Deutsche Welle Press Release

A group of leading international broadcasters said today that media freedom faces its greatest challenge since the Cold War with Internet blocking, satellite jamming and the return of shortwave jamming.

The statement issued on behalf of the representatives of Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France (AEF) [France], Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) [Australia], British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) [United Kingdom], the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) [US], Deutsche Welle (DW) [Germany], Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) [Japan] and Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW) [Netherlands], said: “The jamming of satellite broadcasts has become a regular occurrence as regimes seek to block certain services from being received. This jamming affects an 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 organizations 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.”

Marking World Press Freedom Day on May 3, the broadcasters called on all nations to recognize the legitimate role played by international broadcasters in offering free access to global media and coverage of events.

During the Cold War the jamming of radio broadcasts to east of the Iron Curtain was commonplace. European and US broadcasters worked hard to overcome this in a game of cat and mouse. From the late 1990s digital satellite broadcasting has flourished, delivering a wide range of programs in many languages to communities across the globe. Audiences have been able to benefit from international broadcasts that provide a different perspective on news and cultures.