BBG Chairman Jeff Shell: ‘Best way to showcase freedom and democracy is by free media’

BBG Watch Commentary

Jeff Shell, BBG Meeting, Aug. 21, 2013

Jeff Shell, BBG Meeting, Aug. 21, 2013

At his first open Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) meeting, the new BBG Chairman Jeff Shell said that the best way to showcase freedom and democracy is by free media.

Shell also said that the mission of U.S. international broadcasting is pure, inspiring and important.

Shell opened the meeting by saying, “I am here because I believe in the Broadcasting Board of Governors, I believe in U.S. international broadcasting.” He asked two other new BBG Board members, Matt Armstrong and Ambassador Ryan Crocker to introduce themselves.

Shell thanked serving BBG members Susan McCue and Michael Meehan for their expertise and support. He also paid tribute to BBG members who recently left the Board: Ambassador Victor Ashe, Michael Lynton and Dennis Mulhaupt, as well as former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine who had represented the Secretary of State at BBG meetings.

In his opening statement,Shell talked about BBG journalists who risk their lives and face other threats in doing their jobs. He spoke among others about Alhurra correspondent Bashar Fahmi has been missing in Syria for 1 year.

BBG CHAIRMAN JEFF SHELL: “I am here because I believe in the Broadcasting Board of Governors, I believe in U.S. international broadcasting. …

I believe, and I think we all believe, that the way we showcase what we believe in as Americans — freedom and democracy — the best way we can showcase that is by free media, is by telling people the truth and getting it to them. There is two parts to that. One is telling the story and, two, finding the way of getting it to them.

And I think there is no place in the government, in my personal view, that has a more pure mission than this place. … It’s mission is pure, it’s inspiring, and it’s important.”

Link to video on YouTube.

Jeffrey Shell is president of NBC Universal International, a position he has held since 2011. He previously served as president of Comcast Programming Group from 2005 to 2011. Prior to joining Comcast, Shell held a number of positions, including CEO of Gemstar TV Guide International and President of the FOX Cable Networks Group. As president of the FOX Cable Networks, he oversaw the operations of FOX’s entertainment and sports cable programming businesses. He currently serves on the board of the National Constitution Center. Shell earned a B.S. in Economics and Applied Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.

Also see: BBG Governor Matt Armstrong: ‘Agency is a tremendously important part of our foreign policy and for the United States in general’, BBG Watch.

Also see: BBG Governor Ryan Crocker: ‘Insuring that our weave with the State Department and other relevant federal entities is solid and appropriate’, BBG Watch.

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