BBG Watch Commentary

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, Anne Applebaum, author of “Gulag: A History,” which Newsweek called “The most authoritative–and comprehensive–account of the Soviet blight ever published by a Western writer,” could help U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA), especially its Russian and English services, to be on guard against Putin propaganda. Such propaganda seeps from time to time into VOA programs because of poor leadership at VOA’s parent agency, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). This problem is magnified by poor management at VOA itself, insufficient knowledge among VOA broadcasters, hiring of poorly paid and poorly trained contractors, overall chaos at the agency and lack of editorial controls.


SEE: Voice of America used Putin’s narrative in a Russian report, ignored Biden on WWII history, BBG Watch, September 6, 2016



Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, Anne Applebaum to visit VOA

Please note that Anne Applebaum, A Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist with the Washington Post, will be at VOA on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016 at 3:30 pm to discuss efforts to counter Russian disinformation. The conversation, which is open to all BBG/VOA staff, will be held in the BBG Conference Room 3321 located on the 3rd floor.

Ms. Applebaum directs the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute in London. She is also an adjunct fellow of the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). In August, CEPA released “Winning the Information War,” a report that provides a comprehensive set of recommendations designed to counter Russia’s disinformation.


ALSO SEE: CEPA: Winning the information war with Russia – BBG not even an afterthought, BBG Watch, August 3, 2016


OP-ED: The danger of Russian disinformation, By ANNE APPLEBAUM and EDWARD LUCAS, The Washington Post, MAY 6, 2016.




1 comment
  1. Based on BBG’s past and current performance under a CEO with zero experience in managing a Federal agency, an inability to manage Operational Risk across the board, and recent posted USAJOBs for a GS-15 Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to work exclusively within VOA, there is really no questioning of VOA’s fate. BBG is far removed from the NCR community of federal agencies that monitor Russia’s activities and IT attack capabilities…this includes hacking systems, agency websites regardless of contract platforms, and IBB’s transmitting stations. BBG is wide open for a catastrophic hack…

    Recently, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, released a detailed report on the chronology of the Office of Personnel Management hack that exposed more than 21 million personnel records. During a Sept. 7 presentation at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, he said the “most concerning things” were the repeated warnings about OPM’s weaknesses and the idea that such a breach was preventable. Chaffetz pointed to a series of inspector general reports dating back to 2005 that almost annually lamented OPM’s insufficient cybersecurity protocols, and he criticized former OPM CIO Donna Seymour for “thwarting and misleading” the watchdogs. The report criticizes OPM’s response to the first signs of intruders on its network. (reference:

    How the organization operates is preventable, yet the agency is still attached to some bizarre belief they are exempted from living up to how a federal agency should run. …

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