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Americans who work for Chinese media must share personal information



All employees at CGTN in the US, no matter their nationality, have to fill out a detailed State Department form.
This is the result of five Chinese state media outlets labeled Foreign Mission by the US earlier this year, marking them as an extension of the Beijing government and requiring them to comply with the same rules governing foreign embassies and consulates.

This action is part of a wider tit-for-tat between China and the United States, with media outlets in both countries functioning as proxies.

A five-page form, titled “OFM Department of Foreign Affairs (Missions Office) Questionnaire,” requests employee personal information as well as information about their spouses, children, and anyone who lives with them, along with where the employee worked for five years lastly. Copies of the forms were distributed to CNN by two CGTN employees who did not want to be named for fear of retaliation.

All CGTN employees, including those who are American citizens, have until Monday to complete the questionnaire.

In an email to the staff, shared by one of the CGTN employees, the CGTN legal department writes information that is usually needed only from diplomatic staff.

“We sincerely regret that OFM requires you to provide this information, but our request to OFM for reasonable accommodation for employees who are US citizens or permanent residents is denied,” the email said.

A State Department spokesman told CNN that the forms sent to CGTN employees were not made by the government, but the information was the same as what was asked by foreign mission employees, such as embassies or consulates. Foreign missions are needed to supply information through secure online web portals.

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“It is important for the State Department to have a record of individuals employed by all foreign missions in the United States,” the spokesman said. “The information is managed in accordance with any protection that is under the Department’s policies and the Privacy Act 1974.”

CGTN, the international branch of Chinese state television, has staff in more than 70 countries. Its bureaus employ local and Chinese employees, although Chinese executives have the final say on editorial matters.

Staff notify CNN that while they are often allowed to report because they feel they are compatible with a number of topics, basic issues such as Tibet are often considered forbidden. Stories about Hong Kong demonstrators or Muslim minority “re-education” camps in Xinjiang, presented in a way that is favorable to the Chinese government, despite protests from Western staff. Current network under investigation by British media regulators for violating the rules of bias and impartiality.
CGTN has played an important part of the overall strategy of the Chinese government to muddy the water coronavirus narrative through state and social media. The segment has strongly defended China’s response to the virus in the face of Western criticism, questioning the motives behind the criticism while exhibiting Chinese contributions to medical supplies and expertise around the world.

Five Chinese state media outlets labeled as foreign agents – CGTN, Xinhua, China Radio International, China Daily and People’s Daily – now require US government approval to buy or rent office space, limited in the number of Chinese employees they have. can have staff, and must register personnel changes including new employees and staff departures with the State Department, as well as foreign diplomatic missions.

In mid-March, China announced it would do so evict reporters from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, in increasing tensions with Washington. This move is widely condemned by international news organizations.
“The United States is taking this action to clearly communicate the severity of our concern about the abusive, unfair, and irreversible international press treatment in China,” a State Department official told a press briefing on March 8.

The second CGTN employee told CNN that they saw the questionnaire from the State Department as a way to pressure Americans to leave the network.

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“Some people told me they were considering quitting, but the pandemic made it harder to do that,” the employee said. “There is a feeling the State Department wants to label us spies and create the impression that if we continue to work here we will be unemployed in the future. Including family members adds to the intimidation factor.”

The employee argued that despite “legitimate concerns” about the lack of press freedom in China, the US “should be better than that” and provide press freedom, even if it was “an unpopular speech.”

CGTN does not respond to requests for comment. However deep statement posted on its website in March, the channel referred to foreign mission labels as “hypocritical.”

“The US State Department has increased its control over the Chinese media, while violating the US commitment to freedom of speech and the press,” the statement said. “The oppression of the US government will not prevent us from providing high quality news to the world.

We hope the US government will stop the politicization of legitimate news operations. CGTN provides a window on Chinese culture and a platform for Chinese perspectives on international affairs. “

Michael Callahan contributed to this report.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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