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BBG Salutes Fallen Journalists

‘The work of United States international broadcasting is hard and dangerous.’

The Broadcasting Board of Governors this week saluted a pair of its journalists who died recently.

Meeting at the offices of Middle East Broadcasting Networks, it made note of Voice of America reporter Mukarram Khan Aatif, killed in January by Pakistani militants, and Remi Ochlik, a photojournalist who worked for MBN and died in bombing in Homs, Syria.

According to a meeting summary, the board also “spoke out in defense of Khadija Ismailova, a freelancer for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, who has built a reputation in Azerbaijan as a fearless investigative reporter, and has been targeted in a blackmail campaign.”

Presiding Governor Michael Lynton stated in the announcement, “The work of United States international broadcasting is hard and dangerous. Recent events are sad reminders of the risks BBG journalists face as they strive to report on regions in conflict.”

The board, which oversees U.S. international broadcasting, toured Radio Sawa, now 10 years old, and highlighted its coverage of the revolution in Libya. It also honored Walter Isaacson, who recently resigned from the board; Assistant Secretary of State Ann Stock, who had represented Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the board; and Michael R. Marchetti, who retires at the end of March after 46 years with RFE/RL.

According to the summary the board also considered a report from its governance committee regarding board leadership, operating procedures, the status of the consolidation of BBG-sponsored grantee and the future structure for U.S. international broadcasting, all topics of scrutiny given recent changes and moves to streamline the organization while spending less money running it.