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TV Martí Celebrates its 23rd Anniversary

TV Martí celebrates its 23rd anniversary today, marking another great year of programming in the of promotion democratic values in Cuba and Latin America. TV Martí was established to complement the work of Radio Martí and began broadcasting on March 27, 1990.

Guillermo Santa Cruz, general manager of Radio and TV Martí, celebrated the event with a new episode of Avanza Cuba aptly entitled “”La prensa en una sociedad libre y el futuro del periodismo en Cuba” (The press in a free society and the future of journalism in Cuba). He firmly believes in the work of TV Martí and states that it is helping to encourage civil society and freedom of expression in Cuba.

Guests join Atena Live live in Washington, D.C.


“There are a lot of the changes taking place, and people in Cuba are losing their fear. They are being more assertive about their rights and about expressing themselves. We interview a lot of people who have taken a stand and are speaking out- people like Yoani Sánchez and others who are engaging in independent journalists. This constitutes progress.  This is the heart of our mission and the heart of what we do.”

Together, with Radio Martí, TV Martí provides information resources and unbiased news coverage to communities in Cuba, giving an alternative view to Cuban media that is highly censored by the state.


“TV Martí is really establishing itself as a well-respected news organization.  This is thanks to the hard work we directed towards rebranding and redesigning it over the last 3 years. The programming is relevant for people in Cuba. It is the kind of content that can be made available on many platforms. We consistently work on improvement at TV Martí.”

This past year has been especially noteworthy for TV Martí as its YouTube channel attracted unprecedented numbers of viewers seeking information about the return of a customs duty tax on food entering Cuba in July 2012, it covered the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions live in August and September 2012, provided coverage on the death of Cuban opposition leader Oswaldo Payá in September 2012, and broadcast comprehensive details about the death of Hugo Chavez and reaction from the Venezuelan diaspora in Doral, Florida on Antena Live in March 2013.  In a new tactic to integrate voices from Cuba  in real time,  Avanza Cuba also featured guests in Havana, Cuba live via Skype on its episode entitled “Tu Negocio en la RED” (Your business on the Web) in February 2013.

It was also a year of recognition for TV Martí.  Estado de SATS, created, produced, and presented by Antonio Rodiles, was nominated for an Emmy Award in October 2012.  The show, which airs weekly, tackles the realities and challenges faced by Cubans is made in Cuba with wrap-around segments produced in Miami.  Hacia La Democracia, a how-to guide for democratic transition was also nominated as was Antena Live and 7 N 30 for their audio design. These programs are great examples of TV Martí’s commitment to its mission of bringing quality, unbiased news and information to the Cuban people.


“We know people are watching. We receive very positive feedback. Recently, TV Martí attended an airshow own in the Florida Keys. People stopped by and asked about the shows and the on-air personalities. This is proof we are getting through and that we are making a difference.”

Senior management at Cuba, including Santa Cruz (far right) meet to discuss staging

By Roxanne Bauer

Somali Journalist, Nuxurkey, killed in Mogadishu Suicide Car bombing

A moment of silence observed for Mohamed Ali Nuxurkey

A moment of silence was observed today at BBG headquarters, to honor the life of Somali journalist Mohamed Ali Nuxurkey, who was killed Monday in a suicide car bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia. City officials say at least 10 people, including the reporter, were killed in the blast, which happened near the National Theater.  Nuxurkey worked for VOA’s bureau in Nairobi, Kenya, sending sound bites on breaking news from Somalia for radio reports.  He was not on assignment for VOA when he was killed.

A police spokesman, Abdullahi Hassan Bariise, informed VOA’s Somali Service that the suicide bomber was targeting a car transporting the city’s security chief and several other intelligence officials, but instead hit a mini-bus. Several schoolchildren in the mini-bus and bystanders on the sidewalk, including Nuxurkey, were killed by the blast.

The militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the explosion. Mogadishu has been trying to return to normal since al-Shabab was driven out  in 2011, but militants still carry out periodic suicide attacks and kidnappings.

Nuxurkey joined VOA in November, and was working with the agency to improve his English and scriptwriting in the hope of becoming a stringer in Mogadishu.  He also worked as a producer for Radio Muqbal and was previously employed by Radio Kulmiye as well as Horn Afrik TV and Radio. Colleagues have called him smart, ambitious, professional and a pleasure to work with.  He is survived by a wife and a child.


You can read more about Nuxurkey at



Bush Fellows visit BBG Headquarters


Bush Fellows Women’s Initiative participants engage in a panel discussion at BBG

Nineteen young women from Egypt visited the BBG headquarters on Tuesday, March 19, as a part of the Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative. The group attended a panel discussion with BBG managers and journalists and discussed issues such as access to information, the role of international broadcasting in encouraging that access, and how the press contributes to civil society.


Cecily Hilleary (right), Letitia King (center) and Fran Mires (left) discuss issues women leaders face

The panelists included Letitia King, Director of Public Affairs for BBG who served as the event’s moderator; Cecily Hilleary, Senior VOA Reporter and Associate Editor of Middle East Voices; and Fran Mires, Executive Producer of Al Youm, Rayheen ala Feen? and Street Pulse at Middle East Broadcasting Networks.  The program focused on two main topics: the role of a free press, and the communication and leadership skills required by women in the media.  Accordingly, they fielded questions about challenges they faced as women in the workplace, balancing work and home lives, and what advice they could provide for future women leaders.

The 19 young women chosen to participate in the program represent six influential sectors in society including health, media, rule of law, education, politics, and business.  They came as part of the 2013 Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative Fellowship program that was developed to enhance women’s leadership skills around the world with an initial focus on women in the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to enhanced leadership skills, participants also exchange ideas and expertise, empowering them to become a force for change in their home countries and creating a supportive women’s network.