BBG Media Highlights mention criticism of H.R. 4490 by RSF and proposal to defund VOA

BBG Watch Commentary

BBG Watch Highlights for May 16, 2014, sent out to subscribers by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), mention both the criticism by Reporters Without Borders of the  United States International Communications Reform Act of 2014 (H.R. 4490) as making “U.S. international media a propaganda tool” and a proposal by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, to defund the Voice of America (VOA).

BBG Media Highlights for May 16, 2014 also include a link to Roll Call pointing out that the bill calling for USIM to spend additional $10 million on Ukraine coverage was an unfunded mandate.

There is also a link to Freedom House commenting on separatists disrupting broadcasts of RFE/RL and VOA Ukrainian.

We are wondering how senior VOA executives may be reacting to the mention by the Broadcasting Board of Governors of a congressional proposal to defund the Voice of America (VOA).

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) makes it quite clear that he proposes defunding of the Voice of America because of mismanagement and violations of the VOA Charter.

Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire urges “the US authorities not to transform media such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Asia into diplomatic communication tools,” but some of the information in the RSF press release about United States International Communications Reform Act of 2014 (H.R. 4490)  is incorrect. The bill actually provides for greater autonomy of RFE/RL and RFA than they have now. U.S. international broadcasters were also required by earlier legislation to produce programming consistent with long-term U.S. foreign policy — as opposed to short-term — and consistent with support of freedom and democracy in general terms.

While major elements of the VOA Charter are included in the bill, some have called for making the VOA Charter a much stronger part of the proposed reform legislation. In addition to mismanagement, violations of the VOA Charter by VOA executives are in fact believed to have prompted the introduction of H.R. 4490.

 
 
 

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BBG Media Highlights – May 16, 2014
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— Reporters Without Borders criticizes proposal to make U.S. international media a propaganda tool, urges broadcasters to remain objective and independent.

— Freedom House on separatists disrupting broadcasts of RFE/RL and VOA Ukrainian.

— Channels TV and VOA sign a news partnership.

— Roll Call points out that the bill calling for USIM to spend additional $10 million on Ukraine coverage was an unfunded mandate.

— A proposal to defund VOA.

Citations of BBG Networks

— ReutersNew York TimesLos Angeles Times cite Radio Free Asia reporting on 3 Chinese government officials knifed to death and dumped in a lake in Xinjiang.

— CNN cites VOA reporting on climate change.

— RFE/RL’s Golnaz Esfandiari quoted in The Guardian on Canada inviting MEK member to speak.

— Deutsche Welle cites VOA reporting on possibility of Nigerian president visit to Chibok.

— Design & Trend covers the hijab selfie project, which started on VOA Persian’s OnTen.

— Digital Journal cites VOA Khmer piece on return of ancient statue from U.S. to Cambodia.

— Sada Elbalad (Egyptian news site) and many other publications cited Radio Sawa for its interview with the former Tunisian foreign minister Kamal Murjan regarding his candidacy to replace the UN envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi,. “I am not the only candidate for this position, but I am taking the matter seriously,” Murjan stated.

Of Interest

— How to get the news on net neutrality.

— Press freedom vs the right to be forgotten.

— New York Times internal report on innovation.

— The reporter vs the brand.

About Us
The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is the independent federal agency that oversees all government-supported U.S. civilian international media. The mission of the BBG is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. Networks within the BBG include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti).  BBG programming reaches an audience of 206 million in more than 100 countries and in 61 languages.

 

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