through a very long-term strategy to get
anybody that has chinese blood in them to feel like they are, you know, beneficiaries and part of the whole china operation. loyalty to china, loyalty to ccp. next. this is a graphic from jamestown.org. if you are not familiar, they do phenomenal work on china. this is just demonstrating the most recent reorganization of 2017 to target global -- from -- global diasporas from the united front. to show you how everything fits into this structure, next. understanding your adversary. i'm trying to think of a good example of this. how do you talk about your freedom of expression if you never know there was a universal declaration of human rights?
how about you don't even know that they are considered universal human rights in the world? these ideas, which are inherent in our belief system in that we share with, you know, our allies and like-minded nations, are by nature dissident from what people in china understand. to understand where they are coming from, we have to look at their words and actions. document number nine, still a winner after all these years. this was a leaked document from april 2013, which laid out in excruciating detail, threat of incorrect thinking. the chinese communist party is intent on eliminating the platforms and the ability to
share incorrect thinking, and some of these ideas that are offensive or anti-cctv in their in their view are constitutional democracy, universal values, civil society, journalism. to see it in black and white from a government document saying these are a threat to us, is very eye-opening. it makes everything else makes sense. because it is very hard to understand what the intentions are when we live in a free society. you will see some of these sprinkled throughout my presentation. this was a cartoon done by rebel pepper who was an extremely popular satirical cartoonist in china. obviously exiled. so we brought him to radio free asia and he now does political cartoons for us. award-winning.
he is phenomenal. his cartoons are insightful and you will see more as we go. this shows a basic conflict for xi jinping. trying to close the gaps in understanding and misinformation, gaining trust with audiences through credibility. credibility is the world's hardest thing. it is from a lot of things. foakes.
it is so ironic now that the anti-democratic nations in this world are so involved in pushing lies and disinformation, and trust is gained through credibility. if you could look around your life and see something happening, but your new station is not covering it, there is a problem. that is what compromises it. here are some examples. over the last decades, china has massively invested in media capable of reaching everybody. cri is in 65 languages.
i thought this was fun. this was, i cannot say it. front page on june 4, which you know is a major date in china. these are some fun headlines that we just snipped out of various china daily articles. you can see the messaging they are using. everything, it looks like news but it is not news. it is influence. next. here are some more. they were promoting all kinds of -- all good things must come to an end, even apple.
there are just all kinds of rhetoric or a narrative that they are pushing. these are just the english ones. they obviously participate in trying to resuscitate when truth kind of goes against the narrative. these are some examples. obviously, they're creating an alternate reality in hong kong in real-time now. i put these so you could go find and read them if you are interested. it is fascinating how much is being done to be sure our view -- make sure that our view of reality is there view of reality. view of reality. this is a typical rfa day. all right. next. we do special reports on things we think are particularly important for our audiences to know. i put out all english stuff. but understand that almost everything we do is in native language only. we are not funded to do english. we only do english when our news
is exclusive or has some angle we think is not being cap shirt -- not being captured in the english media. often times we will break some news like a revolution and then it rolls into the world press and the wire services, which is our goal. obviously. it is getting the truth above the radar. next. here is an example of hong kong, two months now of ongoing protests. a huge night last night when civil servants went on strike. rfa, as always, we go heavy and 24/7 with major events in our region. if you do not know what the hong kong protests are about, they are about the introduction of the extradition bill which will allow the ccp to extradite anybody from hong kong based on
their illegal discrimination. for those of you who are not familiar with the rule of law in china, there is no rule of law in china. it is ruled by law in china. people who live in hong kong or us, people who live in the free world, we will all be subject to the rule by law of the chinese if we are physically in hong kong and the law passes. that is why it is such a big issue. it literally means that the chinese system will preempt the hong kong genuine rule of law system. this is a defining moment for hong kong. i put this up because it is a cartoon, this is the protest at the hong kong airport. they were using our cartoons and you see what it was saying. they say they do not see any
problems and everything is good. keep going. this is a video which we will not show. are we going to show it? it is in cantonese. [video clip] [chanting] libby: that's enough. this is an example of the kind doingering we are covering the protests of people , in mainland china. this is an example of creativity during the last hong kong demonstration. the umbrella movement. of course we monitor everything, everything the chinese state media does. we realized they were pushing the narrative that everyone hates the protesters and they are super inconvenient and everyone thinks they are a pain in the neck. which obviously was not true.
so we created a digital solidarity wall for the umbrella of protesters. every time someone piped up from anywhere, we put it on the wall. in the first few days, i printed the wall so i could show it at a board meeting. it was 12 feet long printed out. after that, i never attempted it again. but we saw over the course of the umbrella movement that more and more support came from china on the mainland. we were getting more and more photos of people with yellow umbrellas and everything. we know it was effective. we did a lot of fun things at that time. through satellite, which is obviously a problem now. twitter is blocked in china. we ran the four most blocked keywords on twitter over satellite. anyone in china could see
anything everyone the world was saying on these hashtags. if we give them what the chinese are taking away from them, it opens their mind. so we have a lot of fun. do you want to play a little bit of this? this is an animation. [video clip] ♪ ♪ libby: we did a series of interviews and profiles stories with families of people that were in the massacre. ♪
libby: we call this the mother's project. it was well received. ok. we will move on. these are different parts of our coverage from this year. it was an anniversary year. next. skip that video. ok. so here is another example. i don't know how many people know about these people. radio free asia is the only international news source in the language in the world. because of that, we have almost a monopoly on original content coming from autonomous region. we were the first to rate the story of the large scale imprisonment in those vocational
schools, a reeducation camp. in april 2017, which has grown as you probably know, into something enormous, up to 3 million people are estimated to be in the system. our people in many of our closed societies like north korea or tibet, they rely on trusted net -- network of sources. this is important to what we do. it is only because rfa has been serving people with the truth for 20 years that we have this network of trusted sources in these places. people tell each other, if you cannot get help here, go see rfa and they will look into it and talk about it. if we continue to serve our audiences in that way, our network of trust grows. that is what we have been investing in for 20 years. obviously, we made secure and
encrypted medication to help our audiences, sources, and people. you may or may not know that almost all of the staff at radio free asia has had their entire families taken. it is a really really big deal, more than 60 family members. i am talking about elderly parents as well as nieces and nephews who are children. they have disappeared into these camps. what is interesting is last week, the chinese said, surprise, 90% of internment have been released. not so much. we did a very comprehensive random survey of all of the communities to see if they have seen people coming in and out. it is utterly false. there is a hashtag on twitter saying show us the 90%.
there was a case where they had a fake disappearance and then they showed a video of the person who allegedly disappeared and they were like see, it is all a lie. it is not a lie. it is the truth. the matter how they try to spin this thing, it continues to be the truth. we broke all of these things happening on the ground. then our cantonese services doubled down and reported it to the rest of the mainland because the chinese government tries to create anti-minority sentiment in china. make them feel threatened by minorities and they call this attack on the three evils, extremism and terrorism and violence. finally, our english continue reports for the restroom world
world to follow up. we did a breaking report about their shipping. some of the people from reeducation camps from literally prisons and understand these are extrajudicial camps. you could have had a friend that visited turkey, you're going to camp. so much more and i could tell you about what is going on but it is a lot. if you go to the rfa website, we have a page where we have committed to all of the updated news about our missing family members because so many members of congress and the state department have shown an interest in trying to help the situation. next. these are fan comments but we don't have time for that.
coined last year, here's the definition. they captured an entire line of effort for ccp. tactics. multipronged tactics, i just put examples here. external economic influence, trying to foster anti-democratic values, ob or, and they call it bri for us external people but it is one built, one road. they realized they had a pr problem. now they changed it to bri. i still refer to it as one belt , one road because that is what it is it is. all roads lead back to china. diplomacy, key industries, and influencers. influencers in australia who are
compromised because the efforts of the united front, they will push pro-beijing physicians in that government. next. here is a cartoon about puppets. next. this is a great graphic from reuters, which shows the silk road push, that literally all roads lead back to china to control shipping, shipping ports, land ports, railroad areas, so that china can continue to support its massive economic structure. go on. here is another one i thought was worth looking at. some people do not understand how penetrated europe is it is -- europe is. penetrated. this is a graphic to demonstrate. next.
i thought this would be fun for you guys to see. it takes you to afghanistan, i mean, like, we are so wonderful and the whole world loves us. actually, the value of this is cricketsre doing among muslim countries and turkish countries. turkey has their own problems. it has been nothing but crickets from everyone else. especially pakistan. shows anis because it today that weave would not had a week ago. i can stop if you want. signal if you want me to shut up.
here is a list of examples. we do not have to go through them. i am sure you know. it was a great report done. ghanas an example of what national news looks like. this is my favorite graphic in the entire world. this is the reach of china watch. they look like paper but they are not. they are targeted at americans in english. it is also in every major newspaper around the world. all of the major relied upon and trusted media around the world
in third languages has their version of china watch. i find this terrifying. it is very important that we realize it. every now and then, you will seem -- see an article that seems like they are from somebody you trust and you are, like, wait a minute. this is not right. listen to your gut. it is not right. go on. this is an example of a china watch headline. keep going. onas going to do a section the open technology fund. i feel like we are over burdened. do you want me to answer questions? or a little bit on the open technology fund? since 2012.ted it is an unbelievable powerhouse. technology to give you access or protect your access to
the internet. we believe in radical transparency. for you guys because everything we have done is online. every project we have funded, the amount, the years. users of o2billion f -- otf-funded technology. it is astonishing how needed otf was in the world and how effective we have been because our focus is users. we try to make everything effortless for users to protect themselves. i can stop now. sorry. otf sometalk about other time. >> thank you. cox i know it is a lot.
i am so sorry -- >> i know it is a lot. i am so sorry. [applause] >> arnold now teaches in china. >> i don't have to introduce myself. thank you. i have been teaching in china over a period of the last 10 years or so. of rfa,ople who know they tend to dismiss it as biased especially as compared to voice of america. what sort of feedback do you get? how do you determine the impact you are having? for example, with the hong kong story? notice vietnam as a target nation in the list you provided. >> it is. absolutely. vietnam is a target country of ours. vietnameseery strong
news service. it is a terrible situation there. last year, i had 12 contributors in country and now i have zero. they are in prison. or exiled. your first question was, do i think why we are dismissed. i get called into the chinese embassy here where i get lectured for being a lead trader. tradeitor. them how weto choose our news. we have a job to put news into a stream that is not there. i will say to the embassy people, if you covered this news, we could go out of business. simple as that. we put on whatever we can afford
limited pool of resources to cover and in norma's amount of information the chinese state keeps away from its people. have anhow -- we enormous amount of information that chinese state keeps away from its people. what do we think is the most important thing the regular chinese person cannot see or know? lately, we are very dynamic because we are surrogates, which means we respond to the audience in real time. lately, we have been doing a lot of focus. we do have a video on the domestic economic situation. despite the fact that people with their own eyes can see half -- buildings half built and padlocks on the doors and people cannot find jobs, the news from the state media is very rosy. a giant part of relationships between the citizens and the
government is a social contract. as long as we don't step out of line, you will not disappear us or anything and we are going to flourish and prosper. they have lifted very many people out of poverty. transparencyk of and recognition of what people can see, feel, and hear and understand from personal experiences, it is a big vulnerability in my view. first of all, i think citizens deserve to know what is going on, particularly if it affects housing and employment and ability to put food on the table. those are very essential pieces of information for citizens. more than that, it is part of a bigger understanding, there is so much that is important that you don't know. it is true that we are the pointy end of the stick and that
is fine. i only have a limited amount of money and a limited amount of reporters. every single one of them, their lives are at risk. we are going to pick what matters most in our view. they always say to me the -- theyis not lauding always say to me, the chinese economy is so good and everybody is doing so well and i am like, you spent billions of dollars telling the chinese people that. it is so easy. if you covered this stuff, we could go out of business. when you are a surrogate broadcaster, your goal is to go out of business. we do not want to be free press and countries in countries that thatno -- in countries have no free press.
voa has a different charter and we try not to cross lines. i think they need to demonstrate and show what u.s. values and policies actually are. we don't need other countries speaking on their behalf. -- on our behalf. we should be able to represent ourselves and people can decide based on credibility and authenticity and the comfort level of what they are seeing. hopefully, think about finding other sources of information. coming to a decision themselves. we don't tell people what to think. we give people information so they can think for themselves. that is our priority. [inaudible] >> in a place like china, we
have a hard time doing audience research. luckily, radio free europe trail blazed this for us. that the fear factor is a major impediment. if you are being asked if you listen to something that will put you in jail, how honest are you going to be? platform, the digital we have a lot more ability to understand who is watching us from a numerical standpoint. last year, for the first time, we were able to measure digital reach and we did it by asking questions like, if people said, i use rfa online. what stories have you done? do you have a favorite host? think rfa -- in that
way, we are able to find that we in china ontration digital, which is enormous. it is about enrichment, right? day, are -- every single we have examples of our impact. in laos, if we do a story on some deal they did with china that is hurting farmers or whatever, we will do a story and the next day, the government will start giving payments for land that has been grabbed for these projects. the government benefited from rfa reporting on these china deals. they had 99-year leases. laster, we heard they used --
last year, we heard they used a newories and negotiated lease. it is real. in north korea, if we do a program about slaying in south ng in southa korea, we get reports that they ng thatng the sla same week. when you are dealing in the countries we are dealing with, you cannot do door-to-door surveys. >> we have microphones on both sides of the room. i am michael. thank you for your presentation.
-- i saw heard about that you said you work in the philippines and bangladesh. in what languages do you use? in the philippines, we are doing it in english. same theory as radio free asia. using authenticity to create trust. you can go online and see it. go ahead. the side of the room. >> thank you for the presentation. i am john, white house correspondent for newsmax. i did note the philippines that was laid out in the list.
you just stated it again. here is my question. it might be a little bit of an awkward situation. you have a government in the philippines who according to the human rights office of the state department as well as freedom house, has increasingly cracked down on its critics. the president, while a friend of the united states, is increasingly hostile to those who have been to disagree with this -- with his policy. where does the radio free asia draw the line on going in, possibly raising the cause of human rights and fair reporting at the risk of angering an ally of this country. >> i am glad you asked that
question. it goes to a fundamental principle of broadcasting, which is independence. the reason why the surrogate broadcasters are nonprofit corporations is to give the u.s. government arms length distance. they put into the legislation a firewall, which means no one can influence our editorial line, period. nobody. not our government, foreign governments, state department, congress, or board can influence our lines. that question is irrelevant to our decision. our decision is, where are their communities or markets that are woefully in need of uncensored information, independent and accurate information? in the philippines, we went into manila a week before the whole thing blew up because we identified that that community really needed a news source and a platform for discourse that
was not tilted. that is how we entered the philippines. i am very sorry for those who work in diplomacy because i know radio free asia make sure life , but think about the greater good and the value that we are instilling and through our example, living. that is critically important. another question. go ahead. >> my name is jacob larson. thank you for your talk. what you do is important and compelling. my question is -- you mentioned the chinese diaspora. and how the ccp is targeting them. what efforts would you like to
take? >> the domestic chinese voa andg is covered by rfa. when you talk about language news sources and they are able to disguise the state lines and -- in those things, we need an alternative. there is got to be an alternative. if you are a chinese worker living in ghana, come on, you want something else and you deserve something else. we need in this world and alternate chinese language news sharp butch is not gives truth about things that people deserve to know about, such as the domestic economic situation. why did the chinese government
decide to end the super popular soap operas? that was a big thing and it was decided that they didn't portray chinese history quite right and people just wanted their soap opera back. those are the kind of things that nobody gets to talk about. everybody wants to. there are dramatic examples of how strong this messaging is and frankly everybody deserves a source of free information, not necessarily ours, which i understand is threatening and dangerous and will put you in jail and your family could go to jail. i appreciate that danger but there has got to be something else for all of these chinese speakers around the world, including my parents. >> does not exist? -- does that exist? libby: there are pockets of a non-chinese state media but even
the previously respected chinese language outlets are no longer independent, sadly. go ahead. i know we are over so if you want to bolt, i will not feel like you are rude at all. >> i am a graduate school student. you had mentioned how pervasive -- perhaps news to us in the western media as well as the media sources from western europe. especially given that we live in a free society, first amendment, what would you advise our strategies for media literacy that perhaps as consumers of media we would be able to discern or at least know when we
should question stories a little more, especially in the context of this institution. thingsudent, these are we should be asking. libby: that is a really hard question, especially if you think about the population as a whole. there is a phenomenon going on. we are seeing mainlanders in the protest. they live in the chinese mainland but now are living in hong kong and they would never dare participate in these protests on the mainland because they are so scared. the chinese government has immigrated. these recent immigrants from the mainland to hong kong in an effort to grow their support base in hong kong. we were shocked when these protests first broke out to see mainlanders involved.
question and i said, what is the deal with that? kong,d, you know, in hong we have taken our freedom for granted. we realize this is the last stand. if they get this extradition law, then we are done. these new immigrants have never lived in freedom before and when they get there, it is so shocking, they are willing to come out and endanger themselves to preserve. that is super important for those of us who live in a free society, take advantage of that free society. it is distressing the way commercial journalism has taken a dive because people are just not interested in knowing about things that they really need to know about. that is a media literacy issue for everybody.
if you are in this school you are already woken up, congratulations, we need to do a much better job in making sure that the mainstream of our western democracies understand what it means to be in a democracy and how valuable that is and understand how vulnerable. these authoritarians work in those gaps of democracy. if they are able to influence voters, you will see news headlines in the denver paper about how the trade war is hurting the beer industry and they are trying to influence voters. they are targeting voting districts that will support laws that benefit them. everybody just needs to think more critically about what they are consuming and i do not know how to deal with the apathy. sensationalism sells.
if you are not living in a closed society, maybe truth doesn't, if you are living in a closed society, truth means a hell of a lot and you are willing to go to jail for it. walker with the advisory commission on public diplomacy. think you for a compelling and informative discussion. i want to go back to constraints on your satellite resources, which were clearly very powerful and useful. what are some of your thoughts about either workarounds, cutouts, or other ways in which to reach that vital audience? libby: huge props to u.s. agm. they hired a satellite strategy team that has done a great job in creating a resilient satellite network coverage for us.
even good satellite companies are going to be crushed in this 5g expansion because there is so much bandwidth on the spectrum. everybody is going to get squeezed as the world comes on to 5g. these really smart people went about going to all the other satellite providers and basically mismatching, like knitting together a comprehensive coverage map. i feel like it is pretty good. i hope it will be sustainable. the reality is -- people who want this information, they will find a way to get it and we will be there in any form that they want it. we have adapted in real time to all kinds of dissemination tactics. in the cantonese area, we heard
they were playing youtube on a -- were playing our shows on bluetooth on buses. we were pushing that out until it was disabled. we just try to be everywhere the audience wants to consume us. our job is to be there. >> mike anderson, retired foreign services officer. could you say more about benar since that is new to me and i've never heard it and specifically with reference to malaysia. pro-western country. it has had a recent change to democracy. what the explain service is and what feedback you
get from the government and how it differs from the regular rfa services. libby: we are focused on communities and not the nation as a whole. we are focused on underserved communities. we were particularly focused on communities that were extraordinarily vulnerable to extremist rhetoric. >> would that be in malaysia? libby: i cannot remember, but it was something that was a very big concern at the time, before the recent president was elected. the interesting thing was, during this time before the democratic leader came up, benarnews journalists were given
given so much recognition because the number one terrorist threat in malaysia and their watchlist for some reason, he consumed benarnews and readily -- regularly posted our news on his own facebook and twitter to his extremist pals and followers. extremist followers. times a unique moment in able to engage this guy before he died. he was killed, which was great. --ore that, we were able to there were stories that we did crappyocal corruption or food products that were being targeted towards these
communities because they did not matter as much as predominantly wealthy chinese communities in malaysia. there was a space there. since then, things have gone better. on, we have to keep an eye what's going on there. it's not because we disagree with the government. that is not how we choose these things. we choose markets where we think more information is needed, or freedom is under threat. that is how malaysia was chosen in the beginning, four years ago. it would be great if things worked out really well, but they are still on massive hook to chinese obor. we have to keep making sure people understand what the price is to pay for that. >> hello, i am at the university
of southern california. my question is going off the , with a accessibility hong kong protests being a majority of young people -- libby: super young people. going against the chinese government. what do you think will be the role of younger people and younger individuals in gaining accessibility and disseminating free media? libby: i have all the hope in our future and the young people. vietnam is a good example. vietnam has, in my view, the most savvy internet circumvention users on the face of the earth. i mean, it's a historical thing. when the internet was created in vietnam, they did not think about locking it down might the chinese did. quickly, the social platform called jacob 360 --
yahoo! news 360 became the most popular platform. everybody was griping about the government. the vietnamese government just turned it off. when you have millions of millions of people who have become accustomed to experiencing free life online, where, in their off-line life they don't have freedom, shutting them down is a huge way to encourage them to learn how to circumvent. in the vietnam now, they are a phone you you buy go to the shop and they are like, what do you want me to put on this? do you want vpn's? etc. agilepeople are extremely . the world status quo is not beneficial to young people. young people are realizing that they need to be active in their
communities, in their governments, in the policymaking so that the future world will actually be one they want to live in. i think it is incredibly encouraging. that is what all my hope is. for one moreme question. i have a question. i am a fellow with the public diplomacy. you mentioned the chinese -- are you doing anything to target those populations outside of asia? perhaps in south america or africa? libby: we do not target outside of our target country. but of course, we are online so anywhere is accessible. you don't have a keeper with you. , but understand that when you leave the country as a student, you don't necessarily want to. right? with the surveillance state and the social credit system coming online, there is more and more
to the more conservative position. nobody knows what is going to affect your social credit rating. rather than take a risk, don't. that is the problem. know,because if you don't we do not target anybody in the united states. basically, we don't have what needs to happen right now. i think it is desperately needed. thank you, i am sorry that was super far over and did not get to hit some areas that i thought were important. [applause] you ever wondered what radio free asia is, hopefully i have given you some idea of what we are about. >> can i ask your point of information. can people apply for the open tech fund? libby: yes. one of our great successes is the open tech fund. can you go to the next light? -- next slide?
these are forming areas of focus. i put this slide in because it the resiliency and power of this program. new applicants and new projects applying every single year. so that we end up with what we have now, which is able to finance 3% of the proposals we get. here are a projects that are funded by us. itr question is, do we see steady? yes. yes we do. once upon a time internet freedom was a handful of vendors. now we are managing 70, 80 projects at a time with real hands-on management. we only pay for performance. these are not grants. you actually have to fulfill your contract obligation before
we will cut you a check. an important change in the way innovative technology is treated. and funded. very much.u, our next program is the first monday of september, labor day. it will be the second monday of september. before then, the advisory commission on public diplomacy in this room on wednesday, september 4 at 10:00 a.m. please join us. libby: thank you everyone for coming and listening. [applause] libby: i hope you got some idea of what we do. thank you for inviting me. >> c-span's "washington journal," live with news and policy issues that impact you.
coming up this morning, julie wagner with kaiser health news discusses the differences between medicare for all and the public option. we willof our podcasts, talk with the producer of "the new york times" podcast the daily. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern thursday. join the discussion. -- this morning and watch podcast week polygon week on washington journal starting at 9:00 a.m. eastern. on wednesday, mark leon goldberg, host of global dispatches. thursday, the podcast cohost of i'll tell you what. friday, the host of "congressional dish or cover -- dish." next, the venezuelan ambassador to the u.s., on the state of politics in his country. in his remarks at the national press