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Report language on H.R. 4490 strengthens journalistic integrity, includes VOA Charter, limits Voice of America to non-surrogate role

Report language on H.R. 4490 strengthens journalistic integrity, includes VOA Charter, limits Voice of America to non-surrogate role

BBG Watch Commentary Report language for H.R. 4490, the United States International Communications Reform Act of 2014, has been posted online. H. Rept. 113-541 – UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS REFORM ACT OF 2014 The bill may soon be going to the House floor for a vote. Journalistic integrity section was strengthened in the report ...

BBG abandoned many RFA and VOA Asian shortwave radio audiences  to China

BBG abandoned many RFA and VOA Asian shortwave radio audiences to China

BBG Watch Commentary Without any proper advance notice to shortwave radio listeners, the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ (BBG) International Broadcasting Bureau suddenly cut numerous Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Voice of America (VOA) shortwave radio programs to Asia and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) shortwave programs to Central A...

‘American policies are being blasted to bits’ while Voice of America shortwave radio goes silent in Asia

‘American policies are being blasted to bits’ while Voice of America shortwave radio goes silent in Asia

Guest Commentary BBG Watch occasionally publishes guest commentaries. This one is from Victor Goonetilleke, a native of Sri Lanka who is both an educator and radio engineer. Views expressed are only those of the authors and not of BBG Watch, its volunteers, or sponsors. We invite those with opposing views and others who want to comment on this or o...

BBG Shortwave Committee Chair defends himself against criticism by CUSIB, Radio World reports

BBG Shortwave Committee Chair defends himself against criticism by CUSIB, Radio World reports

BBG Watch Commentary Radio World reported that Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Shortwave Committee Chair Matt Armstrong expressed surprise at the statement from the independent NGO Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org) calling on him to step down over the most recent BBG shortwave transmission cuts and their ...

Is it news, or is it propaganda? – Op-Ed in The Hill by Mollie King of IBB and formerly Voice of America

Is it news, or is it propaganda? – Op-Ed in The Hill by Mollie King of IBB and formerly Voice of America

BBG Watch Mollie King, a program analyst within the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) under the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) who spent more than 25 years as a journalist with the Voice of America (VOA), has published an op-ed in The Hill’s Congress Blog critical of the bipartisan U.S. International Communications Reform Act (HR...

Bureaucracy Warning Sign

How Voice of America Destroys Itself

Voice of America – Information War Lost: How VOA Destroys Itself By The Federalist   Alex Belida and Sonja Pace, former chiefs of the agency’s Central Newsroom, have posted a commentary on the BBG Watch website (“Don’t Silence America’s Voice”). The authors make another argument opposing H.R. 4490, a bill of the House Foreign Affairs Com...

Human rights organizations write to BBG urging end to discrimination of RFE/RL foreign journalists

Human rights organizations write to BBG urging end to discrimination of RFE/RL foreign journalists

BBG Watch Commentary The latest human rights organization to send a letter to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) in protest against discrimination of foreign-born journalists working for Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) in Czech Republic is the Bosnia and Herzegovina Helsinki Committee. The organization sent the letter to the BBG i...

Robert R. Reilly

Robert Reilly reviews new book by Martha Bayles on U.S. public diplomacy

BBG Watch Commentary U.S. public diplomacy and U.S. international broadcasting were at one time liked through the United States Information Agency (USIA) during the period of Voice of America’s (VOA) greatest reach and greatest successes, especially after VOA Charter became law in 1976. VOA reached the height of its influence as U.S. internat...

Leslie Hyland has new assignment, André Mendes is Acting CFO

Leslie Hyland has new assignment, André Mendes is Acting CFO

BBG Watch Commentary BBG Watch has learned that Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Chief Financial Officer, Leslie Hyland, was given a full-time assignment to ensure compliance on financial matters, including dealing with serious violations recently revealed by the Office of the Inspector General in Audit of the Broadcasting Board of Governors A...

Radio Free Asia listeners in Vietnam upset over abrupt ending of RFA shortwave broadcasts

Radio Free Asia listeners in Vietnam upset over abrupt ending of RFA shortwave broadcasts

BBG Watch Commentary Radio Free Asia (RFA) listeners in Vietnam are upset over the abrupt ending of RFA’s shortwave radio broadcasts to Vietnam at the beginning of July by the decision of the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ (BBG) International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) that has not been properly announced to audiences. According to sou...

VOA radio listener in Asia to BBG:  bankruptcy without even a proper good bye

VOA radio listener in Asia to BBG: bankruptcy without even a proper good bye

BBG Watch Commentary A longtime Voice of America (VOA) shortwave and medium wave listener in Asia has written this letter after VOA shortwave transmissions were abruptly cut last month without any warning to VOA listeners or even VOA radio program hosts. Dear Chairman Shell and Broadcasting Board of Governors Members, On the 1st of July barely 3 da...

CUSIB Calls for Matt Armstrong to Step Aside as Shortwave Chair

CUSIB Calls for Matt Armstrong to Step Aside as Shortwave Chair

BBG Watch Commentary The independent NGO Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org) has called for the restoration of short wave and medium wave Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) broadcasts which have been cut and will soon be cut to countries without free media...

Voice of America accuses Ukraine of inflaming rhetoric over downing of Malaysian airliner

Voice of America accuses Ukraine of inflaming rhetoric over downing of Malaysian airliner

BBG Watch Commentary     VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS: “Ukrainian officials have further inflamed the rhetoric over the downing of the Malaysian airliner, claiming that a Russian crew was operating the anti-aircraft system that was allegedly used.” With editorial direction and oversight almost nonexistent these days at the mismanaged...

Bureaucracy Warning Sign

Voice of America Lost in a Dream

BBG Watch Commentary Voice of America – Information War Lost: Lost in a Dream By The Federalist   One of our sources forwarded to us an article by David Ensor, the Voice of America (VOA) director appearing on an agency website: “VOA in 2020.” You can view it here in its entirety:   http://www.insidevoa.com/content/voa-in-2020/195955...

Maximum Hubris Revisited:  Some Predictions, and Cutting Through the Propaganda – ROBINSON OP-ED

Maximum Hubris Revisited: Some Predictions, and Cutting Through the Propaganda – ROBINSON OP-ED

Guest Commentary BBG Watch occasionally publishes guest commentaries. This one is from Dan Robinson, former Voice of America White House senior correspondent, foreign correspondent and VOA language service chief. Views expressed are only those of the author and not of BBG Watch, its volunteers, or sponsors. Robinson submitted his op-ed in response ...

Brave New World Vision for Voice of America Challenged

Brave New World Vision for Voice of America Challenged

BBG Watch Commentary Ted Lipien, former acting associate director for the Voice of America (VOA) and co-founder of the independent NGO Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org), has posted a comment under an article on the VOA public relations website, “VOA in 2020,” written by VOA Director David Ensor. Lip...

CUSIB Director Meets with BBG Chairman Shell

CUSIB Director Meets with BBG Chairman Shell

BBG Watch BBG Watch has learned that Ted Lipien, Director of the independent NGO Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org), met in Washington this week with Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Chairman Jeff Shell to discuss issues related to U.S. international broadcasting and other media outreach. The meeting was pa...

Don’t Silence America’s Voice — Belida and Pace Op-Ed

Don’t Silence America’s Voice — Belida and Pace Op-Ed

A Guest Commentary BBG Watch occasionally publishes guest commentaries. This one is from Alex Belida and Sonja Pace, former senior news executives and foreign correspondents with VOA. Views expressed are only those of the authors and not of BBG Watch, its volunteers, or sponsors. We invite those with opposing views and others who want to comment on...

Agency admits it fired workers who reported wastefulness to Congress, WT reports

Agency admits it fired workers who reported wastefulness to Congress, WT reports

BBG Watch Commentary The Washington Times reported that “in a notice recently posted in the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) offices in Florida and Washington, D.C., officials acknowledged that they “failed” to satisfy bargaining obligations in connection with the layoffs at the BBG’s Office of Cuba Broadcasting.” There is, however...

Former BBG Governors, CUSIB Director support reform of U.S. international broadcasting

Former BBG Governors, CUSIB Director support reform of U.S. international broadcasting

BBG Watch Commentary     Two former Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) member, Ambassador Victor Ashe and Blanquita Cullum, held meetings on Capitol Hill Tuesday and Wednesday to express support for management reforms contained in the bipartisan H.R. 4490 Royce – Engel U.S. International Broadcasting Reform Act. They were accompa...

House Foreign Affairs Chairman: Overhaul Pro-Freedom Broadcasting

House Foreign Affairs Chairman: Overhaul Pro-Freedom Broadcasting

BBG Watch Commentary Newsmax reported that “House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce has called for a complete overhaul of the U.S. government agency that oversees civilian broadcasting abroad, saying the current Broadcasting Board of Governors is effectively ‘defunct’ and ‘real change’ is needed to send Ameri...

LIPIEN: A propaganda-free Voice of America, WT op-ed

LIPIEN: A propaganda-free Voice of America, WT op-ed

BBG Watch Commentary In a Washington Times op-ed, strongly supporting management reforms proposed in the Royce – Engel bipartisan H.R. 4490 bill designed to restructure the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) in charge of U.S. international broadcasting, former Voice of America (VOA) journalist and manager Ted Lipien warns that current mism...

Former BBG member Ashe comments on expected settlement of OCB employees’ case

Former BBG member Ashe comments on expected settlement of OCB employees’ case

BBG Watch Commentary BBG Watch has learned and reported earlier that thanks to the intervention of Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Chairman Jeff Shell, the BBG’s legal office will apparently not try to appeal one of the latest of many decisions by arbitrators and courts that went against the agency’s lawyers in cases involving cri...

A historical perspective on H.R. 4490 debate — propaganda — public diplomacy — VOA Charter

A historical perspective on H.R. 4490 debate — propaganda — public diplomacy — VOA Charter

BBG Watch Commentary VOA CHARTER To protect the integrity of VOA programming and define the organization’s mission, the VOA Charter was drafted in 1960 and later signed into law on July 12, 1976, by President Gerald Ford. It reads: The long-range interests of the United States are served by communicating directly with the peoples of the world...

Voice of America Should Start Reporting on U.S. Marine Imprisoned in Mexico, Voice of Russia Does

Voice of America Should Start Reporting on U.S. Marine Imprisoned in Mexico, Voice of Russia Does

BBG Watch Commentary Yet another U.S. news story not covered by the U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) in English and nearly all of more than 40 of VOA’s other language services — the arrest in Mexico and detention of U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi and numerous attempts by the U.S. State Department, key U.S. lawmakers and ...

U.S. agency should do charity drive to bring  Voice of America radio back to Asia and Middle East

U.S. agency should do charity drive to bring Voice of America radio back to Asia and Middle East

BBG Watch Commentary This commentary contains elements of satire and sarcasm. If you object to such content, please read no further. However, we are dead serious about the idea of doing a charity drive to raise at least $1.6 million to allow some of the poorest and most isolated groups of radio listeners to continue to listen to Voice of America, R...

Don’t make Voice of America an arm of State Dept. – Letter to Obama from Paul Westpheling

Don’t make Voice of America an arm of State Dept. – Letter to Obama from Paul Westpheling

A Guest Commentary BBG Watch occasionally publishes guest commentaries. This one is from Paul Westpheling, Former General Vice-President of AFGE Local 1812, former member of the Union Executive Board, a member in good standing of the union who retired from Voice of America (VOA) in 2013 after a 25+ year career as an English radio broadcaster. Views...

OUR DYSFUNCTIONAL INTERNATIONAL RADIO/TV STATIONS – Guy W. Farmer  Op-Ed

OUR DYSFUNCTIONAL INTERNATIONAL RADIO/TV STATIONS – Guy W. Farmer Op-Ed

A Guest Commentary BBG Watch occasionally publishes guest commentaries. This one is from Guy W. Farmer who supervised VOA’s Spanish-language broadcasting to Latin America in the late 1970s. Mr. Farmer is a retired USIA Foreign Service officer. Views expressed are only those of the author and not of BBG Watch, its volunteers, or sponsors. The op-ed ...

Joe Bruns on radio and new media at BBG and at VOA under USIA

Joe Bruns on radio and new media at BBG and at VOA under USIA

BBG Watch Commentary The lack of adequate advance notice to our audiences is inexcusable, said numerous Voice of America (VOA) program hosts and broadcasters from other Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) media entities when the BBG’s International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) told them to stop many VOA, Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Radio Free Eu...

The Man Behind the Anonymous Critiques of U.S. International Broadcasting, govexec.com reports on BBG Watch

The Man Behind the Anonymous Critiques of U.S. International Broadcasting, govexec.com reports on BBG Watch

BBG Watch Commentary Government Executive, govexec.com website, has published a profile of BBG Watch and one of its original co-sponsors and supporters, journalist and author Ted Lipien. BBG Watch proudly, independently and fearlessly continues to be a watch dog project run by a group of current and former Voice of America (VOA) journalists, report...

Radio’s Brave New World by James Cridland offers lessons for BBG

Radio’s Brave New World by James Cridland offers lessons for BBG

BBG Watch Commentary James Cridland has published a thought provoking article on radio. He is the Managing Director of Media UK, and described as “a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business.” We thought that Cridland̵...

BBG Governor Matthew Armstrong says ‘You can’t censor the Internet’, DW reports

BBG Governor Matthew Armstrong says ‘You can’t censor the Internet’, DW reports

BBG Watch Commentary Speaking at the Deutsche Welle (DW) Global Media Forum in Bonn last week in a discussion about striking a balance between preserving civic freedom, state security and personal privacy, Matthew Armstrong, member of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), said, according to a DW press release: “You can’t censo...

Audit finds low morale at U.S. Radio and TV Marti to Cuba, California paper reports

Audit finds low morale at U.S. Radio and TV Marti to Cuba, California paper reports

BBG Watch Commentary “Low morale still plagues the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, the U.S. government organization responsible for Radio and TV Marti, a new audit finds,” The Sacramento Bee reported. “In a partially redacted report dated July 7, based on employee interviews conducted last year, the State Department’s Office of Inspe...

Voice of America Newsroom opponents of H.R. 4490 outnumbered at union meeting by bill’s supporters

Voice of America Newsroom opponents of H.R. 4490 outnumbered at union meeting by bill’s supporters

BBG Watch Commentary Several sources told BBG Watch that at a AFGE Local 1812 union meeting last week a small group of opponents of the bipartisan Royce – Engel H.R. 4490 reform bill was outnumbered by Voice of America (VOA) union members who support the bill, especially management reform provisions proposed in the legislation. Opponents of t...

Does America need the Voice of America? – media expert Jonathan Marks  asks

Does America need the Voice of America? – media expert Jonathan Marks asks

BBG Watch Commentary We strongly disagree with international media expert Jonathan Marks’s conclusion in his latest blog article that the world no longer needs the Voice of America (VOA), but we completely agree with his findings that executives in charge of Voice of America, as well as the overall Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) manage...

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