Broadcasting Board of Governors’ member, Victor Ashe, has called for congressional hearings to establish once and for all what ails the Voice of America (VOA) and its parent broadcasting services, and find ways to move forward. Mr. Ashe has inspired respect among bargaining unit members by his accessibility and dedication to his responsibilities as Governor, and we second his call for Congress to hold hearings on the dismal failures of management under the BBG’s ineffectual supervision.
In the past years, Agency management has engineered the end of VOA’s broadcasts in Russian, just as Russia invaded Georgia. The switch to an Internet only strategy in the VOA Russian Service was followed by a massive loss of audience. Agency management then tried to shut down the VOA Chinese broadcasts, until stopped by Congress. It has eviscerated the Central Newsroom, to the point where major U.S. stories are better followed elsewhere. The BBG stood by while an illegal RIF was conducted in the Office of Cuba Broadcasting in Miami, while for years qualified U.S. employees were illegally deprived of jobs/promotions in favor of foreign non-citizens. The list goes on and on.
In addition, employees of the Voice of America have made it clear, year after year, through the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, that they have lost confidence in the BBG and managers under the Board’s command. Morale has sunk to new lows.
It is time for Congress to intervene and rein in the leadership of U.S. international broadcasting before it is totally destroyed.
For more information about the crisis at Radio Liberty and Ambassador Ashe’s call for congressional hearings see: BBG Governor Victor Ashe sees a meltdown at Radio Liberty in Moscow